Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

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

Back to profile

Legislative Update- September 3, 2021

Friday, September 3, 2021

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

It’s hard to believe it’s already back to school season in Minnesota! As the wife, mother, and sister-in-law of the multiple teachers in our family, I have seen firsthand the excitement and stress that comes with the beginning of the school year. Thank you to all of our teachers, administrators, school staff, parents, and our students for starting the new school year with energy and optimism. Wishing all of our Hopkins and St. Louis Park students and families a great year ahead.



Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grants to Begin Accepting Applications September 20

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will begin accepting applications for the Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program on September 20th. This is a new a new bipartisan, statewide economic redevelopment program the legislature funded this year in the state budget. A total of $64,200,000 is available in grants for Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be distributed 50/50 between the Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply here. Don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if you have questions or need assistance.


Update on Minnesota Taxes

Since various tax changes have gone into effect on July 1, the Minnesota Department of Revenue has been working hard to implement those changes, while judiciously providing updates on the progress being made on updating forms, developing, and testing MNDOR’s system, communicating to impacted taxpayers who need to amend their returns, and providing information on when refunds start going out to impacted taxpayers.

These changes relate to unemployment compensation, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness, and other retroactive conformity provisions affecting tax years 2017 through 2020. 

Here’s the update they shared with me that I thought you might find useful:

  • Nearly 8,000 letters have been sent to individual taxpayers who will need to file an amended return to receive the UI and/or PPP loan forgiveness or take advantage of other provisions from the tax law change. Those receiving this letter should follow the instructions on the letter and file the amended return when they are ready.   
  • Over 2,000 returns impacted by PPP changes filed at the corporate entity level have started to receive refunds. These will continue to go out into September. These returns make up a small fraction of the total amount of impacted returns, do not require system development and testing, and are processed manually.
  • MNDOR completed the initial development phase of the system that will be needed to adjust over 540,000 tax returns and have moved on to the testing phase of this process. The uniqueness and timing of this type of system change makes it imperative that they get the development and testing parts of this process right so there aren’t mistakes that could result taxpayers missing out on the intended benefits or not getting the right refund amount. MNDOR will provide a timeframe for when these refunds will start going out once we’ve completed the testing process.  
  • In late July, MNDOR updated Minnesota tax forms for tax year 2020.If you have not yet filed a 2020 return, or filed for an extension, you may file using the updated forms to claim the recently passed unemployment and PPP loan forgiveness income exclusions and deductions, as well as other retroactive conformity provisions. 
  • MNDOR has posted near final 2021 Minnesota income and corporate tax forms on their website. Near final forms are drafts and should not be used to file returns. There may be additional changes to these forms, including sections that reference federal tax forms. These near final forms are for reference only.


Keep in Touch

Thank you to Janet Entzel, for pulling together a great group of folks at Parkshore! Parkshore residents not only have amazing backgrounds, but are incredibly engaged in environmental protections, funding our public education system, transit investment, and much more. Janet is also a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives (Rep. Janet H. Clark 1975-1984) and had amazing insights to share, including what it was like to be one of the only five women members of the Minnesota House during the 1975-76 session.


During the legislative interim, I spend time meeting with folks all over our district to touch base and dig a little deeper into issues that our community cares about. Thank you to all who have met with me over the last few weeks; you help me to do my job better as your representative in St. Paul. I’m excited for the conversations coming up in the following weeks and months. I will be posting some dates for Zoom community conversations soon.


Wishing you a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend. Please don’t hesitate to reach out anytime with questions or input at 651-296-9889 or As we continue remote operations, email is the quickest way to reach me.


Be well,


Cheryl Youakim
State Representative