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

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Legislative Update - January 23, 2020

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors,

I hope the start to 2020 is treating you well. In just three short weeks we’ll be back in St. Paul for the legislative session, but before that I invite you to join me and my local legislative colleagues as we hold a 2020 Legislative Preview hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Bloomington Public Schools Advocacy Council.

I’ll be joined by Sen. Melissa Wiklund, Rep. Andrew Carlson, and Rep. Steve Elkins as we answer your questions on the upcoming session. The event is Tuesday, January 28, from 7-8:30pm at Bloomington Fire Station #1, 10 W 95th St, Bloomington, MN 55420. I hope to see you there!


2020 Census

In March and April of this year, the U.S. Census Bureau will be sending information to every home in the state on how to be properly counted in the 2020 Census. The census provides critical data that directly impacts our community’s representation and support, with billions of dollars in federal funding going to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. It’s important that you and your household are accurately counted. You can click here to download a fact sheet with more information, or here to watch a short video.

Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau needs to fill thousands of temporary positions to conduct the census, including in our community. These positions are crucial to an effective census, and provide flexible hours as well as competitive wages. You can find more information on census jobs here.



2020 is also the year when Minnesotans will need to obtain a REAL ID-compliant license in order to board a commercial plane or enter certain federal buildings. These changes go into effect on October 1, but you can and should apply for a REAL ID as soon as you are able to.

Real ID

Here’s what you need to bring with you to the DMV when applying for your REAL ID:

  • One document providing proof of identity and date of birth. This can be an unexpired passport, a certified copy of a birth certificate, or a certified certificate of citizenship. You may also need a certified marriage certificate if your name is different than on your birth certificate.
  • Proof of a social security number. You can use your Social Security card, a W2 showing taxes withheld from the current year, or a paystub with your name, address, and Social Security Number.
  • Two documents providing proof of Minnesota residency. This can be many documents, but the most commonly used ones are an unexpired current driver’s license, a credit card or bank statement from the last 90 days, a federal or state income tax return from the recent filing year, or a utility bill that does not have another name beside your own on it.

You can find more information about REAL ID, including a complete breakdown of acceptable documents to bring when applying, here.


Minnesota Presidential Primary

A quick reminder that voting in Minnesota’s Presidential Primary has officially begun! Though our state’s presidential primary day is on March 3 (Super Tuesday), early absentee ballots are now available for those who are ready to be some of the first in the nation to cast their presidential primary vote. For more information on how to get an absentee ballot, or for any questions you may have on Minnesota’s Presidential Primary, visit the Minnesota Secretary of State’s webpage.


Stay In Touch!

Regardless of whether you’re able to attend next Tuesday’s legislative preview, I want to hear from you! Please reach out with any questions or comments you may have on the upcoming legislative session. You can reach me at, or at (651) 296-7158. I look forward to hearing from you.



Michael Howard