On March 12, over 170 builders association members from across the state converged in Saint Paul to use our collective industry voice at our state’s Capitol. We are stronger together, and it’s one of the reasons the Builders Association of Minnesota exists.
Every local association was represented and together we met with nearly 75% of the Legislature. That is no small feat. It means we broadcast, in person, the message that the home building industry is important to Minnesota’s economy and we will be heard. Our priority issues for the day included:
Statewide building code enforcement – The Legislature must pass legislation to level the playing field for the safety of consumers and the economic health of the residential construction industry.
Subcontractor registration – The pilot program has created a heavy burden on licensed contractors. Let the pilot project expire June 30, 2014, and do not let it become a permanent mandate.
Builder-pay attorney fees (SF 2146/HF 2612) – The language is one-sided and would award attorneys fees only to the homeowner if they are the prevailing party. It does not provide the same for a builder should they prevail. The Legislature must oppose this bill.
B2B taxes – Repeal regressive, hidden, business-to-business sales and use taxes on services.
Fire sprinkler mandate – With the code process nearing completion, the Legislature must prohibit the home sprinkler mandate.
Thank you to those that were able to attend, and thank you to our event sponsors: Xcel Energy, The Builders Group, Brushmasters, Larkin Hoffman, and the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead. We will keep you posted on the progress of the 2014 legislative session. Session wraps May 19, which isn’t much time, but things have been moving fast as a result of the time crunch. Look for a call for grassroots efforts.
BAM Board of Directors Meeting
Prior to the big event, the BAM Board of Directors held their first meeting of 2014. President Chad Kompelien reported BAM closed 2013 in the black and led the board in discussion about industry issues. The board talked about appraisals and labor shortage and possible solutions. Each local association reported on what’s happening in their area; cool new things and any challenges for 2014. It was a successful meeting and we look forward to the next meeting August 20th in Saint Cloud.