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

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Legislative Update: 100% Clean Energy by 2040

Friday, January 27, 2023
Howard Banner

Dear Neighbors, 

While there have been some small, bipartisan steps forward in recent years when it comes to our state’s response to climate change, the concern has always been that we weren’t being nearly bold enough for an issue of this magnitude. It’s time for that to change.

Last night, the Minnesota House passed legislation that would commit our state’s utilities to using 100% clean energy by the year 2040. It’s a goal that would not only make Minnesota a leader in the fight against climate change, but also make our state a home to a new clean energy industry - and the jobs that come with it.

100% Clean Energy

The last eight years globally have been the hottest on record, and Minnesota is among the top states currently seeing rapid changes to our climate. Scientists know that climate change driven by fossil fuels is impacting our environment, infrastructure, and our health. 

Not only is this legislation critical to protecting our climate, but it also makes economic sense. Wind power is the cheapest form of electricity, and producing solar energy is cheaper than building new fossil fuel plants or importing fossil fuels from other states. This is an incredibly important step for Minnesota’s future, and one I’m excited for us to take together. 

You can read more about this bill here



Safe Water in Our Schools

This week in the House Education Policy Committee, I was able to present my bill to improve the safety of drinking water in Minnesota schools. Since the crisis in Flint, Michigan, we’ve seen a greater recognition of the danger of lead in our water. Throughout the state, we have aging infrastructure, and even for buildings that are kept up, we need to make sure we’re accurately testing for lead in our drinking water.

My bill strengthens our current lead testing protocol by creating a centralized reporting system for lead testing, moving the threshold for remediation, and investing in our schools so they can meet this challenge.

There is no safe level for lead, which is why the standard this bill would set for our schools is the same that’s required for bottled water. I’m happy to say the bill passed the committee unanimously. You can watch the hearing we held on this legislation here



Driver’s Licenses for All

We’re starting off next week with a bang as we are poised to pass the Driver’s License for All bill off the House floor on Monday. For years, Minnesota has struggled to pass a law that provides the dignity and safety of a driver’s license to the 81,000 undocumented immigrants that call Minnesota home. 

These are our neighbors that take an unnecessary risk every time they get behind the wheel to drive to work, drop their kids off at school, or otherwise live their lives as anyone would. It benefits all of us to have licensed drivers on the road, and passing this bill would finally make that possible.

Simply put, this bill is the right thing to do. 

In partnership, 


Michael Howard