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

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Legislative Update- April 3, 2020

Friday, April 3, 2020

Rep. Youakim


Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you staying well and finding occasional opportunities to get outside to enjoy springtime in Minnesota (practicing physical distancing of six feet). The Governor’s Stay at Home Executive Order is meant to limit movements to limit the spread of COVID-19 and allow time for a larger medical response to be put in place. But it’s also important to make sure you’re getting sunshine, fresh air, and some exercise when you can.

Distance Learning Begins

Distance learning began this week for students across the state. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the teachers, administrators, and school staff that are making sure our kids have what they need to continue their education, are fed, and feel safe!


On Wednesday, the Minnesota House of Representatives Rules and Legislative Administration Committee held a remote hearing to outline the new House remote committee process. House Rule 10.01, passed on March 26th, allows floor and committee procedures related to member debate and voting to occur by means of distance voting, remote electronic voting, or voting by other means designed to allow legislative operations while preserving the safety of the public, staff, and members.

While this committee hearing was audio-only, the House is working to implement video committee meetings in the future. Audio — and future video — of any remote hearings will be broadcast live on the House websiteYouTube, and Facebook

Members of the public interested in testifying in future committees should email committee staff. Detailed contact information will be provided in meeting notices and on the House website when meetings are posted. Members of the public are also encouraged to stay in touch with their State Representatives during the pandemic through email, phone, virtual town halls and public briefings, legislator newsletters, House committee listservs, and House Public Information.

New Guide for Small Businesses

In previous emails, I’ve mentioned several state and federal programs that were created to help small businesses affected by COVID-19. Different programs make sense for different businesses, so the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) put out a guide that details all of the assistance available in one spot. This information can help small businesses determine which programs might work for them. Click here to view the guide.

Waived Cost-Sharing for COVID-19 Treatment

Governor Walz yesterday announced that Minnesota’s health plans agreed to waive cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19. The announcement comes in response to a letter, sent on March 13 by the Governor and State Commissioners of Commerce and Health, urging Minnesota health plans to remove barriers to coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. This move ensures that Minnesotans with commercial insurance—including individuals, small businesses, and some large businesses—are now eligible for the following benefits:

  • Minnesotans will have no cost-sharing charges for COVID testing.
  • Minnesotans who are hospitalized will have no cost-sharing charges for in-network hospitalization.
  • Minnesotans will have expanded access to telemedicine services. This will help people to stay home and access care if they need it.

This is a long overdue measure, but nonetheless, glad the health plans are working with the Governor to make this a reality.




2020 Census

By now, Minnesotans should have received a postcard with instructions to fill out the Census. Please take five minutes today to complete the Census by phone, online, or by mail.

The Census is not only about funding for our communities, it's also about fair representation at the federal, state, and local levels. It helps plan roads, schools, hospitals, senior centers, and emergency services to best serve our communities. Even a single missed person in the census could mean a forfeited $28,000 in funding over the course of ten years. Visit to complete it! 

We Count MN

Anti-Discrimination Efforts

Discrimination is never acceptable, but we’re seeing a rise in cases due to fear and ignorance related to COVID-19. It’s important to me to make sure Minnesotans do not experience discrimination or barriers to any service or care.

If you have been discriminated against, contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Call 1-833-454-0148 to speak with an investigator. The entire process is free. Interpretation and translation services are available. Please follow up with my office if you are encountering difficulties getting through.


Governor’s Remote State of the State Address

Governor Walz will give his annual State of the State address on this Sunday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. from the Governor's Residence. The address will be streamed live and can be accessed on Facebook, YouTube, or local television stations.


COVID-19 Resources for Minnesotans with Alzheimer’s

No one should ever face Alzheimer's alone, especially in times like we are experiencing now with COVID-19 and the required social-distancing. Resources for those impacted by dementia and Alzheimer's disease are provided by the Alzheimer's Association. Fortunately, their organization is a nimble one and has been able to pivot and adapt their services to deliver critical programs to the people who need them most. Online resources, virtual community programs, telephone support groups, caregiver tips and a 24/7 Helpline are all available.

Helpline 800.272.3900 |  

Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime with input, ideas, or questions. I am here to help if you need any assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact me at 651-296-9889 or send an email to It’s an honor to serve our Hopkins and St. Louis Park communities at the state legislature.

Get out, enjoy the weather, and be well!