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Advocacy Update 6-22-2020 Tags: Government Affairs

Our Advocacy Update includes a good deal of ‘undone’ items from the Minnesota Legislative special session. Scratch that, ‘not so special session.’ Minnesota has one of only two legislatures in the country with split party control. Undone items include, bonding, budget, COVID 19 federal oversight and appropriation, police reform, and a tax bill. Just to name a few. Minnesota Senate Republicans voted to end the Governor’s ‘Peacetime Emergency’ order but it was a non-starter in the DFL controlled Minnesota House of Representatives. That order now runs until July 13. The easiest path to an additional extension of the ‘Peacetime Emergency’ beyond July 13  is if Governor Walz calls one at or just prior to that time. So conventional wisdom leads many to believe that’s when he would do so. In Minnesota, only the Governor can call a ‘Special Session’ and only the legislature can adjourn.

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® lobbying team, led by Paul Eger, testified on a bill in the Minnesota House of Representatives during special session. The bill HF83 was proposed by Representative Hassan (DFL-62A- Minneapolis) and was heard in the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division. The bill essentially created Rent Control for a subset of Commercial and Residential property. The bill language can be reviewed here. Your state level lobbying team testified and expressed concerns over the bill language. MN REALTORS® letter can be read here. The bill was motioned to be included in the committee report and referred to Ways and Means Committee. It remains active and could be taken up again but no further action was taken at this time.

  • The city of Minneapolis enacted a new Renter Protection Ordinance on June 1. All REALTORS® involved in residential leasing are encouraged to learn more and become compliant.
  • Twin Cities LISC has completed its work as a policy research vendor regarding the subject of Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act known as “TOPA” or “First Right of Refusal” ordinance. That report will be submitted to the Minneapolis City council by Mid-July. Five REALTOR® members participated in a focus group on this topic. Upon completion of the focus group, the five submitted a joint letter expressing their concerns about the policy. That letter can be reviewed here.
  • Minneapolis Suburbs are preparing for elections. There are communities with primaries and communities without primaries. Communities with primaries have already opened and closed their filing periods. Communities without primaries close their filing period on primary day in August. MAR will be involved in local elections in suburbs in 2020. There is also one special election for Ward 6, to fill Abdi Warsame’s council seat, in November 2020.

Stay tuned to MAR for Government Affairs news that impacts you and your business.