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

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Legislative Update - Legalizing Adult-Use Cannabis

Friday, April 28, 2023
Howard Banner

Dear Neighbors, 

This week, we finished passing our remaining budget proposals in the House. All together, our  Higher Education, Legacy, Environment and Clean Energy, Housing, Veterans, Elections, State and Local Government, K-12 Education, Agriculture, Transportation, Early Learning, Children & Families, Jobs & Labor, Human Services, Pensions, Commerce, Judiciary & Public Safety, Tax, and Health budget proposals will build a better Minnesota for everyone. 

We’ve also passed some significant “stand-alone” bills, including the bill we took up on Monday (and continued debating on Tuesday) to legalize cannabis for adult-use in Minnesota. 

Our bill, which I co-authored, is built on years of working with stakeholders and talking with Minnesotans to ensure that when we do legalize cannabis for adult-use in our state, we do it right. It’s time.

Our decades-long war on drugs has failed, contributing to awful racial disparities in our criminal justice system, and are we any safer for it? By creating a regulatory framework we can address the harms caused by cannabis, establish a more sensible set of laws, and improve our healthcare and criminal justice systems.

Minnesotans deserve the freedom and respect to make responsible decisions about cannabis use themselves. Let's legalize it.

The Senate will be voting on the bill today. Should it pass, it’s expected to be different from our version in the House. Like our differing budget bills, a conference committee made up of House and Senate members will then work together to create a final bill to be passed by the House and Senate one final time before being sent to Governor Walz - who has said he would sign it into law. 

You can read more about the bill we passed in the House here



Protecting Minnesotans, Not Big Pharma

Our Commerce Budget invests in the safeguards consumers need, and protects the pocketbooks of Minnesotans.

We will not raise the white flag to Big Pharma and settle for a health care system that gouges Minnesotans for the price of  their life-necessary prescription drugs. We voted YES on my bill to cap insurance costs of insulin, asthma meds, and epi-pens, as well as related medical supplies. And we voted YES to create a prescription drug affordability board with authority to set upper limits on high cost drugs. It's the right thing to do.

You can catch my remarks on this provision in our Commerce Budget here.



Our Three Newest Laws

This week, Governor Walz signed three bills into law, all of them making Minnesota a more welcoming, science-following, rights-protecting state.

We banned conversion therapy, protected access to abortion, and did the same for gender-affirming care by making Minnesota a safe state for trans refuge. These vital new laws loudly proclaim that Minnesota will take you, as you are, with open arms. 

You belong. You are loved. You are free. 

Bill Signing
Bill Signing with Authors

You can read more about these new laws here



The Largest Tax Cut is State History

Yesterday, we passed our Tax Bill, the last of our budget proposals, and it was a good one. Collectively, the bill delivers the largest tax cut in state history with credits, rebates, and other provisions designed to maximize benefits for workers, families, and seniors. 

You’d think that’d be something our Republican colleagues could get behind, but they refused to pay for these historic tax cuts, all because they can’t fathom asking millionaires and multinational corporate tax dodgers to pay a little bit more.

It was an honor to serve on our House Taxes Committee this year. I’m extremely proud of the proposal we put forward.

House Tax Proposal

If you have any questions about these or the other budget proposals we put forward, please feel free to reach out with your questions and comments. We’re in the home stretch with only a few weeks left, and I want to hear from you!

In partnership, 


Michael Howard