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

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Legislative Update - Standing Up to Big Pharma

Thursday, December 16, 2021
Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors, 

I hope you and yours are having a healthy and happy holiday season. As we gather with friends and family, I want to stress the importance of COVID vaccines and testing, especially as our state passes the grim milestone of 10,000 COVID-related deaths

Leaders from Minnesota’s health care systems recently purchased a full-page newspaper ad pleading with Minnesotans to do their part to help end this crisis. Our health care professionals are emotionally drained and physically exhausted, and the best gift we can give them this year is to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. 



Standing Up to Big Pharma

Passing Alec’s Law last year was a true David vs. Goliath victory against Big Pharma to ensure no Minnesotan would ever again lose their life because they can’t afford the insulin they need to survive.

Goliath isn’t done fighting and neither are we. Today, the US District Court will hear Big Pharma’s challenge to Alec’s Law – their attempt to rip insulin out of the hands of Minnesotans who need it and avoid any responsibility for addressing the crisis that their greed created. It is morally reprehensible and we will not stand for it.

I joined insulin champions today to applaud our Attorney General in fighting Big Pharma’s  challenge to Alec’s Law and to make clear we are ready to throw down for affordable insulin for all. It’s a fight that will continue this session as we push additional legislation to expand access to affordable prescription drugs.

Insulin Presser

As we continue our fight against Big Pharma’s greed, it’s also important to continue our efforts in educating Minnesotans about the insulin safety net program that Alec’s Law created. Whether you have an urgent or continuing need for assistance in affording life-saving insulin, the state’s safety net program may be able to help. You can see if you’re eligible and fill out an application at



Minnesota’s Budget Forecast

Earlier this month, Minnesota Management and Budget released their latest economic forecast for our state, projecting a positive fund balance of $7.7 billion. While the news of economic recovery is good, we know that it’s not being felt by many Minnesotans. In many ways, this surplus is a testament to how much we are underfunding crucial elements like housing in our state.

The good news? This historic surplus is a chance to deliver historic change – change that will make a tangible difference for families that are working so hard to keep it all together. When the 2022 legislative session begins in January, my colleagues and i in the DFL will be using this economic forecast to drive our work in delivering on these priorities and more:

  • An affordable home.
  • Dependable child care.
  • Health care that you can afford.
  • The ability to care for a loved one in need.

These are just a few ways we can ease the stressors for Minnesota families. This is how we can build Minnesota back better. You can read more about the state’s economic forecast here

What are your ideas on how we should prioritize our budget surplus? We’re just over a month away for next year’s session, and I want to hear from you so we can hit the ground running in the new year. You can contact me at

Wishing you a safe, healthy, and happy holidays. 

In partnership,


Michael Howard