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Republicans kill consensus again, this time on affordable housing

This opinion piece laments the folly in requiring a “majority of the majority” of state Republicans (at least 16 of 31) in order to advance bills to a floor vote. It relates the saga of Sen. Steve Kaiser’s dogged efforts to break down barriers to providing more housing, which included months of town halls exploring the issue and compromise with the League of Cities and Towns, only to be thwarted by his own party. SB 1161 and SB 1163 fell apart despite being watered down to a few modest proposals, including making sure cities would allow duplexes, triplexes and accessory dwelling units, allowing single-room occupancy housing for seniors and providing density bonuses for multi-housing near light rail that includes affordable units.


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