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 Update- May 8, 2020

Friday, May 8, 2020

Rep. Youakim


Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you well! We’re down to the wire on wrapping up various legislative initiatives to help respond to Minnesotans’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most committees have finalized other important, larger bills that are now headed to the House Floor. The Education Policy Committee, which I chair, finished our policy bill on Wednesday. You can read more about what’s included in the slimmed down version of our policy bill from the nonpartisan office of House Public Information here. The bill would ease burdens on our school’s administration/staff and would create a better climate for our students.  

Revised Budget Forecast

Early this week, we received an updated state budget forecast showing a projected $2.4 billion deficit in the current biennium. Thanks to prudent and responsible fiscal management in recent years, the $2.3 billion in rainy-day fund and budget reserves will help us get through this economic storm. Although we can plan on incoming federal funds to help us further respond to the Minnesotans’ needs during the pandemic, we must be cautious and careful in how we prioritize proposals that reflect our values.

Legislative Action in the House

Yesterday, the Minnesota House passed a package of COVID-19 economic security legislation. The bill, HF 1507, includes provisions for housing assistance for renters, homeowners, and landlords, a wage increase for personal care assistants, funding to expand broadband internet access, and small business loans. This ‘bread and butter’ package helps get to the heart of what Minnesotans expect and deserve: a roof over their heads; a pay increase for those who take care of the most vulnerable in our society; basic internet access to help serve our students in distance learning; and support for our smallest businesses who haven’t been able to tap into federal relief funds. The bill directs funding to come from the state’s $1.87 billion share of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act if available.


House Economic Agenda


Protecting Pay for Hourly School Workers

Earlier this week, we passed the “Hourly School Workers” legislation, which delivers compensation for hourly school employees – the paraprofessionals, school nutrition personnel, bus drivers, and more – who are still working for our kids and helping our families during the pandemic. I was glad to vote to protect their economic security by ensuring full pay for their hours worked. 



Securing our Elections

Also this week, the House passed legislation to allow for the utilization of Help America Vote Act (HAVA) federal funds in Minnesota for our upcoming elections in August and November. These funds will be used to ensure the health and safety of election officials and in-person voters. They’ll also go toward preparation for increased absentee voting, new polling place locations, the purchase of sanitation and disinfectant supplies, and public outreach for implementing social distancing guidelines related to voting. Minnesotans are proud that we consistently lead the nation in civic engagement and voting— I was glad to support this bill to help ensure it’s easy and accessible—even during a pandemic.


Elective Surgeries to Resume Next Week

Governor Walz announced on Tuesday that elective procedures will soon be allowed to resume -- as early as next week -- on the condition that health care providers develop a plan to safely provide these procedures in a manner that is consistent with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines. You can read more about the executive order here.



National Nurses and Teachers Week

This week, we honor nurses and teachers nationally. Thank you nurses and teachers!

We are fortunate to have such compassionate professionals keeping our families and students safe, healthy, and successful in their everyday lives.

On a personal note, I would like to give a shout-out to the many teachers (current and retired) in our family: Jacques Youakim, Gannon Youakim, Danielle Funk, Shannon Rader, Theresa Myos, Leila Youakim, and Dani Hovanetz as well as retired teachers Roger Funk, Lee Hovanetz, and John Hovanetz. Also, an special thanks to Mary Funk who is a retired nurse.



Keep in Touch

Please contact me anytime with questions or input. I appreciate hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out. My email is and my phone is 651-296-9889.

I would also like to wish all mothers, grandmothers, and guardians out there that our taking care of children and raising our future. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!

Be well,