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

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Legislative Update - April 26, 2019

Friday, April 26, 2019

Dear Neighbors,
We had a long week at the Minnesota House as my colleagues and I debated, amended, and ultimately passed components of our Minnesota Values Budget off the House Floor. This will likely be the case next week as well, as we engage in the work to balance our state budget. I am proud of the bold budget we are moving forward with and believe it will help improve lives and strengthen communities.
Here are some highlights of some of the budget bills we’ve passed this week.  

E-12 Education
All of our students deserve access to a world-class education, and to that end, we are making historic investments in education from cradle-to-career.
  • Historic investments in our public schools that put much-needed resources into our classrooms
  • Targeted investments for our youngest learners so that more children have access to a quality pre-K education
  • Increase access to mental health, and added support for teachers, counselors, nurses, social workers and support staff
  • Addressing cost of special education by freezing special education cross-subsidy
  • Significant investments in efforts to recruit and retain Teachers of Color


Jobs & Energy
Our Jobs & Energy budget contains several important priorities for Minnesotans that will help provide economic security for families and strengthen Minnesota’s economic future. Including Paid Family & Medical leave and Earned Sick & Safe Time. Too many Minnesotans have had to choose between work and caring for a baby, loved one, or themselves. Other components of the Jobs & Energy budget are:
  • Setting a goal for 100% Clean Energy by 2050
  • Protecting Minnesota workers with wage theft protection and enforcement
  • Net neutrality legislation to ensure Minnesotans have equal access to the Internet
Health and Human Services
Our Health and Human Services budget puts patients ahead of profits, expanding access to quality affordable health care and prescription drugs.
  • Bold initiatives to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, including the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act
  • Putting Minnesota on the pathway to a public healthcare option
  • Leveraging the state’s purchasing power for lower drug prices
  • Protections for elders and vulnerable adults against abuse and neglect

Our housing bill took steps to address our statewide affordable housing crisis by investing in priorities to promote stability across the continuum of housing.
  • Invest in Homework Starts with Home to provide housing assistance to families with students that are at-risk of homelessness
  • Create state match for local housing trust funds so that communities can invest in affordable housing strategies
  • Establish new pilot program to increase lead testing and make residential rental units “lead safe”
A Look Ahead 

Next week, the House will take up the rest of our budget bills, including a Public Safety bill where we will take important steps on criminal justice reform and gun violence prevention.

Legislative Survey 

There is still time to fill out my legislative survey online here, and a Spanish language version here.

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments on the legislative process. You can reach me at, or at (651) 296-7158. I look forward to hearing from you

Michael Howard