Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

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

Back to profile

Legislative Weekly Recap- February 17-24, 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020
Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

It was another busy week at the Capitol. We had floor sessions every day last week, except Friday. These floor sessions were filled with bill introductions and re-referrals to keep us moving before the first committee deadline for policy bills, which is scheduled for Friday, March 20. My week was also filled with meetings to get my individual legislative priorities ready, as well as firming up the schedule for the House Education Policy Committee that I chair. This week, we plan to have a few longer floor sessions, stay tuned.

Community Conversations

I’m hosting a few more Community Conversations in February and March, 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.


Education Policy & Finance

Last week, the House Education Policy Committee focused on improving public health in our schools and increasing diversity among teachers to reflect more of their student populations. Rep. Edelson’s legislation would require schools to adopt vaping awareness and prevention curriculum into their health classes. My colleague Rep. Kunesh-Podein presented her bill that aims to support and strengthen existing programs to help attract, prepare and retain teachers of color and American Indian teachers. The bill goes next to the Education Finance Division for consideration. Read more here. In the Education Finance Committee, we continued to hear from organizations that were grant recipients from last year’s session.

This week the Education Policy Committee will be meeting on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to hear a multitude of bills. Tuesday, we will be hearing from District 287 and the work they are doing around trauma-informed education. Wednesday, we will be hearing the Governor’s education policy bill, as well as the Professional Educators Licenses and Standards Board bill. And on Friday, we will be hearing a variety of bills dealing with the health and safety of students in our classrooms.


In Taxes last week, we heard a few bills to address leftover issues around conformity, as well as a few overviews of current programs.


The House Transportation Finance and Policy Division started the week hearing a variety of bills dealing with rail yard safety, one on how the Metropolitan Council reviews projects and one that addresses how they share data. We also approved a bill sponsored by Vice-Chair Brad Tabke that would direct the Metropolitan Council, which oversees Metro Transit, to create a six-month pilot project transit ambassador program similar to those rolled out recently in cities like San Francisco and Seattle.

The unarmed agents would ride light rail trains to check fares, assist passengers in connecting to services they may need, be on the watch for quality-of-life issues like smoking on trains or platforms, and de-escalate potentially violent situations. We can all agree that all Minnesotans deserve to be safe when they are on the light rail or train, but when Republican lawmakers vilify public transit, the metro area in general, and those who use it, it’s divisive and will not be tolerated.

Announcing Season 2 of the Minnesota Values Podcast

Season 2 of the Minnesota Values Podcast kicked off on Tuesday, Feb. 11 on the first day of the new legislative session. You can listen anywhere podcasts are available, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

Every week, my colleagues Rep. Liz Olson and Rep. Jamie Long bring you real stories from real Minnesotans about the values that inspire action at the State Capitol and in our communities. Episodes are less than 30 minutes each, so you can easily listen during your commute, at the gym, or as you wind down at night.


Constituent and Organizations

Last week, I had the great opportunity to hear thoughts from folks with Community and Technical Colleges, Firefighters from Hopkins and St. Louis Park, and folks here for Xcel Energy day on the hill. I also had the chance to speak with a group of students here with our Alternative Learning Centers. And, I sat on a panel to discuss education issues with leaders here with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. I ended the week attending the Hopkins Education Foundation Gala. It was fun visiting with friends and constituents participating in a spirited auction. Funds raised will go to a variety of projects leading to pathways to a healthy future for our students and staff at Hopkins Schools.


Excel Energy Consitutents


St. Louis Park & Hopkins Firefighters


Hopkins Education Foundation Gala

I look forward to more meetings with constituents as folks attend “Days on the Hill” and stay engaged. 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 new Committee Legislative Assistant at  I look forward to hearing from you!  

Cheryl Youakim