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

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Legislative Update- May 1, 2020

Friday, May 1, 2020

Rep. Youakim


Dear Neighbors,

It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the month of May. With less than three weeks to go until the legislature is constitutionally required to adjourn on May 18, my House colleagues and I are working on addressing disparities and filling gaps of those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Working together, we can decide our future by following public health recommendations to keep our communities safe as we look toward building a stronger, safer Minnesota and the next steps we must take as a state to address the pandemic.

Committees continue to wrap up their work and send bills to the House floor for a full House vote. While our work was delayed for a few weeks, as we prepared to “distance” legislate, we continued to work toward an orderly end of session. Thursday, the Transportation Committee that I serve on sent a policy bill to the floor. Today, the Education Policy Committee I chair rolled out our slimmed-down version of our policy bill, which we will send to the floor next Wednesday. For the next couple of weeks, you will see more floor action as we move through these bills, as well as consider a bonding bill and a possible tax bill.




House Plan to Protect Minnesotans’ Economic Security

This week, the House outlined our economic security plan to assist Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The key priorities we are focused on are: housing assistance for renters and homeowners; ensuring full pay for hourly school workers; enacting a well-deserved and overdue raise for personal care assistants who care for vulnerable Minnesotans; improving access to broadband internet; and making modest investments in low-income working Minnesotans to the Minnesota Family Investment Program.   

House Economic Agenda

Governor Extends Stay at Home Order; Lifts Some Restrictions

On Thursday, Governor Walz extended the Stay at Home order until May 18 and has lifted additional restrictions. Starting Monday, retail businesses and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pick-up. This will put up to 30,000 Minnesotans back to work in a safe, coordinated way. Businesses must:

  • Develop and publicly post a plan for how to open safely.
  • Use online payment whenever possible.
  • Employees and customers should wear masks and protective equipment.
  • In curbside pick-up scenarios, social distancing guidelines apply. If possible, customers should not leave their vehicle.
  • In delivery scenarios, items should be deposited outside a customer’s residence.

Extended Order

Additional Information on PUA Payments

Here’s what Minnesotans need to know about applying for PUA:

  • If you have already applied for regular unemployment benefits, you do not need to do anything extra to qualify for PUA. DEED will automatically establish a PUA benefit account for you if you are eligible.
  • If you have not applied for unemployment benefits yet, special instructions for self-employed and 1099 workers are available here. These instructions include steps you can take to make your account easily identifiable as potentially eligible for PUA.
    • If you applied for unemployment benefits without following those instructions, don’t worry – you don’t need to change anything. Your account will still be reviewed for PUA eligibility.
  • If you have not heard from DEED yet, don’t worry. DEED expects to be in touch with most people who are eligible for benefits under PUA by the end of April. There is no need to call or follow-up; you will hear from DEED proactively if we need additional information to determine eligibility.
  • You will receive information about PUA benefits in your online account, by email, and by mail.
  • Applicants who receive PUA benefits will also receive the $600/week additional payment.
  • PUA benefits will be backdated to whenever you first became eligible due to COVID-19.
  • Additional information, including answers to many commonly asked questions, can be found here: COVID-19 information for self-employed people and independent contractors


Keep in Touch

Please continue reaching out to me with questions, ideas, or input at or by phone at 651-296-9889.

Have a good weekend. Be safe and be well!