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 - Clean Water for Our Students & The CROWN Act

Friday, March 4, 2022

Dear Neighbors, 

This week, we received the latest budget forecast from Minnesota Management and Budget, showing that our already historic budget surplus has grown to $9.25 billion. The increase is due to higher income, consumer spending, and corporate profits, as well as lower spending in E-12 education and Health and Human Services.

This updated forecast gives us clearer direction for our work this session, and for the most part our mission remains the same: lifting up the Minnesotans who this economic recovery has yet to reach. 

Working families especially have been actively driving our state’s recovery, but they’re not sharing in its benefits. We need to deliver for our neighbors by meaningfully investing in housing, healthcare, economic security, education, and all the components that help Minnesotans thrive. 

You can read more about our latest budget forecast here.


Clean Water for Our Students

This was a caffeine-fueled week for me with several bills being heard in committee, including legislation to fund state grants to make college more affordable; cap the cost of insulin, asthma meds, epi-pens and related supplies; and improve childcare with investments in family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) providers. One I’d like to highlight for you was my bill to get lead out of our schools’ drinking water.

Poisonous lead pipes is not an issue we only face in Minnesota, which is why President Biden brought it up during his State of the Union this week (along with a proposed cap on insulin). Since the crisis in Flint, Michigan we have seen greater recognition of the danger of lead in our water. States are taking steps to test, mitigate and address what is a pervasive problem for buildings that were built in the 80s or prior, including many of our schools. 

This bill seeks to take the steps necessary to ensure we get the lead out of the drinking water of every school in this state. This is a realistic and achievable goal, but only if we work together to take this problem more seriously. With dedicated funds from President Biden and Governor Walz to address this issue, we only need to take advantage of this moment to make drinking water safe for our kids. 

I’m happy to share that my bill unanimously passed through its first committee hearing. You can watch my presentation on this bill here



This week, I was proud to vote yes today on the CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. The bill adds a definition of race that is inclusive of natural hairstyles and textures to the Minnesota Human Rights Act. No one should be prevented from a job or an education because of the way that their hair naturally grows from their head. 

We were able to pass this bill with bipartisan support in the House, and I hope the Senate can soon do the same. You can read more about this bill here


Legislative Survey

We’re over a month in for the 2022 legislative session, and as the latest budget forecast will help guide our efforts, I also want to hear from you. If you have a moment, please consider taking my brief legislative survey on what you think we should prioritize with our surplus, your stance on issues, and topics you’re like us to tackle at the legislature this year. 

Rep. Howard’s 2022 Legislative Survey

Besides the survey, please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!


In partnership, 

Michael Howard