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

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Legislative Update - New Legislation

Friday, January 22, 2021

Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors, 

One story from President Trump’s inauguration has stayed with me and has been on my mind for days. A Richfield student told me that as her class watched the inauguration and heard President Trump’s speech, an African-American classmate of hers began to quietly weep. She went over to her classmate, gave her a hug, and they cried together. Then the next day, they applied to serve on our local Human Rights Commission. 

Empathy, decency and collective action. This is how we got through these last four years and how we will emerge stronger. Four years later, I hope those students were watching together as Kamala Harris was sworn-in as Vice President, becoming the first woman, first Black person, and first Asian American to hold the office. I hope they were watching as President Biden denounced white supremacy and pledged to be a president for ALL Americans. And I hope they, like millions of Americans, felt pride and purpose in the promise of tomorrow in these United States of America.

The Biden Administration faces a multitude of crises, all of them challenging with no easy solutions, but we’re already seeing them address issues with the compassion and inclusiveness that had been so glaringly absent from the White House. I look forward to working with the Biden Administration and helping to build back better for Minnesota. 



The Democracy for the People Act

While Minnesota has consistently led the nation in voter turnout, more can be done to make our elections more accessible and fair. Yesterday, the House DFL introduced the Democracy for the People Act. This is a critical time for our democracy, and while we may have recently passed its toughest test yet, this act would strengthen and defend our elections by expanding voter registration and absentee voting, establishing more ballot drop box and return sites, prohibiting harassment and intimidation of voters and election officials, reducing the influence of corporations and dark money, and creating more opportunities for Minnesotans to get involved. 

No matter your party, region, race, or age - our elections system needs to work for all Minnesotans. You can find more details here.



House DFL Priorities

In addition to the Democracy for the People Act, last week we announced our first priorities for the 2021 session -  focused on the immediate needs of Minnesotans and helping them weather this pandemic and thrive after it ends. Specifically, I am championing our provisions in HF 1 and HF 3 to ensure Minnesotans have housing security now - and when the pandemic subsides.

This is far from an exhaustive list, but they do represent some concrete steps we can take right now to address urgent challenges facing Minnesotans hurt most by the pandemic.

Session Priorities

Whereas our focus is on helping Minnesotans, Senate Republicans seem more fixated on holding on to their grudge with Gov. Walz. You can read more about the differences in our priorities here



Bring it Home, MN

This week, I also introduced legislation to invest in a rent assistance program for those facing housing insecurity, a bill that’s part of the Bring It Home, Minnesota movement. I spoke with 350 Minnesotans and faith leaders at the Beacon Legislative Launch last night, all of whom know that we experience a stronger, more prosperous community by investing in stability at home.

Every corner of our state is experiencing this housing crisis, and our state budget should include the necessary solutions.

Bring It Home


Stay Connected

While floor sessions have remained relatively quick and uneventful, committee work is in full swing for the legislative session. The House Public Info page is a great resource for the latest legislative news, with items from this week including an update on the 100% Clean Energy Standard, testimony from college students on studying during a pandemic, and the policy needs to respond to an aging population

As always, if you have any questions or comments on our work in the Minnesota House, feel free to contact me at or (651) 296-7158. I look forward to hearing from you. 

In partnership, 


Michael Howard