The final sprint at the Capitol

The legislature has just weeks remaining before they are constitutionally required to adjourn for the year. Plenty of work remains. There are several bills still in motion that would have great impacts on the housing industry.

  • On Wednesday, the House passed the transportation, labor and housing supplemental budget bill, HF5242. The bill contains multiple provisions that the housing industry has opposed throughout the legislative session.
  • HF4444 would cause dramatic changes for construction industry independent contractors. Housing First Minnesota, the industry trade association for the housing industry, has emphasized to lawmakers that the individual liability will have a serious impact on the industry’s massive workforce crisis. The new 14-point test for independent contractors is confusing and will cause chaos for those that are simply trying to abide by the rules. This bill was also supposed to be heard as a stand-alone bill on Monday, but it was laid on the table and has not received a floor vote.
  • HF4242 would require the residential energy code to achieve a 70 percent reduction in annual net energy consumption by 2038 compared to 2006.

    “Today, Minnesota homebuilders proudly build some of the most energy-efficient homes in the country. Unfortunately, this legislative language creates energy checkpoints that will be extremely difficult to achieve and could have significant costs and durability concerns,” said Mark Foster, vice president of Legislative & Political Affairs.

    The Senate omnibus transportation, labor and housing supplemental budget bill currently does not have either of these provisions and has yet to receive a floor vote.
  • SF 3572 Finally, the Senate Committee on State and Local Government and Veterans heard the “Minnesota People Over Parking Act,” a bill that would ban local units of government from requiring parking mandates. Nick Erickson, Senior Director of Housing Policy, joining nearly a dozen other groups testifying in support of the language that would put homeowners, builders and developers back in charge of their parking needs.

    In many growing cities there can be requirements to build three-car garages. Under the language of this bill, it would be up to homeowners to choose how many garage stalls they would like. This flexibility has the potential to save up to $40,000 per house.

    SF 3572 was laid over for possible include in the State & Local Government Omnibus Bill.

The 2024 legislative session must end by May 20.