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

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Legislative Update - February 21, 2020

Friday, February 21, 2020

Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors,

Our second week of the 2020 legislative session started out strong when I joined my fellow members of the House Climate Action Caucus on Monday to announce our “can-do” proposals for addressing the climate crisis. The Climate Action Caucus spent the last few months holding informational hearings on various policy areas and how they intersect with climate change solutions. This is an issue championed by our state’s young leaders, the ones who climate change will impact the most, and it’s through their advocacy that we brought these bold new ideas forward this week.

Climate Presser

You can stay connected to our work in the Climate Action Caucus by subscribing to updates here, and you can learn more about our proposals here.


A Home Run for Housing

I had the opportunity to chair the Housing Finance and Policy Division this week while Rep. Alice Hausman presented her bill, which I am proud to co-sponsor, that would authorize an investment of $500 million in housing. This is an innovative bill that would fund everything from emergency shelters, the construction of new housing, and $100 million for the improvement of existing public housing.

Every year it seems like we do a tiny bit more for housing in Minnesota, raising that bar little by little. It’s not often in committee that I get to make a “Bomba Sqaud” reference, but I think we need to follow the example of the Minnesota Twins and set a new home run record when it comes to establishing a continued sustained investment in affordable housing, and $500+ million is what’s needed. You can watch my remarks on my Facebook page here.


Thank you to Homes for All for honoring me with their Housing Champion Award. Homes for All does a fantastic job advocating for statewide housing stability for all Minnesotans, and they’re great partners in our work in the Housing Division. 


Fast-Tracking Insulin Affordability

It’s been a bit of a marathon these first two weeks as the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act has moved quickly through the legislative process. After seven committee hearings in seven days, the Minnesota House is poised to yet again pass a bill that ensures no Minnesotan loses their life because they can't afford their insulin. I am so grateful for the Minnesotans with diabetes who have testified before these committees, sharing their personal stories and struggles to afford insulin. Guided by their voices, we must continue moving urgently to pass Alec's Bill. Schedules are fluid at the Minnesota Legislature, but we expect to pass this bill in the House as early as next week. I’ll be sure to update you on any changes.




Michael Howard