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

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Legislative Update- February 4, 2022

Friday, February 4, 2022

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Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you’re having a great week and are staying well. We had a full week at the Capitol after kicking off session on Monday.


Most importantly, we just passed an extension of the workers’ compensation presumption, meaning that our first responders and healthcare workers will continue to be covered under workers’ compensation should they contract COVID-19 while keeping us safe. The original measure we passed in 2020 expired in January, so we had to work quickly to fast track the extension until next January. Our first responders and healthcare providers have put themselves on the front lines of this pandemic since the onset of the virus in Minnesota. We’re still grappling with COVID-19, and we need to continue to have the backs of the Minnesotans who have ours. You can read more about the extension here.


Black History Month

February 1st marked the first day of Black History Month. Black history is American history. As we reflect on the pivotal contributions of Black Americans to our country and state, moving forward we must commit to expanding opportunity in an equitable way for everyone who lives here. TPT has a wonderful documentary on Minnesota’s Black Pioneers. I encourage you to watch some local history here.



Committee Work

Committees were busy with their first hearings of the new session. As the Property Tax Division Chair, we dove in right with an overview of the work we are doing to update the Local Government Aid formulas. We'll also begin hearing bills during our second hearing next week.

In Taxes, we reviewed a report on the progress of the Beginning Farmers Program, as well a bill to extend the tax exemption on Unemployment Insurance benefits for individuals similar to what we did last session. In the Local Government Subcommittee, we heard an update from the Metropolitan Council.

In the K-12 Education Finance Committee, we heard testimony from students, school psychologists, and staff about the mental health needs of our schools, grants for schools to implement Multi-tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS), and the work Barr Center is doing in our schools. Our students were already facing mental health challenges before the pandemic; these have only been exacerbated with the uncertainty of COVID-19. They need our help and deserve increased investments in mental health resources so they can be successful and thrive now and into the future. The Minnesota Reformer covered our hearing and some of the public testimony we heard and you can read it here.





Energy Efficiency Assistance 

The City of St. Louis Park’s energy efficiency assistance, cost share and recognition program has been renewed for 2022. You can learn more, including how business owners and tenants can sign up for a free energy assessment, here.


Local Investments with American Rescue Plan Dollars 

The City of Hopkins is asking residents, businesses, and property owners to provide input on how to use American Rescue Plan Act funding through a short survey. Paper copies are available at City Hall. The deadline to complete the survey is February 21.


Upcoming Community Conversations

I appreciate these opportunities to connect with you on Zoom! Thank you to everyone who has joined us this winter. A reminder to join me for our final community conversations coming up on February 9, February 22, and March 9. Please RSVP with my Legislative Assistant Eric Petersen at Hope to see you there!



Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime at or 651-296-9889 with questions or input. Email is the quickest way to reach me.

Wishing you a happy and healthy weekend,


Cheryl Youakim
State Representative