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

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Legislative Update - February 7, 2020

Friday, February 7, 2020

Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors,

We’re ramping up to the start of the 2020 Legislative Session, leading to a busy few weeks here at the State Capitol. Here’s a quick update on what we’ve been working on as we prepare for the return to St. Paul:


The State of Insulin Affordability

Last week, I joined Governor Walz, DFL legislators, and a group of tireless advocates to once again call on Republicans in the Minnesota Senate to pass the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act. We spent the legislative interim working to find common ground wherever possible, and though DFL legislators moved our position in the spirit of compromise, Republican leadership remained committed to passing the cost for an emergency insulin program on to Minnesotans. Big Pharma has tripled the cost of insulin in the last ten years, not because of the Minnesota taxpayer, but because of greed. We’re simply asking that insulin manufacturers financially contribute to the solution for the crisis they created and profited from. 


Our sorely needed special session on insulin never took place, but with legislators returning to St. Paul next week, public and transparent work on emergency insulin can resume. We can’t afford another bill to be defeated in the eleventh hour of session, we need to pass this bill now.

Our House DFL Caucus is making insulin affordability a top priority this session. Alec’s Bill will be heard on the first day of session in the Commerce Committee on February 11th at 2:30pm in State Office Building Room 200.

You can follow coverage of last week’s press conference here.


Bring It Home, Minnesota

On Christmas Day, 2019, hundreds of Minnesotans were abruptly left without shelter when the Drake Hotel caught fire. While the loss of the Drake Hotel was a tragedy, the fact that residents were forced to make a hotel room a home in the first place is part of a larger homelessness issue impacting Minnesota. On Tuesday, I joined the Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative at the site of the former Drake Hotel to announce bold legislation to establish the Bring It Home, Minnesota rental subsidy, which would ensure that every Minnesotan is able to pay their rent.


Homelessness is a big issue that requires a big solution, and it’s not something we can afford to ignore any longer. Stable housing immensely improves a person’s life, so if we’re serious about eliminating health disparities or closing the achievement gaps in our schools, we need to first make sure every Minnesotan has a place to call home.

You can read more about Bring It Home, Minnesota here.


Thank you to everyone that showed up for our pre-session forum! We had more than 80 residents attend the forum with great conversation about education, election security, and other priorities for the 2020 session.  Our work here at the legislature is at its best when it’s open and inclusive, and I appreciated your input. What are your priorities for the 2020 session? Send me an e-mail – I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at, or at (651) 296-7158. I look forward to hearing from you.



Michael Howard