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

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Legislative Update- March 11, 2022

Friday, March 11, 2022

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Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who attended the community conversation this week. We’ve been holding these twice a month since September and it’s my honor to lift up our voices and values for our communities at the Capitol. Let’s keep the conversation going. Please continue to reach out with your ideas, feedback or questions at


This week, I had the chance to meet with constituents for the Disability Services Day at the Capitol. These are folks that care for some of the most vulnerable members in our communities. They brought forward their concerns regarding staffing shortages, the need to increase caregivers' pay, and ways to build their capacity to care for individuals in a safe environment. Thank you so much for bringing your experience in the field and the voices of those you care for to the Capitol.


I also had a chance to meet with Minnesotans advocating for legislation that would improve housing security across the state. A few of these proposals include more capital investment bonds for affordable housing, and additional funding for more emergency shelter space for those experiencing homelessness. Everyone deserves a safe place to rest their head at night and I was honored to meet with this group of dedicated folks.



Minnesota Stands United with Ukraine

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a bipartisan coalition of state legislators introduced legislation I’m coauthoring to divest Minnesota’s state pension fund from Russia and codify Governor Walz’s Executive Order barring Minnesota from contracting with Russian companies into law. Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the estimated worth of Minnesota's state pension fund investments in Russia was approximately $53 million. You can watch the press conference here.


Committee Action

The pace continues to quicken with committees convening in the evening to wrap up work ahead of the first legislative deadline on March 25. In the House Property Tax Division, we are continuing our work around local options sales taxes, property tax refunds, renters credit, property tax cuts for our seniors, school levy equalization, and much more. In the House Education Finance, we are laser focused on making sure that our students and our schools have the funds and tools they need to be successful. In the full Tax Committee, Chair Marquart has been working through a list of bills to help our small businesses, our seniors, and those who have not yet recovered from COVID-19. And finally, we have been hearing a variety of bills in the Local Government Subcommittee. As we move closer to the committee deadlines, we will spend less time on the floor and more time finishing up committee work.


Floor Action

Yesterday, the Minnesota House passed legislation to make technical updates to the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program, the new program in place via legislation I carried last year to address the alarmingly high incidence of cancer, cardiac issues, and emotional trauma facing these frontline workers.

It adjusts the enacting statute by clarifying that only firefighters who were diagnosed after the effective date of the new law are eligible for the assistance, to ensure that there are sufficient funds available. It also clarifies the definition of critical illness as meaning cardiac disease and cancer, as well as critical illnesses more generally.




We also passed a package of legislation to help livestock farmers, specialty crop producers, and communities harmed by 2021’s historic drought. The proposal provides grants, loans, and other direct relief for farmers. The funding is targeted to small operations unable to access federal crop insurance, and includes measures ensuring equity in the grant process. Additionally, the legislation helps communities recover from the drought by providing grants to local and tribal governments to replace trees and seedlings killed during the drought and to improve water management. 


Honoring Women in History: #LocalAngle 

In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the Hopkins Historical Society is highlighting Dr. Catherine Burnes and her sister Diana Burnes.


Credit: Hopkins Through the Years*

Dr. Catherine Burnes “Doc Kate,” as she was affectionately known was the first doctor to service the Hopkins area and the first female to graduate with a degree from the University of Minnesota that allowed her to practice medicine. She practiced medicine from 1886 to 1917, first from the Burnes family home located in the present Burnes Park; later she practiced from a small office behind Bacon Drug on 8th and Excelsior. She drove her own horse and buggy to the homes of the sick. Dr. Burnes was known for her generosity, always carrying a 10-dollar bill to her lapel to help those in need.

Diana also graduated from the University of Minnesota. She achieved accolades serving as a member of the Northwest Hospital Board of Directors for 35 years and a charter member and treasurer of the Ida McKinley Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic Lodge service organization comprised of Hopkins Area women.

Click here to learn more about the Burnes family.


Connected to Community



Thank you to amazing Hopkins High School students, Elif Ozturk & Taubie Sanders, who testified for HF2750 in the House Education Finance this week in support of legislation to provide free menstrual products in our schools. They saw the need in their own school and joined other incredible student leaders from across the state advocating for this issue. A shout out to Rep. Feist and Senator Cwodinski for carrying the bill as well, as the National Council of Jewish Leaders for all of their advocacy.


Hopkins’ Community Garden Plots Open

Registration for community garden plots begins Tuesday, April 5 at 8 a.m. for Hopkins residents. Registration is on a first come, first served basis at Hopkins City Hall, 1010 First Street S. You can learn more here.


Share your Input with St. Louis Park

The City of St. Louis Park wants to hear from you about the new proposed precincts. You can view the new proposed redistricting map and take the redistricting survey to let the city know your thoughts: The city redistricting proposal for new precincts will go before the city council March 21.


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.

Wishing you a nice weekend.



Cheryl Youakim
State Representative