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

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Legislative Update - An Open and Accepting Minnesota

Friday, March 24, 2023
Howard Banner

Dear Neighbors, 

This week was bookended by two very important bills that, when boiled down, basically do the same thing - they ensure that Minnesota is a welcoming place for all. 

On Monday, we passed the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act, which protects the fundamental rights of Minnesota health care providers and patients from legal attacks and criminal penalties imposed by anti-abortion extremists in other states. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we must ensure everyone has equitable access to reproductive healthcare in Minnesota.

Repro Rights

Then, after Republicans filibustered into the early hours of this morning, we passed the “Trans Refuge” bill, which safeguards gender-affirming care in our state. Minnesota prides itself on providing world-class health care, but as anti-trans legislation appears in numerous states, including our neighbors, Minnesota must also become a safe harbor for those seeking gender-affirming care.

My phenomenal colleague, and first transgender legislator in Minnesota, Rep. Leigh Finke said when presenting the bill, “The trans and gender-expansive community is wonderful, weird, full of life, joy and creativity. We deserve safety and security like everyone else, and we need it right now.”

I couldn't agree more. To our trans youth I say - you are perfect the way you are and you belong. That is what this bill says and with joy I voted for it. 




Setting the Record Straight on Social Security

Did you know that 58% of Minnesotans already pay no taxes on their social security? My fellow colleagues on the House Tax Committee submitted an op-ed to the Star Tribune with some myth and narrative busting around the debate over social security taxes. The issue has been a focal point at the legislature this session.

Instead of prioritizing a tax cut that mostly benefits a narrow band of wealthier seniors, we should address the struggles of low- and middle-income seniors and all Minnesotans. There is a broader, better path forward that responds to Minnesotans who are being squeezed without blowing a billion dollar hole in our budget that could cause future deficits and cuts to education, housing and health care.

You can read our op-ed here.

Social Security Op-Ed



Crafting Our State Budget

As we enter the second half of the legislative session, the effectiveness of the DFL Trifecta is really starting to show results. Just this week, legislative leaders and Governor Walz laid the framework for our state budget - a deal typically struck in the final weeks of session under divided government.

As Chair of the Housing Committee, much of my focus will be on forming a budget that takes on the housing crisis our state is currently facing. In working with my committee members in the House and my colleagues in the Senate, I’m confident we can deliver a housing budget in stark contrast to the final product created in the previous years of Republican obstructionism. 

Bring It Home, Minnesota Rally

As we craft our budget for housing, I want to thank Bring it Home, Minnesota advocates for filling the State Capitol Rotunda this week! This broad coalition of Minnesotans is ready to meet this historic moment to address our affordable housing crisis.

In partnership,


Michael Howard