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 - Earned Sick & Safe Time

Friday, February 17, 2023

Dear Neighbors, 

This week, we passed our bill out of committee that will cap the cost of insulin, asthma medications, and epi-pens at a $25 co-pay per month. In addition, it will cap the cost of medical supplies like CGMs and asthma inhalers at $50 per month.

We need to pass this bill. Minnesotans from across the state shared compelling stories about the crushing cost of these life-saving drugs and supplies. And when folks can't afford them, they end up in emergency rooms or worse.

Minnesota led the nation when we passed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, but we are behind the curve when it comes to co-pay caps like these. Let's put the health of Minnesotans before health care profits and get this done!

Thank you to the American Diabetes Association, Children's Minnesota, parents and advocates who joined me for our first hearing to provide their real world experiences.


Addressing Minnesota’s Child Care Shortage

Minnesota is facing a dire child care shortage, and with low reimbursement rates, child care providers are struggling to offer competitive wages and keep their doors open. Every family deserves access to affordable child care, but right now some families are paying as much as 40% of their income.

This week, the House passed a pair of bills with robust investments aimed at stabilizing child care and early learning. HF 13, which I co-authored, increases the maximum reimbursement rates for all Child Care Assistance Program providers, and HF 150 increases the amount of child care stabilization grants – a key initiative launched during the pandemic – for child care programs. 


Child care and early learning are both crucial for kids to develop, grow, and learn, but also for family economic security. If a parent can’t afford daycare (if they can even find a daycare spot), it’s difficult for them to find employment. If businesses can’t hire workers, then they can’t grow. I was proud to support these investments to help kids, families, and communities thrive.


Earned Sick and Safe Time

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of staying home when we feel sick. It enables workers to focus on getting better, and prevents them from spreading illness. Many workers are still forced to make an impossible choice between earning a paycheck and taking time off to care for themselves or a loved one. 

We know that workers who lack access to paid time off are disproportionately in low-wage positions, women, and members of BIPOC communities. Blocked for years by Republicans and corporate interests, the Minnesota House voted yesterday to ensure every Minnesota worker has the chance to EARN sick and safe time.

You can learn more about this bill and its importance here


Constituent Corner

The Capitol has really come back to life this session with the halls filled with Minnesotans fighting for what they believe in. Our work is at its best when it's open and responsive to your needs, so it’s always a joy when constituents come to visit. This week, I was able to meet with our neighbors representing physical therapists, Minnesota nurses, and the advocates who joined us for Disability Day. 

If you’re making your way to the state capitol to follow legislation or advocate for a bill, please feel free to reach out!

In partnership, 


Michael Howard