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

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Legislative Update- February 19, 2021

Friday, February 19, 2021

Rep. Youakim


Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you and your family well. With the subzero weather easing up, I hope you have an opportunity to enjoy some time outside this weekend. If you’re able, I’d love to have you join me and our neighbors for a virtual Community Conversation tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. Please RSVP to my Legislative Assistant Eric at to receive the Zoom information.

If you can't make it tomorrow, I'll be hosting two more in March. Check out those dates and times below. I hope to see you online!

If you missed our SD 46 virtual town hall meeting on Wednesday, you can watch a recap of our conversation here. You do not need to have a Facebook account to view it.




Our work continues in the Minnesota House. Here’s an update on some new initiatives and resources:

New COVID-19 Vaccine Connector

Minnesotans can use a new tool to find out when, where, and how to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to check out the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector.

Minnesotans who have not yet been vaccinated are encouraged to sign up for the Vaccine Connector, regardless of their current vaccine eligibility status. There is no cost and no restricted time period for signing up.

Minnesotans unable to sign up online can call 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone. Translation is available by phone in all languages. Minnesotans can call the translation hotline at 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone.

We still are not getting in enough vaccine doses to address the needs of the 65 and older group, so please be patient. However, I encourage you to sign up so that you are on the list if there are available vaccines. On a personal note, my mother (in the 65+ category) signed up on the list yesterday morning and got contacted that very day and now has had her first dose.


Legislation Update

I’ve been working on several pieces of legislation around mental health. I’m pleased to share the bill to expand mental health for children 16 and 17 year old in inpatient facilities has made it through all the necessary committee stops and is on its way to the House Floor.

This week, I also had the opportunity to present a bipartisan bill to the Education Finance Committee that would expand educational services to children in residential treatment facilities. This is being laid over for possible inclusion to a larger education finance bill.

Another bill I had in the Education Policy committee this week would provide paid training for paraprofessionals. You may remember I’ve carried this legislation in the past, and I am working hard to get it across the finish line this year.

New School Guidance

As hospitalizations and new COVID-19 cases decline and Minnesota makes progress vaccinating educators, Governor Walz updated Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan to allow more middle and high school students to return to the classroom.

Beginning February 22nd, all middle and high school students can return to the classroom for hybrid or in-person learning. Schools still need to follow the CDC guidelines for masking, distancing, and mitigation. Gov. Walz expects all schools to offer their students some form of in-person learning by March 8.


Minnesotans Kick Off 2021 Driver’s Licenses for All Legislation

Minnesotans and state lawmakers kicked off the 2021 initiative to provide driver’s licenses for all, regardless of immigration status. I have been a long-time supporter of this legislation because it’s about increasing public safety on our roadways and ensuring dignity for our hardworking immigrant neighbors who contribute to our local and state economy. Video of the press conference featuring Minnesotans’ personal stories is available here.

Minnesota Values Podcast Launches Third Season

The Minnesota Values Podcast is BACK! The first episode of Season 3 features an interview with Rep. Mohamud Noor, the chief author of House Democrats’ number one priority bill to start 2021. House File 1 is focused on providing economic security to workers and families that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts. 

Stay in Touch

I am compiling a legislative survey that I hope to launch next week for our Hopkins and St. Louis Park residents. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, please continue to contact me anytime at or 651-296-9889. Because of our remote operations in the House, email is the fastest way to reach me.

I hope you have a nice and safe weekend.



Cheryl Youakim

State Representative