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

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Legislative Update- January 15, 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021

Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you and yours well. Committee work got underway this week and I’m looking forward to the work ahead to help Minnesotans navigate the challenges before us as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s an update from the Capitol:


House DFL Majority announces first priorities for 2021

Minnesotans deserve to be safe, healthy, and have economic security. While vaccines bring hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight, COVID-19 continues to threaten our families and communities. House Democrats are focused on responding to the needs of Minnesotans, helping them weather this pandemic and thrive after it ends. 

House Democrats’ first priorities for the 2021 session are all about making sure we give back to the Minnesotans who have given the most and risked the most to keep the rest of us safe and healthy — our nurses and frontline health care providers; our hospitality workforce and the restaurants and bars that employ them; child care providers; teachers. Click here to watch the full announcement, or read coverage from the Star Tribune here.


Session Priorities v3


Minnesota Department of Health launches new tool to track vaccine progress

The Walz-Flanagan Administration launched a public vaccine data dashboard to detail the progress of COVID-19 vaccine allocation, distribution and administration across Minnesota. Click here to access it.  

The dashboard, produced by Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), provides a visual and user-friendly way to view key vaccination data for our state. The dashboard includes information on the number of doses promised (allocated) to the state by the federal government; shipped to Minnesota providers; and administered to Minnesotans. The dashboard will be updated daily at 11:00 a.m.



Business relief payments begin

Governor Walz announced this week that the Minnesota Department of Revenue has issued $67.3 million in COVID-19 Business Relief Payments to 3,891 eligible businesses in Minnesota. The relief payments were part of bipartisan legislation passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the governor in December to help restaurants, bars, gyms, and bowling centers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation also delivers direct funding to all of Minnesota’s 87 counties to set up local grant relief programs.

Direct payment requirements for businesses include:

  • Location in Minnesota
  • Had at least $10,000 in taxable sales in 2019
  • Filed Sales Tax returns in 2019 and 2020
  • Experienced a 30% drop in year-over-year taxable sales for April-September periods
  • Being categorized by the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance program as a restaurant, bar, gym, bowling center, or similar business

Businesses that did not receive a COVID-19 Business Relief Payment but think they meet the program criteria can contact the department. An online inquiry process will be available beginning Tuesday, January 19, and will remain open through Friday, February 5. An additional round of payments will be made after that date for businesses that qualify.

Please feel free to reach out if you have questions or need assistance.

Community Conversation schedule announced

It’s important for me to hear from you! I hope you can join me for one of my virtual community conversations.


Please RSVP to my legislative assistant Eric Petersen at, and include the date you’d like to attend in the subject line to receive the Zoom information.

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