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HF 1

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/25/2021 07:32pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 01/07/2021

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to economic assistance; providing assistance for housing, the Minnesota
family investment program, food, and broadband; appropriating and transferring
money.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

ARTICLE 1

HOUSING ASSISTANCE

Section 1. new text beginEVICTION NOTICE AND LATE FEES; STATE OF EMERGENCY.
new text end

new text begin (a) Before bringing an eviction action upon the conclusion of the peacetime emergency
declared in Executive Order 20-01 and the termination of Executive Order 20-79 and the
termination of any similar federal eviction suspension impacting Minnesota, a landlord must
provide a 60-day written notice to the residential tenant specifying the basis for a future
eviction action. For 60 days after the end of the peacetime emergency, residential landlords
must not issue notices of termination of lease or nonrenewal of lease or terminate residential
leases during the pendency of the peacetime emergency. No late fees may be assessed by
the landlord during the 60-day notice period required in this section. This section does not
apply to the nonrenewal of a lease or an eviction based on the following circumstances:
new text end

new text begin (1) the tenant seriously endangers the safety of other residents;
new text end

new text begin (2) the tenant violates Minnesota Statutes, section 504B.171, subdivision 1;
new text end

new text begin (3) the tenant remains in the property past the vacate date after receiving a notice to
vacate or nonrenewal; or
new text end

new text begin (4) the tenant materially violates a residential lease by the following actions on the
premises, including the common area and the curtilage of the premises:
new text end

new text begin (i) seriously endangers the safety of others; or
new text end

new text begin (ii) significantly damages property.
new text end

new text begin (b) For an allegation of nonpayment of rent or other unpaid financial obligations in
violation of the lease, the landlord must include the following in a written notice:
new text end

new text begin (1) the total amount due;
new text end

new text begin (2) a specific itemized accounting of the amount of the total due that is comprised of
unpaid rents or other charges under the lease, including any rent amounts expected to be
due during that 60-day period; and
new text end

new text begin (3) the name and address of the person authorized to receive rent and fees on behalf of
the landlord.
new text end

new text begin (c) A notice provided under this section must:
new text end

new text begin (1) provide a statement that a residential tenant may be eligible for financial assistance
from the county, state, or federal government;
new text end

new text begin (2) provide a description on how to access legal and financial assistance through the
"Law Help" website at www.lawhelpmn.org and "Minnesota 211" through its website at
www.211unitedway.org or by calling 211; and
new text end

new text begin (3) state that the landlord may bring an eviction action following expiration of the 60-day
notice period if the residential tenant fails to pay the total amount due or fails to vacate.
new text end

new text begin (d) The landlord or an agent of the landlord must deliver the notice personally or by first
class mail to the residential tenant at the address of the leased premises.
new text end

new text begin (e) If the residential tenant fails to correct the rent delinquency or other unpaid financial
obligation in violation of the lease within 14 days of the delivery or fails to vacate, the
landlord may bring an eviction action based on the nonpayment of rent.
new text end

new text begin (f) Receipt of a notice under this section is an emergency situation under Minnesota
Statutes, section 256D.06, subdivision 2, and Minnesota Rules, chapter 9500. For purposes
of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 256J, and Minnesota Rules, chapter 9500, a county agency
verifies an emergency situation by receiving and reviewing a notice under this section. A
verbal statement by the residential tenant to the county agency that the residential tenant
received such a notice shall presume the residential tenant's eligibility for assistance. If a
residential tenant applies for financial assistance from the county, state, or federal
government, the landlord must cooperate with the application process by:
new text end

new text begin (1) supplying all information and documentation requested by the residential tenant or
the county; and
new text end

new text begin (2) accepting or placing into escrow partial rent payments where necessary to establish
a residential tenant's eligibility for assistance.
new text end

new text begin (g) If applicable, the person filing a complaint must attach a copy of the written notice
described in paragraph (a). The court shall dismiss an action without prejudice for failure
to provide a notice as described in paragraph (b) and grant an expungement of the eviction
case court file.
new text end

new text begin (h) Nothing in this section reduces the rent owed by the tenant to the landlord, prevents
the landlord from collecting rent owed, reduces arrears owed by a tenant for rent, or alters
the terms of the lease between the landlord and tenant.
new text end

new text begin (i) Upon a finding that the plaintiff has violated a provision of this section, the court
must dismiss and expunge the action and may not require the residential tenant as defined
in Minnesota Statutes, section 504B.001, subdivision 12, to pay any filing fee.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginFORECLOSURE; STATE OF EMERGENCY.
new text end

new text begin Prior to the expiration of the public health emergency, and for 60 days after the expiration
of a public health emergency, no notice of a pendency for a foreclosure by advertisement
may be recorded and no action may commence under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 580 or
581, and no vendor may terminate a contract for deed except for an action necessary to
protect holders of bonds issued under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 462A. Nothing in this
section alters the payments owed; any other obligations under the mortgage, common interest
community bylaws, or contract for deed; or the pledge made by the state to holders of bonds
issued under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 462A. For purposes of this section, "public health
emergency" means the peacetime emergency declared by the governor on March 13, 2020,
in Executive Order 20-01 in response to COVID-19 or any other peacetime emergency
declared by the governor by an executive order that relates to the infectious disease known
as COVID-19.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment and
applies to actions taken on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginAPPROPRIATION; 2021 EMERGENCY HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS.
new text end

new text begin (a) $50,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the general fund to the
commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for transfer to the housing
development fund for emergency housing assistance grants. Notwithstanding the requirements
of Minnesota Statutes, sections 16B.98 and 16C.06, and applicable policies, the agency
may use grantees of the COVID Housing Assistance Program that were funded with federal
CARES Act resources and those grantees are approved to distribute money under this
section. If necessary, the commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency may
distribute money to other entities including counties, cities, nonprofit organizations, tribes,
or other entities the agency identifies to fulfill the purposes of this section.
new text end

new text begin (b) Grants under this section shall be awarded to individuals, families, and homeowners
in Minnesota to prevent homelessness and help maintain homeownership during the
peacetime emergency declared by the governor in an executive order that relates to the
infectious disease known as COVID-19. To be eligible for funding, applicants must:
new text end

new text begin (1) have a rent payment, mortgage payment, homeowner association dues, lot rent due
to a manufactured home park, contract for deed payment, homeowner insurance payment,
property tax payment, or utility payment, including internet services, with a due date of
March 1, 2020, or later, or have another expense that is needed to maintain housing as
determined by the agency;
new text end

new text begin (2) be unable to pay as a direct or indirect result of the public health emergency; and
new text end

new text begin (3) be a household with a current gross income at or below 200 percent of the federal
poverty guidelines.
new text end

new text begin (c) The financial assistance provided for an individual or family must not exceed the
amount needed to maintain housing.
new text end

new text begin (d) Grants under this section must be paid directly to:
new text end

new text begin (1) the landlord or leasing agent for a rental unit;
new text end

new text begin (2) the financial service for a mortgage or the entity who owns the mortgage for a
homeowner;
new text end

new text begin (3) the contract for deed vendor or seller;
new text end

new text begin (4) the purchase-money mortgagor;
new text end

new text begin (5) the manufactured home park cooperative, manufactured home owner, or park owner;
new text end

new text begin (6) the utility company or internet service provider; or
new text end

new text begin (7) any other identified entity to whom payment is owed.
new text end

new text begin (e) In addition to the grants to individuals and families provided under paragraph (b),
funding under this section may also be used to provide assistance to housing providers who
have lost rental income due to their low- or moderate-income tenants being impacted by
COVID-19. Eligible expenses include unpaid rents, rental unit utility costs, and other housing
expenses as determined by the agency, incurred on or after March 1, 2020. For purposes of
this paragraph, low- or moderate-income tenants has the meaning given in Minnesota
Statutes, section 462A.03, subdivision 10.
new text end

new text begin (f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or policy, the commissioner may develop
and administer an application, award, and disbursement process for the program that takes
into account the emergency state of the needs these funds are intended to address and a
procedure to oversee and monitor grantees.
new text end

new text begin (g) Housing providers and landlords who receive payment under this section must not:
new text end

new text begin (1) file an eviction action against the tenant for six months after a grant payment is
received under this section;
new text end

new text begin (2) fail to renew a lease for six months after a unit received funding under this section;
or
new text end

new text begin (3) raise the rent for a tenant that receives rent under this section.
new text end

new text begin (h) For purposes of this section, "public health emergency" has the meaning given in
section 2.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

ARTICLE 2

MFIP CASH ASSISTANCE

Section 1. new text beginAPPROPRIATION; MFIP SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENT.
new text end

new text begin (a) $15,711,500 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the TANF fund to the
commissioner of human services to provide a onetime cash benefit of up to $500 for each
household active in the Minnesota family investment program or diversionary work program
under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 256J, at the time that the cash benefit is distributed. The
commissioner shall distribute these funds through existing systems and in a manner that
minimizes the burden to families. This is a onetime appropriation.
new text end

new text begin (b) $31,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner
of human services for information technology to administer the cash benefit in paragraph
(a). This is a onetime appropriation.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

ARTICLE 3

FOOD ASSISTANCE

Section 1. new text beginCOVID-19 FOOD RELIEF GRANT PROGRAM; APPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Appropriation. new text end

new text begin (a) $10,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from
the general fund to the commissioner of human services for purposes of the COVID-19
food relief grant program to provide economic support to Minnesota-owned and operated
restaurants, catering companies, and food establishments that employ the equivalent of 50
or fewer full-time employees while also providing hunger relief to Minnesotans impacted
by COVID-19, including people experiencing food insecurity.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner may use up to $1,000,000 of this appropriation to administer this
grant.
new text end

new text begin (c) Notwithstanding any other law or rule to the contrary, the commissioner may allocate
funds to: (1) nonprofit community organizations to provide technical assistance to grantees
to purchase prepared meals from restaurants, catering companies, and food establishments
to provide prepared meals under this section; and (2) programs, providers, and organizations
providing or seeking to provide meals through a single fiscal agent chosen by the
commissioner.
new text end

new text begin (d) This is a onetime appropriation.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Eligible grantees. new text end

new text begin Eligible grantees are nonprofit community organizations
that can demonstrate a need for prepared meals and an ability to provide prepared meals
for Minnesotans impacted by COVID-19, including those experiencing food insecurity.
Notwithstanding any other law or rule to the contrary, a nonprofit community organization
providing technical assistance is also an eligible grantee under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Allowable uses of funds. new text end

new text begin Eligible grantees as defined in subdivision 2 who are
awarded a grant must use funds to provide meals from a restaurant, catering company, or
food establishment as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 157.16, subdivision 3, paragraph
(d), clauses (2) and (3), to Minnesotans who are impacted by COVID-19, including
individuals experiencing food insecurity.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Grant request. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall develop an expedited grant request
process that includes a form allowing providers to meet any requirements established by
the commissioner in as timely a manner as possible. The commissioner shall allow the use
of electronic submission of request forms and accept electronic signatures.
new text end

new text begin (b) Eligible grantees must request a grant under this section on the forms and according
to the timelines established by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Commissioner's duties; grants. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall develop a process
for determining which nonprofit community organizations have the ability to meet the need
and may participate in the grant program under this section.
new text end

new text begin (b) In issuing COVID-19 food relief grants and administering the grant program, the
commissioner is exempt from the following statutes and related policies: Minnesota Statutes,
sections 16A.15, subdivision 3; 16B.97; 16B.98, subdivisions 5 and 7; and 16B.98,
subdivision 8, the express audit clause requirement.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner shall ensure grant funds are prioritized for nonprofit community
organizations contracting with restaurants and catering companies to provide meals.
new text end

new text begin (d) The commissioner shall consider geographic distribution when awarding grants.
new text end

new text begin (e) Grant funds may supplement, but not supplant, any other funding used to provide
prepared meals to Minnesotans experiencing food insecurity.
new text end

new text begin (f) The commissioner shall begin issuing COVID-19 food relief grants to eligible grantees
no later than January 15, 2021.
new text end

new text begin (g) The commissioner's determination of the grant amount determined under this
subdivision is final and is not subject to appeal.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Nonstate funds. new text end

new text begin If a grant recipient receives funds from a nonstate source other
than a local unit of government or a tribe for activities listed in subdivision 3, the grant
recipient must notify the commissioner of the amount received from the nonstate source.
If the commissioner determines that the total amount the grant recipient received under this
section and from the nonstate source exceeds the grant recipient's costs for the activities
under subdivision 3, the grant recipient must pay the commissioner the amount that exceeds
the costs, up to the amount of funding provided under this section. All money paid to the
commissioner under this section must be deposited in the general fund.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Expiration. new text end

new text begin This section expires March 31, 2021.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

ARTICLE 4

BROADBAND

Section 1. new text beginBROADBAND GRANT PROGRAM; TRANSFER.
new text end

new text begin $35,000,000 in fiscal year 2022 and $35,000,000 in fiscal year 2023 are transferred from
the general fund to the commissioner of employment and economic development for deposit
in the border-to-border broadband fund account established in Minnesota Statutes, section
116J.396, subdivision 1, for the purposes specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.396,
subdivision 2.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end