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

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SD50 Listening Session - February 2, 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Friends and neighbors,
Temperatures may be freezing, but the pace of our work at the Minnesota Legislature is starting to heat up. I want to invite you to a SD 50 Listening Session on February 2nd from 10:00am to 11:30am at Northwestern University in Bloomington to share your input and ideas about the issues that are most important to you. If you are able to attend, please come for a relaxed and productive discussion. And the forecast calls for temperatures of 40 degrees (above zero)!

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force 
“It is not our back that hurts, but the burden. It is not our eyes that hurt, it is the injustice.”
These were the moving words from Mary Lyons, an Ojibwa Elder, in support of Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein’s legislation to create a Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Several other women shared their painful stories of trauma and loss with our Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform committee.
There are many reasons why we should pass this bill. Minnesota is in the top 10 in the nation in cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women. And because of issues with our lack of data, it’s probably worse than we even know. I am confident we can can pass this bill this year because of the courageous women who are sharing their powerful truths with the Minnesota legislature and demanding their voice be heard. We need to listen.
You can learn more about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force here.
Paid Family Leave Bill Clears First Committee 

Every Minnesotan should be able to work and care for their loved ones. That’s why I support legislation to ensure Minnesotans have access to paid family leave. This legislation is a priority for the House Majority, and was included as one of the “Top 10” bills introduced this session.
The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act would ensure up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement for medical leave, including pregnancy, as well as 12 weeks for family leave to take care of a child or other family member.
The benefits of such an initiative are many, including economic security for families, improve parent and child well-being, boosted employee productivity and morale, and reduced turnover for businesses. It’s also, quite plainly, the right thing to do.
You can read more about the Paid Family Leave Bill here.


Michael Howard