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

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Legislative Update- March 4, 2022

Friday, March 4, 2022
Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you well and you’ve had a good first week of March. A big thank you to everyone who joined Senator Latz, Majority Leader Winkler, and me for our SD 46 Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday! We had an excellent turnout on Zoom and covered topics ranging from affordable housing to women’s access to healthcare. If you couldn’t make it, you’re welcome to watch a recap of the event here.



Community Conversations

We’ve been hosting community conversations twice a month since September. I appreciate everyone who has attended these and shared their priorities and concerns with me. Our last Community Conversation of this session will be next week, Wednesday March 9th at 6:30pm via zoom. You can RSVP with my Legislative Assistant Eric Petersen at



New Budget Forecast

On Monday, the Minnesota Management and Budget Agency (MMB) announced a new economic forecast showing a $9.25 billion budget surplus for the current biennium. MMB cites “a higher income, consumer spending, and corporate profit forecast [have resulted] in an improved revenue projection while spending is slightly lower in E-12 education and Health and Human Services.” You can review MMB’s thorough presentation here. The analysis does not incorporate inflation or the various impacts the Russian military invasion of Ukraine may have on our state.

The strong budget forecast news today indicates our economy is heading the right direction, but many of our neighbors are still struggling because of economic challenges brought on by the pandemic. The pandemic highlighted the need to invest in our struggling schools, affordable housing, and access to childcare. We can make those crucial investments in the future with a portion of this surplus. I’ll continue to advocate for investments that keep our state strong and build a brighter future for everyone in our communities. 


Committee Action

As our first committee deadline approaches, the pace is picking up in committee and on the House Floor. I had four bills up this week in committees. Monday kicked off a bill to make necessary tweaks to the Hometown Heroes bill we passed last year which provides needed support to fire fighters across the state. Wednesday, I had two bills up in Taxes Committee. The first would simplify the income calculation for those trying to utilize the education credit. If passed, more folks would be eligible for this tax credit for educational opportunities, supplies, computer equipment, and tutoring for their children. I also had a bill up in in the Taxes Committee that would extend the historic tax credit for another eight years. The nonpartisan office of House Public Information covered both of these bills in their Session Daily editions. Thursday, my bill advanced out of the Transportation Committee which would change the state’s salvage vehicle title laws to prevent older and cheaper damaged cars from going through a sale with a clean title. Dealers would be required to inform potential buyers of known past damage. I served on the Salvage Title Taskforce over the interim and worked with the Senate to come up with this compromise.

In the Property Tax Committee, which I chair, we focused on bills that would deliver support for our seniors. They ranged from expanding the senior property tax deferral program, to doubling the credit seniors can take when calculating their income for the property tax refund. In the Education Finance Committee, we discussed a variety of bills to providing flexibility of funds for our schools and get more money into the classroom.


Floor Action

Yesterday, the Minnesota House passed legislation on a strong bipartisan vote of 129-1 requiring the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) to conduct a special review and program evaluation for the extension of the Green Line, commonly known as the Southwest light rail (LRT) project. Just like everyone, I, too am disappointed with the cost overruns and anticipated delays of this project that has been over 30 years in the making. As we continue to work on solutions to keep the project moving forward, an audit is a necessary step in the process. The SWLRT is 65% completed and to pause or cancel the project is not a fiscally responsible option and I’ll continue to advocate for transparency and accountability in how we get this project over the finish line. 


Women’s History Month 

It’s women’s history month! We have the most women ever to serve in the Minnesota Legislature, with 51 out of 134 current Representatives. 10 are women of color. I thank all the then all the trailblazers who led the way for me, and all women to build a state with a more equal playing field. I believe we should continue to strive to build a Legislature which truly reflects the diversity of our state.



Trees for Sale in Hopkins

With Spring around the corner, I thought you’d be interested in this public service announcement from the City of Hopkins! In partnership with Tree Trust, Hopkins Public Works is offering a limited number of trees at a discounted price of $40 each to residents. There is a two tree limit per household. Residents are responsible for planting the trees and must call Gopher State One Call prior to digging. Trees must be planted on private property in Hopkins, not within the boulevard or public right-of-way. Trees will be available for pick-up on Saturday, May 7, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Hopkins Water Treatment Plant next to Elmo Park, 1498 7th Street N.

Purchase a tree at


Connected to Community

I had a robust schedule of constituent meetings this week, which is fantastic! I enjoy hearing from you and appreciate your perspectives and input. I met with folks from the Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation, and constituents who are doing Master’s degree work in how local governments deliver services. I was also able to connect with St. Louis Park Superintendent Osei and Darrell Young from St. Louis Park Community Education.


Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation Week of Action



Local government services meeting with constituents Michael Reading and Ahava Silkey-Jones


Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime at or 651-296-9889 with questions or input. Email is the quickest way to get in touch. I appreciate hearing from you!

Have a wonderful weekend,


Cheryl Youakim
State Representative