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

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Legislative Update: 2023’s First Floor Votes

Friday, January 13, 2023
Howard Banner

Dear Neighbors, 

We’re wrapping up our second week and continuing to build momentum towards delivering on our legislative priorities - including passing our first bills off the House floor.

Our tax conformity bill, which passed unanimously in both chambers and has already been signed by Governor Walz, will provide tax cuts to Minnesotans and businesses and generally make filing taxes a less onerous process.

Unanimous Vote

The urgency behind this bill enables the Minnesota Revenue Department to make the appropriate changes on state tax forms in time for this year’s filings. You can read more about this bill, and the impact it may have on you, here.




Our second bill to pass off the House floor also attracted considerable support from both sides of the aisle, and it’s a bill we’ve passed twice before. The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act updates the definition of “race” in the Minnesota Human Rights Act to include “traits associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and hair styles such braids, locs, and twists.” This is one of many proposals we’re championing to build a more inclusive Minnesota.


“In 2023, we should not be asking people to tamp down their identity or their culture.”

Rep. Esther Agbaje, House Author of the CROWN Act


While this bill has always received bipartisan support in the House, the past few years of Republican control in the Senate blocked this and many other common sense bills from moving any further in the legislative process. I imagine it’ll become a recurring theme this session for familiar bills from the last few years to finally have their day in the sun, thanks to the new DFL Senate Majority. 

You can read more about the CROWN Act here



Start with Home

The People’s House was packed this week for a rally with Minnesotans who believe in the power of Home! A shout out to all the advocates, legislative leaders, and Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan for recognizing the need to meaningfully invest in housing this session. 

If we dream big, dream together, and dream up solutions that actually meet the scope of the challenge Minnesotans are up against, we’ll make 2023 the year we finally tackle our housing crisis. CBS News provided a highlight of the rally’s speeches, which you can watch below:



Strengthening Our Democracy

Last week, on the 2nd anniversary of the January 6th insurrection on our nation's Capitol, I was proud to stand with my colleagues to join the Inclusive Democracy Caucus and advocate for policies that not only protect, but strengthen our democracy. That means:

  1. Restoring voting rights for previously incarcerated Minnesotans
  2. Making it easier for 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote
  3. Protecting non-partisan election workers who have faced harassment from anti-democratic forces
  4. Shining a light of transparency on dark money and corporate influence in our elections

This past fall voters delivered a clear message - they expect their leaders to protect and strengthen our democracy. We listened and now we are going to deliver.

In partnership,


Michael Howard