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

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Legislative Update- September 20, 2019

Friday, September 20, 2019
Legislative Update
September 20, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

For families throughout our state, it’s back-to-school season. Many of Minnesota’s parents, teachers, support staff, and administrators hit the ground running earlier this month. All of us are cheering our students on as they get a fresh start to learn and grow during a new academic year. I’d like to wish all students, parents, families, teachers, administrators, and support staff an excellent 2019-2020 school year.

After hearing from residents in our community and across the state, state lawmakers passed a budget that makes new investments in every student in every public school. Despite challenges under one of the nation’s only divided state legislatures, our schools will see a per-student funding increase over the next two years, continued access to voluntary pre-k, and additional investments to help address soaring special education shortfalls.
There is much more work to do to provide a world-class education for every child, and I’ll keep advocating for students of all ages and abilities. Over the summer, I had toured numerous schools across the state, including Ely, Bemidji, Minneapolis, Plymouth, Rosemount, Blaine, and Red Wing Correctional Facility School. As Chair of the Education Policy Committee, I was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the amazing programming, transportation, and post-secondary options they are offering to students.
I’m also participating in a number of town hall meetings across the metro related to education and, with community input, how we can promote strong and stable investments in education without relying solely on property taxes.
I’ve also been working with the Minnesota Department of Education to organize listening sessions with students and parents to hear from them about why they are opting out of some standardized tests. Stay tuned for the details.

Mini Session
This fall, the Minnesota House of Representatives will be on the road! From October 2-4, we’ll be holding a historical mini-session in Winona and the surrounding communities. Southeastern Minnesota will host legislators as a number of committee hearings, roundtable discussions, and informative tours will take place in Winona, Austin, and Rochester.

Though the Minnesota House doesn’t officially reconvene until February 2020, the mini-session offers a chance for my colleagues and I to see our work through a different lens outside of St. Paul. The last mini-session was in 1997 in Willmar, and we’re hoping our work this year restarts the tradition of holding offsite hearings in odd-numbered years. Events and logistics are still being finalized, but I look forward to sharing how it went in my next update.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions, issues or concerns through my email at or by phone at 651-296-9889. If you would like to schedule an appointment or invite me to an event, please contact my Committee Legislative Assistant at
I look forward to hearing from you!
Cheryl Youakim
State Representative