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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL)

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Legislative Update - May 10, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019

Neighbors and Friends,

We are down to the last ten days of 2019 Legislative Session. Although we have many differences to resolve before May 20th, we are working hard to reach compromises on a budget. Conference committees are meeting to work out agreements on a number of bills. Here is the latest from the Capitol:

Budget Bills

The House, Senate and Governor have all proposed different budgets. I thought you would be interested in reading a Pioneer Press article about the budget differences.

Housing Bill

The Housing policy bill (HF 2542), of which I am chief author, was approved by the House on Monday. The bill addresses tenant’s rights, and modifies provisions related to the closure of mobile home parks. This bill is another piece in the ongoing and challenging puzzle to ensure no Minnesotan is homeless. The policy bill will be part of the ongoing conference committee on Agriculture and Housing, which pairs up with the Senate bill.

Conference Committee

Speaking of conference committees, as chair of the Housing Finance and Policy Division, I am also a conferee on the House/Senate Ag/Housing conference committee. We have met three times this week and are working on a compromise bill with the Senate. The comprehensive bill

supports Minnesota’s agriculture industries, invests in food access programs, and provides a $26 million funding increase for housing programs.

In addition to funding the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the budget bill invests in agriculture research, protection services, marketing and development, financial assistance, bioenergy, and the Board of Animal Health.

House Democrats have already passed stand-alone legislation addressing the mental health crisis in farming communities for the current fiscal year. The Agriculture and Housing budget continues that investment by strengthening farmer mental health counseling services and the work of Farm Advocates in the coming biennium.

The Housing components of the budget increase investments to address homelessness, build more workforce housing, and provide financial empowerment and training to help low-income renters achieve homeownership.

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KARE 11 story

Letting funding for the Health Care Access Fund expire this year would imperil health care for millions of Minnesotans. KARE 11 broadcast a story that demonstrates the importance of this funding source and why it must kept in state law.

Homes for All

Governor Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan addressed the Homes for All spring rally this week and spoke about their legislative priority for affordable housing across the state.

House Democrats have already passed stand-alone legislation addressing the mental health crisis in farming communities for the current fiscal year. The Agriculture and Housing budget continues that investment by strengthening farmer mental health counseling services and the work of Farm Advocates in the coming biennium.

The Housing components of the budget increase investments to address homelessness, build more workforce housing, and provide financial empowerment and training to help low-income renters achieve homeownership.

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If you’d like to follow news from the legislature, read the House of Representatives' Session Daily to get the latest updates.

If you need to reach me, feel free to call my legislative assistant Blake Wilcox at 651-296-8803.

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Thank you for the privilege of representing you in the legislature.

Sincerely,

Alice