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

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Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Rep. Youakim


Dear Neighbors,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with peace, love, and good health.  

With 2020 almost behind us and vaccine distribution underway (38,014 Minnesotans have already received the initial dose), we have much to be grateful for as we move forward into the new year. I wish you and yours a bright and joyful 2021.




New Laws Take Effect

Beginning on January 1, a significant pair of new laws go into effect. The first deals with storage and testing of sexual assault kits and will require hospitals to submit an examination kit to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension within 60 days. The other new law aims to improve continuity of health care via shortened timelines for prior authorization. The original legislation was authored by my House colleague Rep. Kelly Morrison, a practicing physician who has direct experience with patients dealing with the red tape of the pre-authorization process.  

I was glad to support both bills when they passed. You can read more about them here.

Federal Stimulus Package-UI Update

As you may have read in the news, Congress passed new federal stimulus legislation last week.  

This new legislation may impact the unemployment benefits for Minnesotans. Effective Dec. 27, 2020, the legislation will deliver:

  • 11 more weeks of benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program.
  • 11 more weeks of benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
  • A $300 per week supplemental payment to anyone receiving unemployment benefits from any program.
  • A new program called Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides a $100 per week supplemental payment for certain self-employed people/independent contractors who are collecting regular unemployment benefits.  

In Minnesota the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will implement the recently passed Minnesota Additional Benefits program for workers whose UI benefits have ended. You don't need to re-apply; DEED will add either state or federal benefits as appropriate. Learn more at

Keep in Touch

Please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime at or 651-296-9889 with feedback or questions. Session will be functioning under remote operations, so email is the fastest way to connect. I plan to host a series of virtual community coffee hours this session and am finalizing those details. Please stay tuned!

For additional updates from the Capitol and community, you’re welcome to follow or ‘like’ my official Facebook page.

Stay safe and be well.



Cheryl Youakim

State Representative