Hello Friends –
As the legislative special session seems to be coming to a close, we need your help! Please check the Action Alert below, connect to the Homes for All link, and send your personalized email to state lawmakers!
We are in living in unprecedented times! We’ve been hearing that a lot, and changes in our routines make it obvious daily. However, full comprehension the waves of change we are experiencing is less understood. I’ve included a fuller discussion below the Action Alert. We’ll need to come back to many of those issues in the weeks and months to come!! [Meantime, if you’d like to watch/listen to/read “My Heart is Broken: A Modern-Day Psalm of Lament” it was posted a couple of weeks back on our Facebook page.“My Heart is Broken” video link: …(link here)]
Quite honestly, it doesn’t look like much will be accomplished in this special session, especially in the areas related to our agenda. In policing reform, while the House is working on transformational legislation, the Senate is mostly looking for tweaks or reforms to the status quo. Clean energy and climate could have a role in the types of projects in the bonding bill, but today it is looking unlikely that House and Senate will agree regarding a full bonding amount and spending priorities, much less that a two-thirds majority will be achieved, particularly as Rep. Kurt Daudt (House Minority Leader) has pledged to prevent his caucus from passing the major bonding bill until the Governor’s Peacetime Emergency Executive Order has been ended.
The one area where some things could still happen before the Senate’s promised adjournment tomorrow is in housing issues. There are some COVID-related housing concerns that could still be addressed, and the senate seems intent on putting housing bonds into it’s own bill (separate from other bonding) which could be something that gets negotiated yet with the House. However, the senate is proposing bonds at at very low dollar levels, particularly compared to the extreme need and to our Homes for All original & revised requests. It is also possible that the senate may decide to keep working awhile longer, and there is discussion that another Special Session may be called in July.
Hence, the need for this action alert. Please know that action tonight could still have a significant impact on what happens yet tonight or tomorrow!!!
What is Needed?
1) $100 million in housing assistance (available from federal funding) designated to address COVID related concerns and job losses;
2) Changing the rental eviction moratorium to align with federal policy, and a grace period for rental payment (especially important if the rental assistance isn’t designated)
3) $225 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds, with $25 million of it designated just one time for shelter use (especially important with distancing needed during the pandemic, but was needed ever before COVID)
4) $100 million in Government Obligation Bonds to address Public Housing (including rehab or rehabilitation of apartment units)
How to Act?
Send an email via the Homes for All system which will automatically send to your senator and representative. The message language there is very general. Please use your own words or borrow from the above “What is Needed” list. Most importantly, share why you care and/or your own experiences with housing, what your church does to help address housing concerns, or the housing situation in your community(statewide we have a severe lack of affordable housing).