ST. PAUL, MINN. – Construction is a well-known method for getting economies out of a slump, and putting the unemployed back to work. This year Sen. LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Plummer) championed a $100 million investment into housing – the largest single investment by the state, ever. Stumpf also worked to repeal the controversial sprinkler provision, which mandates that new homes built larger than 4,500 square feet be installed with sprinklers. It is for this work on behalf of affordable housing that the Builders Association decided to honor him with its Legislator of the Year Award.
“The $100 million for housing in the bonding bill is something I’m really proud of. Not only will that money help build 4,000 new units for homeless or disadvantaged families across the state, it also means 5,700 jobs for hard-working Minnesotans. I’m honored to receive this distinction,” said Sen. Stumpf.
The sprinkler provision is a mandate that the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) strongly opposes. For rural areas of the state with no access to city services, the mandate can tack on between $10,000 and $20,000 to the price of a new home. According to the Builders, a good fire alarm is just as effective at saving lives as sprinklers. Stumpf worked to include repealing the sprinkler mandate in the Senate’s version of the bonding bill this year, but it was ultimately taken out to help preserve the rest of the $1.2 billion bill.
“Senator Stumpf looks at public safety issues and balances that with housing affordability, and he does this in a way few legislators can. His approach is one the Builders Association of the Twin Cities greatly respects,” said BATC Public Policy Director James Vagle.
According to the BATC its award is given to members of the Minnesota Legislature who have championed the advancement of its policy agenda and legislative priorities. The award is given only when a deserving legislator is identified, and there can be no more than one recipient in any given year.