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 - A Budget Framework for Minnesotans

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors, 

The 2021 legislative session concluded this week – kind of. But the coffee is still flowing because now is not the time to sit back and settle for the status quo.

After several months of intense work, we reached agreement on a framework for our budget that prioritizes those most impacted by COVID-19 — students, workers, families, and small businesses. This wasn’t an easy haul, especially given a Senate Republican majority that was reluctant to move from their priorities that put the wealthy and well-connected first.

Budget Agreement

But the devil is in the details. We will spend the next several weeks hammering out the particulars of our state budget in hopes of passage during a June special session. My priorities remain those that I keep hearing from our community. I’ll be fighting for solutions to our affordable housing crisis, police accountability reform, and investments to tackle our racial and economic disparities in Minnesota.

Everyone deserves a better shot at the American Dream of economic security, health and happiness. Let's keep at it.



Summer Learning

With our budget agreement also comes a plan to fully invest in enhanced summer learning programs for Minnesota’s students, thanks in large part to the funds we received from the federal American Rescue Plan.


Our students faced incredible challenges during this pandemic, and continue to do so. $75 million will go toward providing solutions for academic enrichment and mental health support, starting this summer. This is just one of the many steps we’re working on to ensure our students can bounce back and thrive in their education.



The Latest on COVID Requirements

Next Friday, May 28, the remaining capacity and distancing limits will come to an end, including for indoor events and gatherings. Some measures will remain, including the requirement that businesses and venues have plans to keep their employees and customers safe - as they have since the beginning of the pandemic.

Besides that, much of our state is opening up to an extent that we haven’t seen since last year. Though the City of Richfield has no mask mandate, businesses are still able to continue theirs, and Minneapolis and St. Paul still have their indoor mask requirement in place. For the time being, the best course of action will probably be to make sure you still have a mask on hand when heading out. To stay up to date on the latest requirements, check out

The best way to ensure we can get back to an even more complete normal is to get vaccinated, and encourage others to do the same. If you or a loved one haven’t yet, there are many open appointments in our area. You can either sign up for Minnesota’s Vaccine Connector, or look up appointments near you here. We’ve all worked incredibly hard to reach this point, and the more Minnesotans that get vaccinated, the more we can stave off more contagious variants.

As we work to finally close the book on COVID-19, and complete our work at the State Legislature, please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you may have. 

In partnership, 


Michael Howard