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

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Legislative Update - Emergency Rental Assistance

Friday, March 17, 2023
Howard Banner

Dear Neighbors, 

Yesterday, on a bipartisan vote, the Minnesota House passed my bill to provide $50 million in emergency rental assistance. This rental assistance is a lifeline to Minnesotans who are facing a life-altering housing crisis. It's long overdue. With over 20,000 evictions filed in Minnesota last year, we need bold and urgent action to address our housing crisis and this is a vital step forward.

Rep. Howard Floor Speech

We’re going to deliver the long-term solutions Minnesota needs to address the housing crisis, but yesterday’s vote was about the immediate action families need to keep a roof over their heads. You can read more about this bill and our efforts here



Family, Friend and Neighbor Child Care networks

Last week, I presented our bill to provide permanent, ongoing funding to support our Family, Friend and Neighbor Child Care networks across the state.

I was joined by Faviola Estrada, our amazing co-founder of La Red, the Child Care Network in Richfield and Bloomington that has helped train and support hundreds of Latino child care providers in our community.

State support for our FFN providers is an essential piece of the puzzle to ensure every child in Minnesota has access to quality child care.

Rep. Howard with Faviola Estrada


Sovereignty Day

On the heels of unanimously passing the Minnesota Indian Preservation Act last week, on Monday we set aside time to hold a “Sovereignty Day” at the Capital - our second since 2019. This was an educational event for House and Senate legislators on tribal history and culture, sovereignty, and the interplay between federal, state, and tribal law.

Symbols of Minnesota's Tribal Nations

This event included the leaders of the eleven federally recognized sovereign tribal nations in Minnesota, and was a great opportunity and reminder to hear their perspectives as we create legislation here in Saint Paul.



Senate Republicans Block Infrastructure Projects

Much of the gridlock of previous sessions has been left behind with the DFL trifecta, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish - often with bipartisan support - in the House, Senate, and with Governor Walz. Unfortunately, one area that isn’t immune to political games this session is capital investment for statewide infrastructure projects, as the usual mechanism for funding these projects (selling state bonds) requires a supermajority to pass. 

Just last week, with more than enough Republican support to meet the supermajority threshold, the House passed $1.9 billion in investments for local jobs and projects. However, Senate Republicans refused to support these investments when given the opportunity yesterday - investments that would’ve funded projects in their own communities in addition to others throughout the state. 

Sadly, this means funding for Richfield’s Wood Lake Nature Center renovation will have to wait for now. Senate Republicans’ refusal to work together has forced us to go back to the drawing board, and though our budget surplus will likely play a critical role in still funding many of these projects, our ability to meet the growing infrastructure needs of our state has been significantly hampered. 

It shouldn’t be this difficult to invest in the needs of our state. Safe roads, clean water, and sturdy buildings shouldn’t be partisan issues, but we’ll find ways to deliver what communities need, even if their Republican Senators won’t. 

In partnership, 


Michael Howard