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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Howard (DFL)

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Legislative Update - January 25, 2019

Friday, January 25, 2019

Dear Neighbor,

I hope the start of 2019 has been treating you and your family well. This is the first of my legislative e-updates, which I aim to send regularly during the legislative session to provide updates on our work and to raise up the voices and concerns of our community.

We are off to a fast start during the 2019 session. I was sworn in as your state representative on January 8, and the words that are still sticking with me from that day came from our House Chaplain who wished for new legislators to be "compassionate, fierce and just." I take this to heart as I begin this awesome responsibility of serving our community the Minnesota House.

There’s a lot of work to get done, and I’m honored to do my part serving as the vice chair of the Housing Finance and Policy Division. Other committees I serve on include:

  • Commerce
  • Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform – Finance and Policy
  • Rules and Legislative Administration

I believe these committees provide a great opportunity to focus on some of the vital issues for Richfield and Bloomington’s future. 


The Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act

Earlier this week I announced the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act as part of several bipartisan bills aimed at addressing the skyrocketing costs of insulin.  Alec Smith was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and at the age of 26 he died as a result of rationing his insulin that he could not afford. Alec’s parents, Nicole Smith-Holt and James Holt, joined me this week as we discussed the dire need for legislation to prevent anyone else from suffering due to a lack of insulin.

The Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act establishes a means for Minnesotans who are unable to afford their insulin to get their prescription filled on a temporary basis. It also authorizes pharmacies to fill a temporary supply of insulin for patients whose prescription is out-of-date. Reimbursements for pharmacies would be paid through a fee on Big Pharma insulin manufacturers.

No one should ever lose their life because they can’t afford the insulin they need to survive. You can read more about Alec’s story here.

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All Roads Lead Back to Home

Everyone deserves a chance to be safe, healthy and successful, yet far too many in our community and across the state lack access to safe, stable housing. That’s why I am excited to serve as Vice Chair of our Housing Finance and Policy Division and work to make 2019 a session where we take big strides to address our affordable housing crisis.

To that end, I joined our Housing Finance and Policy Division, Chair Alice Hausman at a press conference this week to support the Homes for All agenda, which is an ambitious plan supported by a broad array of housing advocates, business leaders and communities across the state.

Our statewide housing crisis demands the attention and priority of lawmakers this session like never before because it’s at the center of our work to build a better future – for Minnesotans and our communities. Whether we are striving to eliminate the opportunity gap in our schools, improve health outcomes, or strengthen Minnesota’s economic future, all roads lead back to home.

You can read more about the Homes for All agenda here.

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I want to hear from you!

With session underway, I want to hear your input and ideas. You can contact me at (651) 296-7158, or at My office is Room 451 in the State Office Building in St. Paul.


Follow me on social media

I have created an official Facebook page to provide updates on our legislative work.  

You can follow my page at:

You can also follow me on twitter or Instagram at @mikehowardmn




Michael Howard