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Seven committee meetings, one floor discussion, and one Supreme Court case. On the heels of Housing Day on the Hill, the BATC advocacy team has been very busy in St. Paul this week!
Multiple pieces of the Minnesota Homeownership Initiative have taken major steps forward. While numerous steps remain, these mark important incremental victories towards achieving our homeownership and affordability objectives.
BATC’s Modern Advocacy Program at Work:
Where do the BATC/Minnesota REALTOR initiatives currently stand?
Public Notice for Housing Moratorium Passes the House: A long-time industry priority, HF 330 passed through the House of Representatives. Led by BATC’s 2016 Legislator of the Year, Representative Jim Nash (R-Waconia), the bill passed with bipartisan support 87-44. Peter Coyle, BATC Counsel, and James Vagle, Director of Advocacy have testified multiples time on behalf of this initiative. The Senate companion bill, SF 201, has passed out of committee and is awaiting full Senate discussion.
Rulemaking Review Oversight Heard in Both Chambers: David Siegel, BATC Executive Director and Tom Wiener, Builder Vice President, Cardinal Homes, testified on behalf of HF 1001 and SF 745, a bill that would require legislative oversight for any proposed rule that would impact a homeowner by $1,000 or more. The billed passed out of the Senate State Government Policy and Finance and Elections Committee on Tuesday and has been re-referred to the Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy meeting next Wednesday.
Condo/Townhome Development Referred to the House Register: Peter Coyle, BATC Counsel, and Morgan Bickel, Director of Construction Operations for Lennar Minnesota, testified on behalf of HF 1538 in Thursday’s Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee. The bill passed out of committee and has been referred to the House General Register. The companion bill in the Senate, SF 1455, was introduced and referred to the Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee.
Townhouse Definition Referred to the House Register: A long-time BATC priority, this initiative is a continuation of BATC v. DLI. HF 792, a bill that would modify the townhouse definition, passed out of the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability on Tuesday and passed out of the House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee on Friday. It now will head to the House General Register for the full body discussion. The Senate companion, SF 578, was passed as amended in the Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy last week.
First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account Receives First Hearing: HF 1234 received its first hearing in the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee on Wednesday and has been referred to the State Government Finance Committee on Tuesday. The Senate companion bill, SF 888, has been referred to the Senate Taxes Committee.
Manufactured Homes Title Transfer Heard in the Senate: SF 187, was heard in the Senate Transportation Finance and Policy Committee on Tuesday and was referred to the Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee. The companion bill, HF 347, has been referred to the House Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee for a Monday hearing.
Home Tax Conformity Introduced to Respective Tax Committees: An initiative that would make mortgage debt cancellation tax relief and mortgage insurance premium deductibility permanent features of Minnesota’s tax code. SF 824 and HF 1086 have both been introduced to their respective Tax Committees.
In addition to all of the work at the Legislature this week, the BATC team has been out in support of our members and the industry.
BATC was in the Minnesota Supreme Court chamber on Tuesday as oral arguments were heard in the City of Rochester v. Kottschade case. David Siegel, Executive Director, Nick Erickson, Regulatory Affairs Manager and Mark Foster, Political Engagement Manager, attended the hearing in support of Rochester-area developer Frank Kottschade. The case addressed the sanctity of an arbitration clause.
On Thursday, Vagle and Erickson, along with BATC members who are experts in construction stormwater practices, met with officials from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency regarding the upcoming Construction Stormwater Permit change. BATC’s advocacy team will be submitting proposed changes to the Pollution Control Agency in the coming weeks and will continue to be engaged in the permit update process over the coming months.