The Latest: Walz signs bill against racist land covenants

National Business

The Latest: Walz signs bill against racist land covenants

The Associated Press

May 23, 2019 02:36 PM


Gov. Tim Walz, center, with Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, left, and House Speaker Melissa Hortman, listens at a news conference to announce a budget deal in St. Paul, Minn., Sunday, May 19, 2019. Walz and top legislative leaders reached a bipartisan budget deal Sunday in which the governor dropped his proposed gas tax increase but got to keep most of an expiring tax that helps fund health care programs, Republicans got an income tax cut for middle-class Minnesotans and both sides claimed credit for additional spending on education.

Star Tribune via AP

Glen Stubbe

ST. PAUL, Minn.

The Latest on developments at the Minnesota Capitol on Thursday (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Gov. Tim Walz has signed a bill allowing homeowners to void racially restrictive covenants in their property titles.

Covenants in property titles that impose racial restrictions on ownership are unenforceable under federal and state law.

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But researchers estimate that such language remains attached to thousands of property titles in Minnesota.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Hayden of Minneapolis said in a statement Thursday that Minnesota’s continued segregation by race is a lasting ramification of those covenants.

The new law allows property owners to file forms with their counties specifically stating that those covenants no longer apply.


9:10 a.m.

Gov. Tim Walz and top legislative leaders have now reached agreement on all nine of their major budget bills, and lawmakers are now waiting on the governor to call a special session so they can finish their work for the year.

Aides say the last piece of the two-year budget fell into place early Thursday when the governor and leaders of the Senate Republican and House Democratic majorities agreed on a health and human services funding bill, which is one of the biggest parts of the budget.

The three leaders agreed Wednesday night on bills to finance state government and a jobs-and-energy budget bill. The state government bill includes authority for spending $6.6 million in federal election security funding and money to help prepare Minnesota for the 2020 census.

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