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

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Legislative Update- January 21, 2022

Friday, January 21, 2022

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Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

I hope this email finds you and yours staying healthy and warm! The cold snap is an opportunity to remind folks about Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule. Please check out the Public Utilities Commission website if you or anyone you may know needs assistance with energy bills.

It’s been a busy week. In addition to preparing for session, I’ve been meeting with constituents and listening to input from our community. I hope you can join me for the next community conversation on January 26 at 6:30 p.m. Please RSVP with my legislative assistant, Eric, at to receive the Zoom credentials to join us. We have our final community conversations coming up on February 9, February 22, and March 9. Hope to see you there!



On Tuesday, I had the honor of receiving the Bronze Axe award for the work I did as the author of the new Hometown Heroes Assistance Program. This program will invest $4 million a year to provide cardiac training, mental health supports, and $20,000 for an individual firefighter who receives a cancer diagnosis to help with the costs of care. Our firefighters face a much greater risk of cardiac arrest and workplace cancer than the general population just for doing the jobs we have asked them to do. I would like to thank Speaker Hortman, my colleagues who supported the bill, and MNFire for being champions for our firefighters statewide.



On Wednesday morning, I connected with MnCRE. MnCRE is a group of different associations whose membership makes up Minnesota's commercial real estate industry. Their members include BOMA Greater Minneapolis (all of Hennepin County) BOMA Greater St. Paul (all of Ramsey and Dakota), NAIOP, Shopping Centers Association, and MN Commerical Real Estate Association. I discussed taxes and property taxes issues for session and the upcoming projected budget surplus. That evening, I was able to meet with Rethos to give an update on the historic tax credit.


This morning, I spoke with the Hopkins Schools Legislative Action Committee (LAC) to preview the upcoming session at their legislative breakfast. This is an amazing group of parents, students, and school board members who advocate for Hopkins Public Schools. I started out as a parent advocate on the Hopkins LAC and appreciate their partnership. You can learn more about the Hopkins LAC here.



Free COVID Tests

A Mayo model shows that Omicron is likely to peak in Minnesota next week, and health care workers are bracing for another surge of hospitalizations. St. Louis Park has followed suit with Hopkins in adopting a temporary mask requirement for indoor spaces. One hundred nurses have been deployed to our state this week to help alleviate the workload. In addition to getting vaccinated, getting tested is a key strategy in slowing the spread of the virus.

Families can now order up to 4 free COVID tests from the federal government. All you need is your name and residential mailing address, and tests will be delivered through the U.S. Postal Service and ship within 7-12 days. You can order your test kits and find many more resources here.


Minnesota Main Street Economic Revitalization Program Accepting RFPs

Administered through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the new $ 80 million Minnesota Main Street Economic Revitalization Program is a bipartisan initiative the legislature passed into law last year to help our main street businesses recover from the pandemic's impact. A total of $41 million will be available in this round of funding.

Request for proposals (RFPs) will open at 3 p.m. on January 27 and be due by 4 p.m. February 28 for the second round of Main Street Economic Revitalization Program funding.

Learn more about eligibility and how to apply here.


Certified Nursing Assistants Needed

One of the most in-demand jobs in Minnesota right now are nursing assistants. With the ongoing pandemic and the recent wave of cases due to the Omicron variant, the State of Minnesota has set a new goal to recruit, train, and deploy at least 1,000 new certified nursing assistants by the end of January for our long-term care facilities experiencing staffing shortages.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a nursing assistant, enroll today and the State of Minnesota will pay for qualifying expenses associated with your CNA courses (i.e. tuition, fees, books, technology needs, test fees), ensuring the training is available at no-cost to you. Learn more and apply here.

Nurses Needed


Climate Action Plan

On Thursday, House DFL leaders and legislators released our 2022 Minnesota Climate Action Plan, which invests $1 billion in addressing the climate crisis. This bold, science-based plan, developed by members of the Minnesota House Climate Action Caucus, will protect the environment and our health, help Minnesotans save money, and create good-paying jobs.

The 2022 Minnesota Climate Action Plan addresses climate change from several different angles. The $1 billion investment is divided into five sectors: energy, transportation, the built environment, lands, and adaptation and resilience. You can see the breakdown of those investments below:

2022 Climate Action Plan

This week, the City of St. Louis Park passed a resolution declaring a climate emergency. They join a coalition of 15 other cities across the state in urban, suburban, and rural communities. House DFLers want to help all regions in our state become more resilient and prepare for climate change. Making our communities stronger will help all Minnesotans adapt and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe weather, health issues, and other impacts of climate change. You can watch the press conference here.


Economic Security Package

Also, this week, my House colleagues and I unveiled our Economic Security plan. While several factors point to the state’s economic recovery, House DFL members emphasized that many Minnesotans continue to struggle financially amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 





We reiterated our support for recognizing a broader list of frontline workers for bonus pay, delivering Paid Family & Medical Leave as well as Earned Sick & Safe Time for all Minnesotans, investing in broadband, assisting workers and small businesses, and affordable housing. With the state’s current economic position, now is the time to make investments to address the urgent needs and challenges facing Minnesotans, expand economic opportunity, and build a stronger future for everyone. You can watch the press conference here.


Name a Snowplow

Back for second year, Minnesotans are invited to cast their votes for their favorite name submissions for our MNDOT snowplows. You can see the list of names, and vote for up to 8 here.


Keep in Touch 

Please continue to reach out anytime at or 651-296-9889 with questions or input. As remote operations continue in the Minnesota House, email is the quickest way to get in touch.

Stay warm and have a safe weekend.

Take care,


Cheryl Youakim
State Representative