Housing advocates say that since 2000, Minnesota rents have risen 6 percent while renters’ incomes have fallen 17 percent.
The Minnesota Housing Partnership reports that in all but three counties, “there are more extremely low income renters than there are affordable and available apartments to rent. Statewide, there are only 38 units of rental housing available for every 100 extremely low-income renters.”
Partnership Executive Director Chip Halbach said that the situation hurts children the most. “We know that parents end up cutting out food, school supplies and medicines when housing isn’t affordable.”
DFL blasts Kline
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party leaders are spending much of their time this year going after U.S. Rep. John Kline, a Republican representing an area south of the Twin Cities.
They claim Kline is more conservative Tea Party queen U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is not seeking re-election from her northern Twin Cities suburban district.
The National Journal reported that Bachmann was the 80th most conservative member, while Kline was No. 26, the DFL says.
“It comes as a shock to Minnesotans that Congressman Kline is more extreme than Congresswoman Bachman, but it’s time for Minnesota families to get to know the real Congressman Kline,” DFL Chairman Ken Martin said.
With Bachmann not running, Democrats are turning much of their attention to defeating Kline, who as chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee holds the most powerful position of anyone in the state’s congressional delegation.
Probe done in weeks
An investigation into Minnesota Vikings owners should take weeks, not months, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority says.
There is no deadline to finish the investigation, which is looking into the business dealings of Zygi and Mark Wilf.
Word that the Wilf family was involved in a 21-year-old lawsuit, which they lost in recent days, came as a surprise to Gov. Mark Dayton and other Minnesota politicians who negotiated with the owners last year before agreeing to build a nearly $1 billion stadium for the team.
Prettner Solon out?
Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon is thinking about not running for a second term, the MinnPost on line newspaper reports.
Doug Grow wrote that she said: “I’m 67 years old. I’ve worked since I was 10 years old.”
Prettner Solon was elected to the Senate after her senator-husband died and Gov. Mark Dayton picked her as his running mate in 2010.
She revealed that she and Dayton seldom talk, and they apparently have not discussed the 2014 campaign. “The way I look at it, I’m only 2 and a half years into our term. … It’s not essential to make a decision for awhile.”
Kiffmeyer eyes run
State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, says she is thinking about running for the secretary of state office she held for two terms.
The St. Cloud Times reported that she is interested in replacing Mark Ritchie, who defeated her in 2006. She also is considering running for U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s seat.
In either case, she would maintain her Senate seat, with a four-year term, if she loses.
Ritchie, a Democrat, opted not to seek a third term.