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

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Legislative Update- January 8, 2021

Friday, January 8, 2021

Rep. Youakim


Dear Neighbors,

It was with deep sadness and frustration that I watched the deadly rioting that occurred in Washington D.C. this week. All of us – elected officials, the media, and community leaders – have a responsibility to use our voices to call out disinformation and baseless conspiracy theories especially those that challenge the integrity of our elections and peaceful transition of power. History has shown us that words have consequences and with the chaos that occurred on Wednesday we saw that play out in real time. We have work to do in building trust and respect in our country again and I cannot think of a better place to do that than locally in our communities.

Part of building that trust and respect is through conversations with each other. I am going to be starting up my Community Conversation series again.

To protect public health amid the ongoing pandemic, I’ll be hosting these virtually this year to gain input from community members. The dates of the conversations are listed below:

Saturday, January 23 – 10:30 am - Noon

Tuesday, January 26 – 6:30-8 pm

Tuesday, February 9 – 6:30-8 pm

Saturday, February 20 – 10:30 am- Noon

Tuesday, March 9 – 6:30-8 pm

Saturday, March 13 – 10:30 am- Noon

We’ll gather using the videoconferencing platform Zoom. Please RSVP with the date you’d like to attend with my legislative assistant Eric Petersen at to receive the information on how to join.

Small Business Grant Applications Open

Hennepin County opened the small business grant application process for businesses and nonprofits financially impacted by the pandemic. The Minnesota Small Business Relief program, which was established as a result of the collaboration and work of the legislature and governor, contains $24.6 million in funding. The online application form is now live and can be accessed here. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any help with the application or have questions about eligibility.

Legislative Session Gets Underway

On Tuesday, I was honored to take the oath office to represent our Hopkins and St. Louis Park communities for another two-year term in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Our state faces many challenges ahead as we work together to find common ground on additional COVID-19 relief and recovery strategies for those most impacted by the pandemic.




Committee Assignments

I will serve on the following committees this session: Education Finance; Taxes; and the Local Government Division. I’m also excited to share that I’ve been appointed to chair the Property and Local Tax Division. I served on the Property Tax and Local Government Division during my first four years in the legislature and have served the last two years on the Tax Committee. I will utilize those combined experiences, my nine years of experience on the Hopkins City Council, and your input to ensure our system is fair, equitable, and transparent.

Session Tool-Kit

I’ve put together a session “tool-kit” for you to ensure you’re able to keep up with and participate in the legislative process remotely. As we continue to operate under recommended public health guidelines, it’s important to me that we ensure openness and transparency for the public. I’m pleased to share that the House is expanding the number of simultaneous committees it can webcast live from a maximum of two to five. You can use the link above to find the committee hearing you are interested in watching.

The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services office offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. You can subscribe to receive these here.  To track bills of interest through the legislative process, I encourage you to utilize the MyBills feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives’ website here.

My weekly updates from the Capitol are another great way to stay connected. If you haven’t subscribed or would like to receive my email newsletters please share this link with you neighbors, coworkers, and friends.

COVID-19 Guidance: Dials Turning

This week, Governor Tim Walz announced that certain restrictions on various activities and businesses will be relaxed starting Monday, January 11. The governor pointed to improvements in several metrics, including case counts and hospital capacity, as well as the distribution of the vaccine. The changes include the following:

  • Indoor dining at bars and restaurants can open at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 150 people. Parties of no more than six people must remain six feet from other parties; bar seating is open to parties of two; reservations are required; and establishments must close dine-in service by 10 p.m.
  • Gym capacity remains capped at 25 percent but maximum capacity increases to 150 and classes can increase to 25 people, assuming distancing can be observed. Machines and people must maintain nine- feet of distance. Face coverings are required.
  • Outdoor events and entertainment continue at 25 percent capacity, but maximum capacity increases to 250 people. Social distancing is required.
  • Indoor events and entertainment – like bowling alleys, movie theaters, and museums – may open at 25 percent, with no more than 150 people in each area of the venue. Face coverings are required, and they may not offer food service after 10 p.m.
  • Youth and adult organized sports have resumed practice as of January 4 and games resume January 14 with spectators, following the appropriate capacity limits for indoor or outdoor venues. Inter-region tournaments and out of state play are discouraged.
  • Places of worship remain open at 50% capacity but without an overall maximum capacity.

Dial update

With vaccine administration already underway (over 100,000 Minnesotans have received the initial dose), we can finally see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. However, it’s still critically important we continue to follow public health guidelines by masking up, washing our hands frequently, maintaining a safe distance from others, avoiding large groups and gatherings, getting tested if we feel sick, and staying home when we can.

Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out at or by leaving me a voicemail at 651-296-9889. Because we are still operating remotely in the Minnesota House of Representatives, email is the best way to reach me. You’re welcome to follow me on my official Facebook page for additional community and Capitol updates.

Thank you for the honor of serving our Hopkins and St. Louis Park families in the Legislature!

Stay well,


Cheryl Youakim

State Representative