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 - Budget Proposals, Business Relief, and MinnesotaCare

Friday, January 29, 2021

Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors, 

Earlier this week on the House floor, I helped write and submit a resolution condemning violence and violent rhetoric directed at the United States Capitol and? state capitols, as well as affirming support for democracy, rule of law, and the certified results? of our election.

The insurrection on January 6th cut a deep wound into our democracy that will only heal if we stand together to denounce both the violence and what preceded it - unprecedented attempts to discredit our free and fair elections. Passing this resolution is our opportunity to state that now and in the future, the Minnesota House of Representatives will stand for reason, truth and democracy.

The resolution passed 111-8. While I’m proud of the broad bipartisan support, it should’ve been unanimous - or better yet, it shouldn’t have been necessary. You can watch my floor speech on the resolution here



The COVID-19 Recovery Budget

This week, Governor Walz released his budget proposal for the next two years, the COVID-19 Recovery Budget. As we start the process of crafting the state’s budget in the Minnesota House, Governor Walz correctly sets the goalposts by prioritizing students, working families, and small businesses. 

It’s going to take no shortage of effort to see Minnesota through this pandemic and have us bounce back stronger, and that needs to include the top wealthiest corporations and individuals paying their fair share. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle think we can cut our way out of this pandemic, but that will only further harm Minnesotans who are already struggling. Smart, strategic investments are how we build back better for our state.

Recovery Budget


COVID-19 Business Relief

In December, we passed another round of COVID-19 assistance, which included a 13-week extension of unemployment insurance and direct financial support for businesses. This month, the Minnesota Department of Revenue issued $67.3 million in Business Relief Payments to over 3,900 restaurants, bars, gyms, and similar businesses across the state - and we need to make sure no stone has been left unturned.

If you own an eligible business that has not received a payment, time is running out to take advantage of this resource. You can contact the Department of Revenue through the online inquiry process, which will be open until Friday, February 5.



MinnesotaCare - Public Option

In what started as a bipartisan initiative in 1992, MinnesotaCare currently provides health care for approximately 92,000 Minnesotans, and it’s time to open it up as an option to everyone. Minnesotans are facing higher premiums, higher deductibles, and an ever-narrowing pool of provider options. Throw in a global pandemic, and it’s clear that allowing more Minnesotans the option of taking advantage of a trusted, proven system is the way to go.


This week, we announced legislation that would open up MinnesotaCare and allow Minnesotans beyond the current income guidelines to enroll in the program, paying premiums on a sliding, income-based scale. This would lower out-of-pocket costs and grant access to a strong network of providers. This is the kind of bold, innovative solution Minnesotans need to build a stronger, healthier future. You can read more about this legislation I co-author here



Stay Connected

The House Public Info page is a great resource for the latest legislative news, with this week’s articles including the impact of COVID-19 on the arts, the latest on the Energy Efficiency Act, and efforts to close life-long skill gaps that start in early childhood

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