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 - Bonus Pay for Frontline Workers

Friday, February 11, 2022
Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors, 

During the pandemic’s darkest days, there was always a group of Minnesotans working to keep our state running. Many of them never had a “work from home” option, and the state’s current economic growth, including our $7.7 billion surplus, was largely built on the backs of their labor. 

They deserve our thanks. More than that, they deserve to get paid. 

Last year, the legislature recognized our duty to deliver bonus checks to these frontline workers by allocating $250 million and assigning a working group to create eligibility requirements for these checks. What soon became abundantly clear was that many Minnesotans, roughly 667,000 workers, played an integral part in keeping our state operational, and a larger pot was needed to give them the recognition they earned. That’s why this week the House DFL took our first meaningful steps to invest $1 billion for frontline worker bonus checks, which would deliver bonuses of up to $1,500 to eligible workers.

My colleague, Rep. Liz Olson, summed up our experience well when it comes to the need to get these checks out the door, which you can watch here. You can also read more about this legislation and the debate that took place in committee here



No-Knock Warrants

Minneapolis has once again been thrust into the national spotlight for the recent killing of Amir Locke by Minneapolis police

Let's be clear - Amir Locke should still be alive. Using a no-knock warrant, it took just 9 seconds for police to enter an apartment where Amir Locke was sleeping under a blanket, taking his life before he could process what was happening. The use of the no-knock warrant created this highly dangerous situation and we need to stop instances like this from happening again. 

Reforms to no-knock warrants were a part of the public safety legislation we passed last year, but it’s clear more is needed when preventable tragedies like this occur. I stand with the members of our People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus in their call for legislation that proposes tougher restrictions for these warrants. 



Bring It Home, Minnesota

Last month, legislators and a diverse group of housing advocates renewed our push to pass Bring it Home, Minnesota  – a bold plan to use state-based rental assistance to ensure every Minnesotan can afford their home.

Bring It Home, MN

No single policy initiative can do more to directly eliminate homelessness than this one. Because when rent is more manageable, family budgets stretch further so families can afford the essentials like groceries, gas and all of the things where they’re feeling the squeeze.

Minnesota faced a housing crisis before the pandemic that has only worsened. We have a golden opportunity this session to invest in solutions that create more housing options, which will in turn create more economic opportunity for families, businesses and our state's future.

Next week, this plan will have its day in committee when we present it in the Housing Finance and Policy Committee on Tuesday. 

If you have any questions about the bills on Frontline Worker Bonus Pay, No-Knock Warrants, Bring It Home, or anything else we’re working on, please feel free to reach out. 

In partnership, 


Michael Howard