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

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House Capital Investment Committee Hears Equity-Focused Projects

Thursday, March 17, 2022

St. Paul, MN - Today, the House Capital Investment Committee heard a series of bills based on funding equity-focused projects for marginalized groups and communities throughout the Twin Cities. The hearing builds upon previous efforts by the DFL-led committee to include BIPOC and underserved communities that have often been excluded from state investment.

“Minnesota has a great need for a robust capital investment bill this year, a need that’s even more prevalent in our Black, Indigenous, and communities of color that historically haven’t received the same attention from state funds,” said Rep. Fue Lee (DFL - Minneapolis), chair of the committee. “Our committee is focused on crafting a bill that every Minnesotan can benefit from, regardless of race or region, and it’s imperative we take advantage of this opportune moment to deliver meaningful, equitable investments for our state.”

Among other projects, today’s hearing heard testimony on the Minneapolis Somali Museum, Latino Community Outreach Center, WE WIN Institute, Camp Katherine Parsons, Parents in Community Action, The Black Gate, Appetite for Change, and Dreamland on 38th.

Last biennium, 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. Last year, an original component of the House’s Capital Investment bill was instead passed in the Tax bill, which invested $24 million for the Targeted Community Capital Grant Program. The program invests in projects that provide, increase, or expand services to underserved or economically disadvantaged communities.

More information from today’s hearing, including supporting documents, can be found on the committee’s webpage. A video recording of the hearing will be available on the House Public Information Youtube channel