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

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Legislative Update - A Breakfast and Lunch for Every Student

Friday, February 10, 2023
Howard Banner

Dear Neighbors, 

We’re focusing a lot of our efforts this session on making Minnesota the best state in the nation to raise a family, and delivering a world-class education to our students is naturally a big part of that. It’s hard to address the needs of our students, families, teachers, and schools without first taking care of a basic need for all of our kids - food. In Minnesota, 1 in 6 students are trying to learn on an empty stomach. Even with the current free and reduced lunch programs, kids are falling through the cracks. That’s unacceptable. 

Our state constitution guarantees every child the right to a quality public education. As I see it, that also means ensuring our kids are fed, prepared to learn, and not subjected to lunch shaming just because their family may struggle to make ends meet. That's why I voted yes last night on HF 5, a bill that will ensure every child receives a free breakfast and lunch at school.

School Food

Students can’t learn on an empty stomach. They can’t become their best selves if they’re worried about their next meal, or the impact of lunch money on their family budgets. This was the right bill to pass, for all Minnesota families. 



Bring It Home

This week saw the session’s first hearing of our Bring It Home Bill, legislation I’m authoring to create a first in the nation state-based rental assistance program that would ensure that all Minnesota are able to afford the roof over their head.

With evictions on the rise, families struggling with housing insecurity, and the crisis only worsening, this bill provides a solution that matches the scale of the housing problem in Minnesota This bill would do more to end homelessness than any other, and now is the right time to dream big and provide a vision for Minnesota where everyone can afford their home.

Bring It Home

We had a lot of fantastic testifiers on our bill, but it’s difficult for anyone to hold a candle to Jurline Bryant

It’s a bold, but relatively simple solution. For $2 billion a year, we could functionally end homelessness in Minnesota. That’s a policy choice. This plan relies on existing local infrastructure of housing authorities – who already understand local needs – to manage and distribute the rental assistance fund in an easy, seamless manner. Under the bill, an estimated 200,000 Minnesotans would receive a housing voucher, essentially creating a state where all Minnesotans have access to a home they can afford. 

This was our first conversation on the bill this session, but not the last. You can read more about the bill and our hearing here



Investing in Our Justice System

On Monday, we passed a bipartisan bill that will boost funding to address violent crime and provide counties the tools they need to prosecute heinous crimes statewide, and another to properly fund our public defenders.  

Minnesotans deserve to be and feel safe, wherever they live, and they deserve a justice system that works.

With additional public safety investments, and in partnership with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office, we’ll be able to hire more prosecutors so they can expand their scope to effectively charge violent crimes throughout the state. It is up to us to make sure we have working systems in place to hold offenders accountable and ensure safety to all Minnesotans, and that’ll be the case as these bills make their way to the Governor’s desk. 

If you have any questions about the bills I’ve brought up, or any of our legislative work, please feel free to reach out!

In partnership, 


Michael Howard