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 - Vaccine Eligibility Opens Up Tomorrow

Monday, March 29, 2021

Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors, 

Starting tomorrow, all Minnesotans age 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This is thanks to an increased supply of vaccine we’ll be receiving in early April from the federal government. While this is news many of us have been waiting for, opening up vaccine eligibility doesn’t necessarily mean that vaccine appointments will be available right away or close by. As has been the case with much of this pandemic, patience and diligence will be needed as we continue to prioritize at-risk Minnesotans.

Vaccine Eligibility

If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, I highly encourage you to check out Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, a tool to help people find out when, where, and how to get a vaccine. It can let you know when you’re eligible to be vaccinated, connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment, and alert you if there are vaccine opportunities nearby. To sign up, visit or call 833-431-2053. Minnesotans can also contact their healthcare provider, local pharmacy or use the Vaccine Locator Map to search for vaccine providers in their area.



Fighting for Working Families

Last week was a busy one for the Minnesota House, with a focus on passing legislation for those that have sacrificed and struggled during this pandemic. A bill that might be familiar from last session is the House DFL proposal to require Earned Sick and Safe Time for all Minnesotans. This was a good idea before the pandemic, and it’s difficult to imagine the reasoning behind not allowing Minnesotans the economic security to stay home when sick now.

Whether caring for a new baby, an ill family member, or yourself, Minnesotans deserve the freedom to make these health care choices without risking a paycheck - during a pandemic and after. 


Another bill from last year was actually signed into law, but the continued need for this policy required an update. At the onset of the pandemic in our state, we passed a bill making the presumption that if a public safety of health care worker contracted COVID-19, they did so while in the line of duty and are therefore eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The current law expires May 1, and while it certainly seems like brighter days are ahead, that expiration date is too soon to ensure that the Minnesotans that keep our state healthy and safe will be looked after in the event they get sick. The new bill would extend that deadline until the end of this year. 

Other bills passed last week include the Preventing Discrimination Act, which prohibits employers from requesting a prospective employee’s pay history - too often perpetuating the paygap between women and their while male counterparts, and a bill aimed at assisting hospitality and service workers laid off due to the pandemic in gaining their jobs back. 

With the exception of the workers’ compensation bill, these proposals that would provide sorely-needed assistance to Minnesotans face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled senate, where they would rather provide assistance to corporations than working Minnesotans. 



Corporations Paying their Fair Share

Did you know that Zoom, a company that experienced a 4000% profit increase last year, will pay $0 in federal taxes? They are not alone. For years, multinational corporations have used tax schemes to avoid paying taxes, and it is costing states billions of dollars.

Last week, I presented my bill to crack down on companies that shelter profits overseas. It should be a no-brainer. Whether we have a deficit or surplus shouldn't dictate what is plainly right and wrong. There is no justification to allow multinational corporations to continue avoiding paying their fair share while Minnesotans and our small businesses play by the rules.



Supporting Our Students

Another bill we passed last week was our Summer Learning Plan, which is part of our continued commitment to making sure all Minnesotans - including our kids - can weather this pandemic and come back stronger than ever.

Summer Learning Package

The legislation invests in summer programs for students of various ages, field trips and hands-on learning, mental health services, and more. It will help meet students’ academic and emotional needs and make sure they have the tools to succeed as we move forward.  



Stay Connected

There are no official committee meetings or floor sessions this week as the Legislature takes a break in observance of Easter and Passover. While no official work is being conducted, now is a great time to reach out with any questions or comments you have on our work in the House. 

You can also follow along with my work on my member page, “like” my official Facebook page, and subscribe to and share these legislative updates. You can contact me at or (651) 296-7158. I look forward to hearing from you. 

In partnership,


Michael Howard