HB 2364 and its companion SB 6371 increases the Housing Finance Commission’s debt limit from $6B to $8B. It does not cost the state any money, yet increases access to development of new affordable housing units and preservation of existing units through private activity bonds. HB 1570 increases the document recording surcharge to $62, ensuring continued funding source for the state, counties and cities in their uphill fight against homelessness. HB 1085 gives local government the option to eliminate minimum floor-space requirements as needed for Tiny Homes.
I chair the Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee. With the new Democratic majority in the Senate, we were able to pass several bills that will chip away at the housing affordability and homelessness crisis. Surplus Public Property for Public Benefit (HB 2382): The high cost of land is a major factor in shortage of housing units. Even with funding, buildable parcels are hard to find. HB 2382 which I introduced, is an innovative tool: It requires certain agencies to identify surplus property that is suitable for affordable housing, and it allows agencies and local government to discount or donate surplus land for affordable housing public benefits.
We finished our work on time and passed a balanced budget that fully fund public schools with $1B in new funding for K-12. We have $2.4B in rainy day funds in reserve. While we went into triple overtime after the Senate Republicans refused to pass a state construction budget and insisted on raising property taxes, this year, with Democrats taking back the Senate, we broke the political gridlock and passed the Capital Budget that puts a record $1B toward building schools and $800M for colleges and universities.