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

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Legislative Update: Deadline for Frontline Worker Bonuses

Thursday, July 21, 2022
Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors, 

We’re coming up to our 60-day deadline this Friday, a date that marks 60 days since the end of the legislative session, and a more formal start of the campaign period. During this time, legislators will be unable to send email updates such as this as to not create an unfair advantage for incumbents. But rest assured, I will continue to keep working to get things done for our community and state and be available to connect one-on-one about your questions, comments and ideas.  

Specifically, I will continue to advocate for a return in a special session to complete our work and address the challenges facing our state. Since the regular legislative session ended, the Republican Senate Majority has been unwilling to return to the negotiating table. This is unfortunate because as I talk with folks, what they really want is us for us to collaborate, compromise and get our work done.   

Minnesotans continue to struggle with rising costs, public safety remains at the forefront of many of our minds, schools are still underfunded, and an affordable home is still out of reach for too many families. These are issues we could take up tomorrow in a special session that would make a significant difference in the lives of Minnesotans. I will continue to raise up the stories I hear from our community and advocate for a special session where we take action and deliver results.  

Here’s a final update on our work, and resources available to our community - until November:



Frontline Worker Bonus - Applications Due Tomorrow

Another notable deadline this Friday is for the Frontline Worker Bonus applications. This session, House Democrats secured a $500 million investment in these bonuses, meant to go to the Minnesotans that kept our state running during the darkest days of the pandemic. We made it to this point largely thanks to the sacrifice and bravery of these workers. 

Health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service and retail workers, and more are eligible for this bonus. Learn more and apply at

Bonuses Apply Now


Protecting Reproductive Rights

I joined thousands of Minnesotans this past weekend at a rally in support of abortion rights. It was inspiring to see such a cross-section of Minnesotans, including many Richfield and Bloomington constituents, standing side-by-side in the fight for reproductive freedom.  

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s reprehensible ruling, it is vital that we’re clear eyed about the fight ahead to protect abortion rights here in Minnesota. We are already becoming an island for access when compared to other states in our region. Abortion remains legal in Minnesota, but protecting that right in our state, and protecting the rights of those who might come here from other states, will require diligence.  

We received some good news on that front last week with the state court striking down many of Minnesota’s outdated and harmful abortion restrictions, but we’ve seen just how fast court rulings can be changed. As your state representative, I will continue to advocate, organize, and be an active voice in the fight for reproductive justice.



988 Hotline

Last week, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was launched. The hotline, transitioning from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline with a shorter, easier-to-remember number, will connect people in crisis with trained counselors. Federal funding is supporting the new service, which will close a significant gap in mental health services. Traditional responses to 911 calls, such as law enforcement, aren’t uniquely equipped to respond to mental health crises.

Crisis workers are available at the three-digit number 24/7 and can connect callers to additional support or in-person care. The service is free and confidential.



The Fight for Affordable Medication

This week, I talked with KSTP about United Healthcare's pledge for no out-of-pocket costs for insulin. This is a positive step for T1 diabetes covered by UHC, but it just underscores the importance of state & federal action to bring down the cost of life-saving prescription drugs. We need:

  • Co-pay caps for insulin, asthma meds and other life-saving drugs
  • Caps on expensive medical supplies like continuous glucose monitors and asthma inhalers
  • Stronger government tools to go after Big Pharma when they unfairly gouge Minnesotans with higher drug prices.

We keep moving in the right direction in this fight because of insulin advocates and others that are applying public pressure. Let's keep pushing! You can read more about this issue and watch my interview here.



Veterans Service Bonus

Another bonus is the product of this year's Veterans and Military Affairs bill - one of the most bipartisan bills we passed this session. This bonus is for those who courageously served our nation, recognizing post-9/11-era veterans and Gold Star Families with service bonuses of up to $2,000. 

There are approximately 48,000 eligible veterans, over half of whom deployed to combat operations including those in Afghanistan or Iraq. Minnesota has a long history of awarding these service bonuses to veterans who served in America’s wars. Starting in 1919 after World War I, through World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and now the Global War on Terrorism.

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is facilitating the program. The application is now open. You can learn more here.



Stay Connected

Though I won’t be sending these updates for several months, please feel free to reach out with any questions or input you may have. You can always contact me at, 651-296-7158, or follow along on my State Representative Facebook page. It’s an incredible honor to represent our community in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and I appreciate hearing from you. 

In partnership, 



Michael Howard