Senate Republicans heard a bill in committee this week that would retroactively eliminate the ability of local governments to enact rent control through ballot initiative. This bill overturns the 2021 rent control initiatives in Minneapolis and Saint Paul which were approved by a majority of voters.
During the hearing, community advocates and residents of Minneapolis and Saint Paul asked Senate Republicans to honor the democratic process and recognize the impact the housing crisis has on working Minnesotans. Supporters of the bill testified on the impact rent control has on private development and urged lawmakers to strip this authority from local governments.
While there is room for discussion on the merits of rent control, there should be no room for discussion on the merits of democracy. Senate DFLers strongly opposes efforts by Senate Republicans to overturn the will of the voters and preempt our local governments. Addressing the lack of affordable housing requires significant and sustained public investment in housing bonds and other policies that place the wellbeing of renters and homeowners at the center of our priorities. (SF 3414)