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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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House Capital Investment Committee hears testimony on equity-focused legislation

Thursday, April 8, 2021

St. Paul, MN - Today, in the final hearing before rolling out the 2021 House Capital Investment Bill, the House Capital Investment Committee heard testimony on a series of bills focused on investing in equity-grounded projects throughout Minnesota. 

“One of our very first committee hearings this session focused on the economic impacts of racism and the need for equity in our capital projects. With today’s hearing, we’ve come full circle to the tangible legislation that would build a more inclusive Minnesota,” said Rep. Fue Lee (DFL - Minneapolis), chair of the committee. “The disparities faced by Black, Indigenous, and people of color throughout Minnesota are real, and a capital investment bill that doesn’t recognize the existing inequity does no favors for our state. As we finalize our committee’s proposal, we’ll strive for all Minnesotans - regardless of race or region - to see representation in this bill.”

Among other projects, today’s hearing heard testimony supporting a Black arts center, a Native American community clinic, Latino economic development, the Funny Asian Women Kollective, and a New American Center for Health Workforce Development.

Last session, the 2020 House Jobs & Local Projects and Critical Economic Development Bill included $30 million in the package dedicated to equity, which included funding for projects important to people of color and Indigenous communities. Rep. Lee, then vice chair of the committee, also fought for a new policy requiring diversity hiring goals and equal pay for state bond-funded projects.

The House Capital Investment Bill will be available on Monday, April 12. Additional information on today’s hearing, including supporting materials and presentation slides from testifiers, is available on the House Capital Investment Committee’s webpage. Video recording of today’s hearing is available on the House Public Information YouTube channel