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

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Legislative Update - Halfway Through Session

Friday, April 5, 2024
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Dear Neighbors, 

We’re back at the Capitol after our brief legislative recess, and I hope you and your loved ones were also able to spend some time together during the holiday break. This also marks a sort of halfway point for the legislative session, when much of our work will now be focused on passing policy bills and supplemental budgets off the House floor. 

This week, we passed several of our House policy packages, which will follow a similar legislative route like our budget bills last year. Though we share a lot of goals and ideals with our DFL Senate colleagues, some of our bills differ, meaning that these proposals will likely have to go through a few more hoops before they’re sent to Governor Walz. 

The policy bills the House passed this week cover Higher Education, Transportation, Early Education, and Veterans and Military Affairs

The Higher Education and Transportation bills were especially impactful, building off of the record funding we invested into these areas last year. Whether it’s improving scholarship programs and making our campuses safer, or improving your ride to the state fair and ensuring child car seats are up to snuff, these were commonsense bills that garnered bipartisan support.

4-4 Floor Vote Policy Bills

We have more of the policy bills coming up in the weeks ahead, including our House Committee’s policy bill that’ll be on the House floor soon. With last year’s focus on our state budget, this is really when policy gets to shine, and I’m excited to share those ideas with you soon!


Investing In State and Local Projects

One notable exception to our policy focus this year is a Capital Investment Bill (often called a bonding bill as it’s funded with the sale of State bonds), which will fund state and local infrastructure projects all across Minnesota. The even year of a legislative biennium is often when we pass this type of bill, though inaction from when Republicans controlled the Minnesota Senate resulted in one of these crucial infrastructure bills not being passed for several years. 

That’s why we broke with tradition and passed our largest package of Capital Investment funding last year, though even that was hardly enough to cover the backlog of necessary projects that accumulated. Though in Richfield, I’m happy to say that last year’s Capital Investment Bill included $12 million to reconstruct the Wood Lake Nature Center building, which recently received another $3 million from the federal government just the other day. 

Now we’re looking to new projects for our 2024 Capital Investment Bill, and last week I was joined by Mayor Supple and City of Richfield staff to present our bonding bill proposal to secure state funds to redevelop Nicollet Avenue. I am committed to securing state resources to address our local needs, including the reconstruction of such an important thoroughfare for our residents.

Team Richfield


Tax Day is April 15 

Tax Day is right around the corner! Last year, we made big moves to help working families, and you’ll feel some of the benefits this year as you file your 2023 taxes.  

If you’re a renter, don't forget to claim your property tax refund! This is the first year renters will be able to receive their Renter’s Credit with their tax filing rather than later in the year. Along with making it simpler and more convenient, we also expanded the credit to many Minnesotans who didn’t qualify previously.  

I also want to remind you that nearly 300,000 Minnesota households are eligible for the nation-leading Child Tax Credit! With our Child Tax Credit, families will save up to $1,750 for each dependent. Democrats are cutting child poverty by one-third with this rebate. You can claim the tax credit by filing a 2023 income tax return. The $1,750 credit is for each child 17 years old and younger, with no limit on the number of children.

Child Tax Credit (Gov. Graphic)

For all tax filers, this credit begins to phase out at an income level of $35,000 and fully phases out at a maximum of $90,750 for a family with four children. Minnesota families: If you qualify, file your taxes to make sure you claim the benefits available to you


Stay Connected

As we enter the second half of this year’s legislative session, please continue to reach out with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas you have for our work in the Minnesota House. Always feel free to email me at or give my office a call at 651-296-7158.

You can also stay up to date by following my official Facebook page, subscribing to these regular email updates if you haven’t already, and checking my legislative webpage for the latest information from my office. 

In partnership, 


Michael Howard