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2023 Legislative Agenda

2023 Session Results

End of Legislative Session: I’m not sure there has ever been a year quite like this one. Usually, we’re playing defense on several issues to prevent cuts, while proactively working on some broad items that can take years to get passed adequately. This year everything was happening at once, including new items related to our issues that came out of nowhere. It was crazy!!

 

Clean Energy: Following rapid passage in 2023 of a new Clean Energy Standard on which LA-MN worked for many years, our focus shifted. Concerted advocacy efforts with partners played meaningful roles in creating a State Competitiveness Fund ($190 million) for federal program matches, and final spending bill inclusion of state emission goal updates & a new Minnesota Climate Innovation Finance Authority for clean energy economy energy transition ($45 million).

 

Affordable Housing: LA-MN worked closely with Settled and JRLC to pass Sacred Tiny Home Community legislation, changing zoning laws to allow faith-community hosting for people who have experienced chronic homelessness and “Good Neighbor” volunteers. Other Homes for All (H4A) agenda items over several years passed, including rental/eviction reforms. With other H4A partners, we helped generate broad statewide grassroots support for significant housing investments - budget passage included more than $1 billion (much 1x spending from the surplus) for new housing construction, rehabilitation, and preservation; rental assistance; down-payment assistance for new low-income or BIPOC homebuyers; and $100 million for homeless shelter creation.

 

*Find our 2023 long Legislative Summary here (Can you sense the magnitude of this year’s accomplishments?).

2023 Clean Energy Agenda

1. Infrastructure Funding Matches: Funding to take advantage of federal funds available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure legislation.

2. Climate/Clean Energy: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase clean energy through stand-alone legislation or portions of other bills, including the 100% Bills.

3. Energy Transition: Increase the role and funding of the Minnesota Energy Transition Office to support both community and worker transition from fossil fuels.

2023 Affordable Housing Agenda

The Homes for All Coalition has a very large list of 35 issues. Lutheran Advocacy-MN will take major roles on the first two issues, with additional action on the other six issues through action alerts and legislative meetings as appropriate.

 

1. Sacred Tiny Home Communities (Communities of tiny homes on premises of places of worship with formerly homeless and “missioner” households): Change zoning laws to allow houses under 400 square feet.

 

2. Capital Requests for Production & Rehab Funding:

  • $500M for Housing Infrastructure Bonds;

  • $250M for General Obligation Bonds for publicly owned housing rehab;

  • $250M cash for homeownership, community land trusts, and manufactured home park infrastructure;

  • $200M for emergency shelter capital.

 

3. Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH): Provide significant annual funding for acquisition and rehab.

 

4. Down Payment Assistance: Create a first-generation down payment assistance program targeted to BIPOC homebuyers.

 

5. Housing Support Income Modifications: Reform calculations to ensure those receiving SSI, RSDI, veterans benefits, tribal payments and lived experience stipends can to retain more of their personal income.

 

6. Pre-Eviction Notice & Eviction Expungement: Mandate a landlord-provided 14-day pre-eviction notice, and make reforms including a requirement that evictions 3 years or older be removed from a renter’s record.

 

7. Source of Income Protection: Amend the Minnesota Human Rights Act to clarify that housing discrimination based on a person’s source of income is illegal.

 

8. Lead-Free Homes: Create a fund for small grants to do lead-remediation in low-income rental homes.

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