Increasing Home Ownership, Ending Child Marriage, Legalizing Sports Betting
Capitol report is a production of Senate media services on this week's program measures to make owning a home more affordable ending child marriage in Minnesota legalizing sports betting and allowing college athletes to earn money for their talent stay tuned for this and more on this week's Capitol report [Music] welcome to this week's program I'm Shannon Lurky Senate Republicans recently announced a series of measures geared towards making homes more affordable and accessible one of the misconceptions that builders get is that we only want to build these bigger homes for people that that's where we make our money and that's you know that's all builders want they want to build these bigger homes and that's not the case I think we'd all be surprised at just how willing buyers would be to purchase a simple well-built home but today our requirements are zoning rules our land costs lot sizes park fees engineering requirements they just don't allow for the simplicity we used to take for granted I can see across the board the regulations have increased the cost of remodeling for permitting electrical plumbing heating all the way across the board for everything that we're putting in as we visit with our builders we understand the high percentage of total costs that rules and regulations has become we all understand we can't get rid of every rule in regulation there is a need for that out there for to ensure the safety of the consumer but at the end of the day we also need to make sure that we our consumers are not paying additional money just in order to to help local budgets out and and if you have them pick up a unfair share of that particular burden in practicality it is illegal to build a starter home anymore and what we're trying to say is we need pockets of the city that have places where we can build affordable homes we're not seeing throughout the whole city but there has to be a portion of the city that can have a higher density and a lower pricepoint home senator rich Drake I'm chair of the Select Committee on homeownership affordability now joins me in the studio thanks for being here thanks for having me in a recent Minneapolis st.
Paul magazine article on affordable housing an executive with housing first Minnesota likened the housing market to automobiles saying that we have way too many BMWs and not enough Toyota Corollas is this a good analogy I think it's an excellent analogy and you know a lot of things that we're doing as a state and in local communities push the BMW more so than the Lorien vehicle or house so that the way that the state is currently set up right now is encouraging more high end development and not enough affordable development I would agree with that I think we've changed how we kind of do zoning in a lot of communities and what the requirements are and I think we've kind of pushed out the what we would refer to a high density housing in most communities you and members of your caucus rolled out a package of bills last week to try to increase the number of affordable homes and in affordable homes we're talking I believe about houses between 200 and 250 thousand dollars roughly let's start with code changes how much savings can be found here and what kinds of changes can be made you know what are we part of the whole discussion is for every thousand dollars we add to the cost of a home we eliminate between three and four thousand people being able to afford that home and that might not sound like much but you start talking about code changes inspection fees permitting fees it adds up if the new proposal for a building code this year would add about two thousand dollars to just the electrical code so I think new being built would have an additional $2, 000 in meeting electrical cavity cracked and then want one of the proposals we have is to eliminate eliminate window clips on windows for single-family homes you can still put them on if you decide in your house if that's the right thing for you and your family but we were at touring we've toured a whole bunch of different building sites throughout the whole state yeah both profit and nonprofit and that's something we can talk about too but we were in a new home and they had window Clips and window Clips are when you open a window they only open so far so kids can't fall out of the window and you had to push in on either side of the window to get the window clip to go beyond that I think it's eight inch yeah well the dolt couldn't open it so two adults tried and they could not open it that's how difficult it was to open so we believe that we could eliminate this and they would save 800 to a thousand dollars on the cost of a new home now if someone wants it they can sure add it to their home and you know it's a different issue for apartment buildings or tall structures but for single-family homes we don't think it's needed I think it's an added expense and and we could save that and so this is just one example of some of the things that have become required that maybe should be optional correct yep it was pointed out in your committee and also in the press conference that building permit fees has to have are significantly lower in our neighboring states than here in Minnesota how are the fees set and what can be done here in the state to make sure that the permit fees are not higher than they need to be well we already have a state law that says that you can only charge as much as it cost so the local community whatever city acts if you live in City X you know they're supposed to charge what it costs them for the for the permits and for inspections and permitting and stuff but the dollar amount that we're hearing and I got letters from all over the state from people talking about how expensive their building permit was I had one that was twenty five thousand dollars for building permits and we're saying we understand the city needs to charge something but we think we've gotten too expensive for the building permits one community real close to my district charges about seventeen thousand seven hundred dollars for their average home and and we think that's too much we don't think it's necessary to charge that much and these cities then have to justify why they're charging what they're doing or what's going to be the remedy for that it's a discussion you know and we're meeting with the cities here and a little bit actually within the hour and trying to work out a compromise on what we can do a you were trying to bring light to the issue because if the goal is homeownership the American Dream you know what can we do to get people into that American Dream you know we have about 30% of the families that don't live in a home don't own a home and and we look at all the differences between people that rent versus people that own and and there's a whole bunch of benefits that go along with homeownership and from living longer – you know what equity they have and if you look I think the latest study showed the average renter had about fifty six hundred dollars in assets where a homeowner average was two hundred and thirty thousand and that was a national number but a huge disparity it built wealth yeah it built well alright you mentioned in the press conference how zoning has changed over the years now there tend to be developments as opposed to you know individual homes and and criteria in those developments that can drive up costs like lot size or number of Garage dolls or stone facades how does this get changed well when when we were growing up but most the cities had a zoning map and that had r1 r2 r3 commercial mixed use industrial etc and they still on the maps but they're normally over the existing structures and and kind of what the cities have done is really push everything into a PUD or plan unit development and the planning development has a lot of positives to it it gives the builders some flexibility to to put some stuff on so what we're trying to do is encourage all cities to have pockets of high-density zoning where someone can come in and build affordable housing for we call workforce housing affordable housing so these are organic low or high density smaller buildings usually smaller garages so that's the whole idea is how do we bring the two sides together to try to work on that just quickly before we go governor walls has requested 276 million in his bonding proposal for a fort housing preserving existing residences and building new homes do you are you supportive of some bonding money going to alleviate this problem yeah when we look at housing there's a lot of different issues with housing and we wanted to attack the homeownership side because we think that's the side that gets talked about the lease so you have homelessness you have senior housing workforce housing etc the housing bonds play important part of that part of the issue we're hearing from the nonprofit's is some of the labor struggles that they have and finding enough people to work and bid on their projects Senator Dre I'm sure there's going to be more on this topic in the future thank you yep thank you [Music] [Applause] after quick legislative action this week governor Walz signed into law a bill providing nearly 21 million dollars in funding for the state's response to the Cova 19 outbreak I'm just proud of the bipartisan work and the leadership shown by the folks who are here with me the safety and security of Minnesota citizens is a top priority in this building in Minnesota government there's absolutely no daylight between us around those responsibilities this allows for funds to go directly to Minnesota Department of Health doing everything we can to make sure that we're following the protocols to contain spread of kovat 19 with the assumption that there will there will more than likely and probably be more cases start to come up very quickly this has been the pattern elsewhere it is quite likely that we will see communities spread in Minnesota at some point so these resources are so essential to get out to local public health the healthcare coalition's around the state and the epidemiologist research scientists and laboratorians at the State Department of Health who are really going to be on the front lines of helping to identify the patterns and to work with us on not only individual and close-contact containment strategies but community strategies as well a few days later governor Walz released his supplemental budget which leaves 1.
2 billion dollars on the bottom line Minnesotans know preparing for those unexpected things in life is the right thing to do having plans in place and resources ready and stocked is the right thing to do that's where my number-one priority of the 2020 supplemental budget proposal is to maintain our state's rainy day accounts savings accounts and keeping money on the bottom line from there our budget addresses emergency responses and critical preparedness for our state's needs under current Minnesota law 16 and 17-year olds can get married with parental permission and judicial consent a bill to ban marriage before the age of 18 and require proof of age past the house last session the Senate's author senator sandy Pappas now joins me thanks for being here you're welcome happy to be here thanks only to States New Jersey and Delaware currently have an outright ban on marriage before the age of 18 why should Minnesota become the third state Minnesota has always prided itself as being ahead of the curve so I think when you have legislators that recognize that this is a real problem child marriage that why not move forward and as you mentioned the House passed it last year but you didn't mention the House passed it unanimously last year yes and so if the Senate were to pass it then it would presumably go to the governor's desk that's right I do you know is there a path for that bill yet this session oh of course I'm on the list to bring it up on the floor of the Senate and as you mentioned it would go to the governor the governor has given every indication he'll sign it and it would become become effective August 1st now just some history how widespread is the practice of 16 and 17-year olds getting married here in Minnesota unfortunately our our Bureau of Statistics hasn't kept track you'd have to go back county by county and go through the data because they do give their birth date when they get married but we have some information from the census that we have about 1200 children in Minnesota or young women in Minnesota and men who were married at under age under 18 and you you mentioned young men I think we often assume that this is young women who are getting married but there are also young men who are getting married before the age of 18 what are some of the reasons that people are getting married before they can run an apartment or vote or even buy a pack of cigarettes they're not legal they can't sign a contract if they get married they can't get divorced they can't go into a battered women shelter there are a lot of reasons there are a lot of difficulties for child marriage plus getting pregnant at that young age there are health issues involve you're more likely to have a premature birth or a baby with problem are impacted labor so there's a lot of health reasons also where it's not a good idea for young people to get married we're concerned that there could be untoward pressure probably from parents that are pushing a child to get married when I was growing up it was not unheard of for high schoolers to get married if there was a baby on the way back in my day that was considered the right thing to do so should there be an exception for religious or cultural reasons under these circumstances absolutely not and most most religions and cultures are behind the idea of a teen as being the proper age for marriage if a young girl gets pregnant there's a much less stigma than there was during when we were younger you and me so she could still she was still stay at home she could still stay in school she can get help with childcare to force her out to start her own household is only gonna mean poverty in the future because she doesn't have a high school high school diploma and the divorce rate is twice as high for her child marriages so it's better to stay home have the baby if you wish and if they're still in love when they're 18 her and the baby's father they can get married now in the press conference one of the one of the stories that was told was and and I've read this in multiple places sometimes this is happening because a young girl has had intimate relations with a man who's older and therefore its statutory rape unless he marries her and this is a way to stop that is how widespread do you think that is well enough that we hear about it I don't know that it's super widespread it had he has to also be in a position of authority in order for it to be statutory rape so that also narrows the window but why should we have a law that allows it even if it's only one or two children a year we still should not allow it is this interfering in any way with parental rights because we're talking about minor children who really don't have any rights and whether or not she's pregnant her parents for any number of reasons may believe that this is the right thing to do now you said often the girl may feel pressured and and when you were a child you would be you feel the pressure of wanting to please your parents but does this interfere with parental rights well that's why even a provision like California has which says that a judge has to take her into a separate room and talk to her about whether she's being pressured or not but she still has to go back and face her parents so I don't think that's really going to be very effective to see if it's really an independent choice and frankly you could call it child abuse parents should not be pushing their children into a relationship when they're too mature to really handle it the American Civil Liberties Union of California argued that banning marriage before a teen quote unnecessarily an unduly intrudes on the fundamental rights of marriage the children's Law Center of California worries that raising the age would prevent minors from leaving the foster care system through emancipation apparently in California this is a way of getting out of the foster care system does this apply in any way to Minnesota in your view well there's really two issues the first issue was whether it infringes on constitutional rights to marriage states can set their laws as they will in terms of marriage and many states have said it at 18 or 16 or 17 or whatever and even if they've been set at 12 no one has ever interfered with that so I think we do have a right as a state to set our minimum marriage age the question about the foster care system is is it really like jumping from the frying pan into the fire do you want to remove yourself from a difficult foster care situation into a difficult marriage where there could be abuse where you don't finish high school where you're stuck in poverty where you maybe get pregnant before your your should be for your health or your both your emotional mental and physical health I think if we do have an emancipation process in Minnesota and it might be just better for a child to use that process rather than jump into marriage you mentioned that this passed unanimously in the house do you expect similar support in the Minnesota Senate aye I do I'm very hopeful that we'll have it it has bipartisan support and anytime people have raised objection it tends to be things like why should we interfere with a romeo giulia romance well how'd that turn out not so good read the plate watch the movie they're dead at the end in case you didn't remember that that's not such a good idea and there it is true in the ethnic communities there are sometimes cultural marriages but we really need to encourage them to have legal marriage at legal age because then both parties have a certain amount of legal rights they have child custody rights they have child support rights they have they can get divorced if they need to they can get into a battered women's shelter if they need to so making the legal age 18 is really best for everyone senator Pappas I want to thank you for joining me today thank you for having me senator Roger Chamberlain is promoting legislation to legalize sports betting and to allow student athletes to be paid for their name image and likeness he joins me now to talk about both measures thanks for being here good to be back thank you good morning let's start with sports betting you introduced this bill last session but you've made some changes since then what's different well a lot a lot of its technical stuff but there were one two primary changes maybe we'll get to it later one change is that we're not including mobile this one and secondly we are going to say that they had to go into the well the second one becomes moot if the first one isn't there right you had to go in to you have mobile you go into the casino and and open an account I should back up we do include mobile and we change to say that you have to go into the casino to to open an account to use your mobile that's a couple things part of is accommodating the tribes and others you want people in your place of business and secondly it's also easier to verify age and and whether someone's not the legal right to gamble this place so if I wanted to do some sports betting initially I would have to go to a casino or some place like that to set up my account verify my age all of that stuff and then at that point could I use my mobile right okay so this is just that initial step right and then that would be geo-fenced in Minnesota so you can use your mobile and they know where you're at and you can only do it from within Minnesota and Minnesota casinos you cannot do it from Wisconsin or Dakotas or I we have to be inside Minnesota now when we talked about this before you did not have the support of the 11 tribes in Minnesota you mentioned them in this answer does is are they more amenable if people have to go in in order to set up accounts I think they are more amenable none of the 11 tribes are necessarily for it yet I continue and we continue to say that this will enhance their business model it will improve it it won't harm it or their to protect but they are not none of them come out and said we now support it but that's the basis and the negotiations you don't give up your position until I absolutely have to but they're amenable and I believe eventually we'll get there but you know it's frustrating I mean they don't need tribal support to pass a bill but they are an interested party and you are trying to accommodate them sure according to one testifier Minnesota would be among a minority of states and allowing sports betting at age 18 the majority of other states are age 21 considering your views on social media addiction and the preponderance of youth and gaming are you concerned that being able to do sports betting at age 18 could lead to problems for that demographic in particular well first you know bills and bill expecially bills that are this complex and deal with a lot of different issues their initial offers you go in and she goes through the process and this bill will go to half the committees in the and the center of the house you find these issues you make changes and make fixes some of our oversights so yeah I mean 21 is fine that's not a that's not a hard and fast rule we know that 21 easy enough that's not something that we're against in any way but 18 is just the starting point you can join the military get your head blown off at 18 so but you can't smoke can't drink and you're not supposed to gamble but you know do everything else sign a contract and it's not just the world we live in so you mentioned also that one of the reasons for legalizing sports betting is to defund the underground economy and then provide consumer protection why is how much gambling is really going on they estimate in the state of Minnesota is roughly a little over a million people may be engaging in some sort of sports betting I know the people personally that do it and it could be around two and a half billion dollars give or take so so that's about how much sports betting is going on and people are concerned about expanding gambling that's one of the issues expansion of gambling it's a bad thing it's terrible for people is it I'm the scale of zero to negative and zero to positive is it something that's gonna save lives benefit society I'd say around 0 to 0.
5 or point -5 really small but it's something that is people enjoy doing engaging in expressing opinions taking part of that and join sports and enjoying the wagering on sports but it is a I'm sorry what's original question oh it's just it was just to get you to talk about why it's important but let's let's take this moment then to move on to paying college athletes we talked about this last summer now there's a bill in both the House and the Senate has bipartisan support why is it time for college athletes to be able to be paid for their name image and likeness because they because everybody else is getting rich now I gotta make clear from the outset is that this is not the college and university or NC double-a paying the athletes this is a these are athletes who might get some endorsement money from third parties the endorsement money could come directly from a Nike or a local auto dealership whatever the case might be or it could be situations where they go on YouTube and do anything maybe they're not even doing anything with regarding sports and they have enough traffic they start to make money from that everybody knows how YouTube works or somebody uses their name like and likeness an image to sell video games so it runs the whole spectrum there's a lot of things here everybody else is getting rich these are the only people who aren't allowed to make money for their labor and talent I'm just college musicians and College journalists can go out and make all kinds of money on the side and they gets they have scholarships but the college athlete who's making the ton of dough for the university is not supposed to do that that's right you have to be paid for what you do this is fundamentally basic human right and idea of our system of uh in the society now maybe this wouldn't happen maybe it would happen but there couldn't potentially be a conflict of interest let's say go first our football player Gophers playing TCF Bank Stadium u.
bank once the ones to pay them to endorse u.
bank are you worried about any kind of conflicts like that arising I'm not that's not our role is to to open up and create the opportunity and not done that barrier and create the opportunity the the legal system and the third and the parties involved will work that out and I think it would be worked out just fine we deal with much more complex things out in the real world right now it's not a concern if those things pop up that's for the market in for the athlete and the agent and the college university institution to work out so there's some movement at the federal level the NCAA has asked the fence to step in because as you know California was the first to do this now about 20 other states are considering this legislation would this benefit most of all from federal legislation so that all states are equal should we wait for that or should Minnesota go ahead first of all we should not wait for it because god knows when I would get done up there secondly states connecting their own thirdly I don't trust the n-c-double-a and I certainly don't trust the federal government to get this done and get it done quickly and get it done right our the effective data are the effective date of the California legislation is 2023 we even want one year further than that to say because not only does it give time for everybody to work things out but also we can ride California's coattails with that momentum as they go through it so we have a long it's 3-4 years before it become affected a lot of things indeed take take place and get get done if that's the case great then we don't need the bill senator Chamberlain thank you thank you very much [Music] join us again next week as we delve into more topics affecting Minnesotans I'm Shannon Lurky and on behalf of all of us at senate media services thanks for watching [Music].