Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

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

Back to profile

Legislative Update - May 19, 2020

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors, 

Late Sunday night, the 2020 Legislative Session adjourned. Though this usually marks the end of our work for the year, multiple factors, largest of which being the COVID-19 pandemic, make a special session in June highly likely.

Session Adjourned

The world changed in the middle of this session and so the legislature changed as well, working quickly to respond to the global pandemic and support Governor Walz in our work to save lives and keep our state safe. And despite a global pandemic, we passed Alec’s Law, first-in-the-nation legislation that compels Big Pharma to make insulin affordable when someone needs it most.

At the onset of the virus in our state, swift, bipartisan work was accomplished to deliver resources to Minnesota’s health care workforce and public health infrastructure. We also ensured health care and public safety workers would receive workers’ comp should they get sick with COVID-19, and passed an initial package of legislation that invested in housing assistance, food security, child care, and small business loans. While I’m incredibly proud of the work we accomplished, the sense of bipartisanship didn’t last. 

Republicans blocked vital economic assistance for families, including a Jobs and Housing Bill that would have injected needed relief into our communities. Playing ordinary political games while Minnesotans face extraordinary struggles is not what this moment calls for. Rather, we need to leap to our feat and fight for families and workers to weather these economic storms.


So What’s Next?

Technically, there is no constitutional requirement for the legislature to meet until the next legislative session in January 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic, along with unfinished business from this year’s session, make a June 2020 special session all but a certainty. 

Minnesota continues to remain in a peacetime state of emergency, which Governor Walz has extended to June 12. To potentially extend the state of emergency, the governor has asked for legislative approval. This is one of the main reasons a special session would occur. 

Though a special session can only be called by the governor, what the legislature does with that time is up to them. We begin today, fighting for housing assistance for families across the state, economic assistance including child care and a raise for home health care workers, support for our truly small businesses, and a Jobs and Local Projects Bill that creates jobs and strengthens communities.



A reminder that now, with the “Stay at Home” order expired, the newly implemented “Stay Safe” order allows for Minnesotans to gather in groups of 10 or less, and many retail stores are able to operate at 50% capacity, provided they follow public health guidelines. While lifted restrictions are a relief to many, it’s important to remember that the pandemic continues, and the measures we’ve been practicing for the past few months remain incredibly important to keeping Minnesotans safe and healthy. We’re “turning the dials,” but we’re not yet at a place where we can go back to normal.

Turning the Dials - May 13

Stay Connected

Minnesota’s COVID-19 Dashboard remains the best source for accurate, updated information. House Speaker Melissa Hortman announced the formation of a Select Committee on Minnesota’s Pandemic Response and Rebuilding to explore the pandemic’s impacts and address any issues that may arise, which had its first meeting today. You can follow the committee’s work here

Please feel free to continue to reach out to me with any questions or comments you have on our accomplishments this session, or what the future holds. You can reach me at or (651) 296-7158. We’re going to get through this together, and your input is greatly appreciated. 

In partnership,


Michael Howard