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

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Legislative Update- May 15, 2021

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Rep. Youakim


Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the sunshine. State budget negotiations continue. As you may have read in the news, federal COVID-19 relief funds arrived in Minnesota earlier this week.  On Wednesday, House Speaker Melissa Hortman and House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler held a media availability to provide an update on the status of state budget negotiations with Senate Republicans. The House DFL is insisting Senate Republicans work with us to find agreement on police reform & accountability legislation and a budget that helps students, families, and workers emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are continuing to work to find agreement to pass a budget to benefit all Minnesotans.

Direction for the use of the federal COVID relief funds are also coming into play as the House leadership, Senate leadership, and the Governor work on final budget targets. During the last few Tax Conference Committees, we had the Minnesota Management and Budget Agency go over the 150-page federal treasury guidance on how the funds can be used in a variety of areas. While we are constitutionally required to adjourn on May 17, conference committees will continue as working groups to hash out their differences so that we can get a state budget set by June 30th.

Today I had the opportunity to attend the We Make Minnesota Rally before headed to the Floor for session. This advocacy group does incredible work, focused on fiscally responsible investments that put Minnesotans at the forefront of a final budget plan to ensure we all thrive. You can learn more about We Make Minnesota here.



Healthy Start Act Signed into Law

The Healthy Start Act allows the Commissioner of Corrections to place women who are pregnant or immediately postpartum into community alternatives such as halfway houses, supervise them in accordance with current statute, and provide them treatment and programming in the placement location for the duration of their pregnancy and for up to one year post-birth to allow for the child to be near their mother for the first year of their lives. The bill, which I was proud to co-author, received strong bipartisan support and was signed into law yesterday. Click here for coverage from House Public Information Services.

Mask Requirements are Changing as a Result of New CDC Guidance

The CDC announced Thursday that masks are no longer required for fully-vaccinated individuals, either indoors or outside. Minnesotans should follow CDC guidance and wear masks in medical settings and on public transportation, whether or not they are fully vaccinated. Private businesses and local municipalities may still put in place face covering requirements. Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, along with the existing face covering guidance for schools and child care settings, remains in effect. Click here for coverage from WCCO.

Mask Mandate

Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Earns Bipartisan Support in the House

The Minnesota House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday night to legalize cannabis for adult use and expunge records for people convicted of non-violent offenses involving cannabis. Legislators voted 72-61 to approve the bill. Yesterday’s vote is a positive step forward in continuing the conversation on legalizing adult-use cannabis in Minnesota. House DFLers have engaged with Minnesotans and thoroughly vetted the proposal. We know Minnesota’s current cannabis laws are doing more harm than good. Thursday’s vote is a positive step forward in continuing the conversation on legalizing adult-use cannabis in Minnesota, even though the bill has no path forward in the Senate this year. Click here to watch a replay of the entire debate.

Cannabis Racial Inequality




Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime with questions or input at or 651-296-9889 as we move through this next phase of session. Remote operations in the House continue, so email is the quickest way to reach me. Thank you for the honor of serving our Hopkins and St. Louis Park neighbors at the State Capitol.

Have a nice weekend!

Be well,


Cheryl Youakim

State Representative