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

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Legislative Weekly Recap- First Week of Session

Monday, February 17, 2020
Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

Our first week of the 2020 legislative session is now behind us and we have hit the ground running. I am thrilled to be back at the Capitol representing our communities of Hopkins and St. Louis Park! Most of the House committees have already met and started to pass legislation. Last session, we passed a two-year budget for Minnesota. This year’s session is just over three months long and will focus on a public infrastructure improvement projects, or ‘bonding’ bill, as well as policy focused bills. There may be a supplemental budget passed this year to boost investments in necessary areas like education, public safety, and transportation.

Once again, this year I am the Chair of the House Education Policy Committee. I also serve on the Education Finance Committee, the Transportation Finance and Policy Committee, as well as the Tax Committee.

One Minnesota

Session started on Tuesday, February 11. The next day, we gathered for the One Minnesota conference hosted by the Humphrey Center for Public Policy. It is a chance for my House and Senate colleagues to come together to learn about issues coming up this session, as well as develop team building. This year we heard from redistricting experts, the state demographer and members from the National Council of State Legislators who provided additional strategies around negotiations. We also spent some time discussing institutional changes we would like to see that could help the legislative process move more efficiently and transparently.

Hometown Heroes Act

On Thursday last week, my bill, the Hometown Heroes Act, received a public hearing in the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee. The bipartisan legislation addresses the alarmingly high incidence of cancer, cardiac issues and emotional trauma facing the state’s 22,000 firefighters and by establishing one-time lump-sum “Critical Care” grants for all Minnesota firefighters diagnosed with cancer or cardiac issues, guaranteeing $30,000 per diagnosis. It also creates an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for all Minnesota firefighters facing emotional trauma issues unique to their occupation. Our firefighters deserve the support they need to deal with the dangers they face both physically and mentally doing the important work we have asked them to do.


Great Start for All Minnesota Children Act Introduced

The 2020 legislative session kicked off with a bold proposal to invest $500 million in early care and learning targeted at Minnesotans from birth to age three. We are facing two crises: education opportunity gaps and inaccessible and unaffordable child care. In 2020, House DFLers will invest in early care and learning to support families and close education opportunity gaps -- because DFL lawmakers believe all children deserve a great start in life. Children, parents, and childcare providers all stand to benefit from our proposal. Read more in this story from the Associated Press. You can also watch the press conference here


Community Conversations

Your continued input and ideas are needed! I’m hosting a series of Community Conversations over the next few months, and I’d love to see you at one of these events in St. Louis Park or Hopkins:

  • Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the Hopkins Public Library Community Room, 22 11th Ave. N, Hopkins, MN
  • Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the St. Louis Park Public Library, 3240 Library Lane, St. Louis Park, MN
  • Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 12:00-1:30 p.m. at the St. Louis Park Public Library, 3240 Library Lane, St. Louis Park, MN

Your voices are important to have around the table and serve to help me to best represent our St. Louis Park and Hopkins neighborhoods at the State Capitol.

Keep in Touch

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