Minnesota Report

We spoke with Sen Rich Draheim (R-20, Madison Lake) regarding activity in his Housing Finance and Policy Committee, and learned a interesting piece of information. The Chair does not support Housing Infrastructure Bonds (HIB) for passage because of the long-term fiscal implications of a 30-year debt service obligation. He said, regarding Governor Tim Walz’ (DFL-MN) Supplemental Budget containing $250 million for HIB’s would come down to $100 million in annual debt payments.

This news is something, especially House Housing Finance and Policy Chair Alice Hausman (DFL-66a, St Paul) should take heed and prepare her legislation thoughtfully with many different routes other than a large cumbersome Omnibus Bill. We understand House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-36A, Brooklyn Park) has advised the various committee chairs to pass stand alone bills rather than Omnibus ones to ensure each piece of legislation get a clear and declarative vote. This is a wise political strategy because the different pieces of legislation then can become literature pieces after people are forced, on the Republican side, to cast bad votes.

In a redistricting year, where the election outcomes will likely be shaped by the activities in Washington, DC, Donald J Trump (R), the War in Ukraine, Inflation and the Hangover from the COVID Pandemic, the introduction of issues closer to home could have a significant impact.

This is an exact reason we think, as does Sen Mark Koran (R-32, North Branch) Minnesota should be like North Dakota and have our own bank. This way we wouldn’t need to sell bonds on the open market and have to pay for the bond’s debt service, but just make loans and generate income over the course of time.