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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL)

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Legislative Weekly Recap April 25-May 1, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

Last week we had session Monday and Thursday as we began to work our way through the bills that are on the General Register in the House. You can see the list of bills waiting for a House floor vote here. Some of these bills are also tucked into various omnibus bills and may not get an individual hearing on the House floor. Most of the bills taken up so far have been relatively non-controversial, with the exception of two anti-choice bills on the House floor last Monday. One bill removed coverage for abortion for women who are on Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare even in cases of rape or a medical emergency. The other bill required special licensing for clinics that provide abortions when no other outpatient medical procedure is required to obtain a special license.

On Monday, I had an intern from the Secretary of State’s Office shadow me for the day. Tobi Oluwagbemi is a senior at St. Cloud State University who is very interested in public service and women’s issues. She had a lot of good questions and insights! 

House Image

Last week, I spent a lot of time sitting through conference committees that met throughout the week. I have been tracking the progress of the Transportation Omnibus bill conference committee and am very concerned about the anti-SWLRT language in both the House and Senate bills. I have also been attending the Tax Omnibus bill conference committee. I am carrying a bill with Senator Ann Rest that was included in the Senate side and it is my hope that the House accepts the language.

Conference Committees

Last Friday, the Republican leaders in the House and Senate set joint budget targets for their conference committees. They have given their committee chairs until the end of today, May 1, to figure out their budget differences. House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka have said that it is their intention to get the omnibus bills to Governor Dayton and that they would like a response from him by Thursday.

We have three weeks left until the end of session. Only time will tell if that is enough to get all of the budget omnibus bills passed as well as a bonding bill. As conference committees are deliberating differences between the House and Senate versions of the major budget bills you can follow their progress HERE

Building and infrastructure bill

Tuesday, I supported my House DFL colleagues in pushing for passage of a bonding bill. Bonding invests in needed infrastructure improvements throughout Minnesota. These projects include things like repair and replacement of crumbling bridges, upgrade of wastewater treatment facilities, and rail safety improvements. Last year, House Republicans introduced a bonding proposal at the last minute which failed, putting these projects on hold and costing Minnesotans millions. It has been several years since a large bonding bill was passed, and as interest rates rise, the costs of these projects does too.

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions and issues. E-mail at is the best way to get in touch. If it is urgent or you would like to schedule a meeting, please contact my office by phone at 651-296-9889.

Have a great week!