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

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Legislative Update- January 29, 2021

Friday, January 29, 2021

Rep. Youakim


Dear Neighbors,

A big thank you to everyone who has attended the first of two community conversations in January. We’ll gather online next time on February 9 at 6:30 p.m. Please RSVP to my legislative assistant Eric, at Hearing from you is a vital part of this work, and I’m always grateful for your input and questions.


It was a busy week at the Legislature! Bills are moving through the committee process and several new COVID-19 assistance measures have been introduced in the House.

Here’s an update and overview of these proposals:

MinnesotaCare Public Option

Minnesota families, local communities, and our state’s economy are all stronger when everyone has the health care they need. This week, Minnesota small business owners, health care experts, faith leaders, and my legislative colleagues unveiled the MinnesotaCare Public Option. This legislation would allow Minnesotans to enroll in MinnesotaCare – a bipartisan solution created in 1992 to provide health care for low-income Minnesotans – and take advantage of lower out-of-pocket costs and access to a strong network of providers. Under this proposal, Minnesotans beyond the current income guidelines can enroll in the program, paying premiums on a sliding, income-based scale.




Improving Workplace Safety for Meat Packing and Food Processing Plant Workers

Minnesota lawmakers and meatpacking workers from Worthington, St. Cloud, and Austin announced new legislation this week to improve safety on the job for the working people employed by meat packing and food processing plants. The proposal would provide paid leave to all meat and poultry processing workers to recuperate from an illness, injury or to care for an ill family member. The “Minnesota Safe Workplaces for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers Act” is authored by my colleague Rep. Wolgamott of St. Cloud. Kare11 covered the announcement and you can learn more here.

Governor’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget Announced

This week, Governor Walz announced his COVID-19 Recovery Budget, focused on supporting small businesses and driving our economic recovery, ensuring students can catch up on learning opportunities lost over the past year, and supporting working families struggling during this crisis.

Recovery Budget

The Governor’s budget will help confront many challenges Minnesotans continue to face amid the ongoing pandemic. I look forward to working with him, and my legislative colleagues, to protect our critical investments in health care and education. I’m committed to helping our working families, students, and businesses move beyond this crisis to build a strong foundation for the future.

House Select Committee Report on Racial Justice

Also this week, the Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee reviewed the House Select Committee on Racial Justice’s report to the Legislature. The final version of the report, which was approved in December, calls on the Legislature to act to dismantle racism through a series of policy recommendations in areas such as economic development, housing, education, public safety, health and human services, and environmental justice. We have more work to do to ensure everyone has an opportunity to succeed, no exceptions, and I’m glad to see efforts are underway to address racial inequities in Minnesota.


Keep in Touch

Please contact me anytime at or 651-296-9889. Email is the quickest way to reach me as we continue to operate remotely throughout the session.

Thank you for the honor of representing our Hopkins and St. Louis Park residents and families in the Minnesota House!

Have a great weekend.

Be well,


Cheryl Youakim

State Representative