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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, February 8, 2019



Thanks to Paul Kristad (Wood Lake) and Steve Olson (Buffalo) of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association,

Tim Velde and Will Levy (both of Granite Falls) of the Farmers Union,

and the whole group from the Southwest Center for Independent Living (Marshall) for coming to my office in St. Paul to talk about the issues.

Dear Neighbor,

This week the House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division which I serve conducted a hearing for H.F. 700, a bill which attempts to move Minnesota to 100 percent fossil-free energy 2045.

Were that to actually happen, I’m very concerned what it would mean to businesses and families across our state as prices increase for their energy needs. This proposal also may threaten the reliability of our energy grid.

It also should be noted that agriculture and industry are right in the sights for these extreme environmentalists and it raises red flags about what this means for the future of our ability to compete for jobs and industry in southwest Minnesota and across our state.

 I’ll keep any eye on this bill as it goes through the process, but the good news is it doesn’t seem like this will see the light of day in the Senate, so we pray those folks stand strong for common sense.

Standing for Life

Over the last several weeks, outrageous proposals have been put forward or passed in New York and Virginia that would legalize abortion up to the moment of birth. Virginia's Democrat Governor Ralph Northam even stated that after a baby was born and resuscitated "a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother" that seemed to suggest that it would be acceptable to allow the child to die.

House and Senate Republicans came together to host a press conference recently and denounced these bills. We will continue standing up to protect life, while strongly opposing extreme proposals like those we've seen in other states.

Housing regs are costly

The Housing Affordabilty Institute’s new report “The True Cost of Minnesota’s Broken Housing Market” shows that regulations on home construction have left the Twin Cities with a “housing market that is fundamentally broken and ill-equipped to meet the demands of Minnesotans.” While the study focused on the Twin Cities, this is a statewide issue as well. A couple of key bullet points from the study include:

  • Up to one-third of a new home’s price in the Twin Cities is due to regulations and policies from the local, regional and state level.
  • By nearly every measure, new homes in Minnesota cost more than comparable homes in all other Midwest markets. (The same home in the eastern Twin Cities costs $47,000 more than in Hudson, Wis.)
  • The disparity in homeownership rates between white and non-white Minnesotans is the highest in the nation.

Regulatory reform is long overdue and let’s hope this report helps shine some light on this problem because it is turning “affordable housing” into an oxymoron, making it all but impossible for builders to construct new homes that people on moderate incomes can afford.

Until next time, have a great weekend.