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

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Legislative Update - The 2023 Legislative Session

Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Howard Banner

Dear Neighbors, 

On Monday, May 22, we completed our official legislative work for the year. Ending on time and with an impressive list of new investments and policies that will build a better Minnesota. When the 2023 session began, our House DFL Caucus put up a big board to track progress on our top priorities. Last Monday, we finished checking off every item on this list.

Satisfying to complete a to do list? Absolutely. But what is truly exhilarating is the knowledge that this people-centered agenda will improve lives and create a stronger, safer and more just Minnesota.


Some of these were stand-alone bills, like free school meals and the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act, but others became part of our completed budget bills, like Earned Sick and Safe Time and closing the Special Education and English Language Learner funding cross-subsidies.

You can read more about our final bills using our nonpartisan Session Daily stories: Veterans and Military Affairs, Housing, Higher Education, Legacy, Agriculture, Early Education, Public Safety and Judiciary, K-12 Education, Jobs and Labor, Environment and Energy, Commerce, State Government and Elections, Human Services, Taxes, Transportation, and Health.

Not technically part of our state budget, but still a consequential bill for state investment, is our Capital Investment bill. Otherwise known as a bonding bill, this was one of our last votes of the legislative session, and it delivered $2.6 billion in one-time investments in infrastructure projects to communities throughout the state. For Richfield, we were able to secure $12 million to reconstruct the Wood Lake Nature Center building!

Other important bills outside of our budget bills we passed recently include Paid Family and Medical Leave, and the final version of our bill to legalize adult-use cannabis.

Here are some other highlights from our final days of the legislative session:


Prescription Drug Affordability 

In the final days of session, we passed our Commerce Budget, investing $10 million to strengthen protections for Minnesotans. Included in the bill was my legislation to cap co-pays on medication treating chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma at $25. This is a huge win in our fight for affordable access to prescription drugs.

We’re also putting in place a ban on price gouging and creating a nation-leading Prescription Drug Affordability Board. Big Pharma and health insurers have fought our effort for years, but they lost their veto card when Republicans lost power in the Minnesota legislature. With passage of this bill, we say to Minnesotans struggling with the crushing cost of prescription drugs that help is on the way.

Thank you to all of the advocates who have helped us continue this fight for economic justice for Minnesotans who are unfairly squeezed by the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.

Rep. Howard with Advocates

Our #insulin4all warriors who helped pass Alec's Law and fuel our momentum in the fight for prescription drug affordability!


Historic Investments in Education

My first visit to the State Capitol was with my mom, an elementary special education teacher, at a rally for more education funding. This session, I voted ‘yes’ on the largest funding increase for public education in state history. As I voted yes, I thought about my mom and all of the educators across our state who inspire their students to chase their dreams.

Rep. Howard's first capitol visit
Rep. Howard today

Our K-12 Education Budget delivers new, transformational investments of $2.2 billion to support our students and school staff as well as stabilize our public school funding. We’re increasing per-pupil funding, closing our special education cross-subsidy, and making our schools more inclusive and welcoming for all of Minnesota’s students. 

In total, this budget delivers over $10.7 million to Richfield schools. Our kids deserve every cent. 


And So Much More

This email would be nothing short of a novel if I were to go over all of our accomplishments this session, but the good news is I have the rest of the year to talk about our work, how it’s being enacted, and its impact on our community. 

In the meantime, feel free to reach out during this legislative interim with any questions or comments you may have. The 2024 Legislative Session doesn’t start until February 12, but session or no, the work continues. You can contact me and my office at or 651-296-7158.

Thank you for the incredible honor of representing our community in the Minnesota House, and thank you for all of your support as we delivered for Minnesotans this year. 

In partnership, 


Michael Howard