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

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Legislative Update- May 6, 2022

Friday, May 6, 2022
Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

The sunshine has been nice, despite the darkness surrounding the leaked SCOTUS opinion to overturn Roe V. Wade. Women and their doctors are the ones who should be in charge of making deeply personal health decisions, not right-wing politicians. The majority of Minnesotans support legal abortion and resoundingly reject extreme laws like we’ve seen in Texas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Minnesota is uniquely positioned to strengthen abortion access. Passing the Protect Reproductive Options Act (PRO Act) would establish the fundamental right of Minnesotans to make individual decisions about reproductive health care – including contraception, abortion, and pregnancy – regardless of any court decisions. I am a proud author of this bill, as well as a member of our Reproductive Caucus.

To recap the last two weeks, we’ve advanced all of our House proposals in the following supplemental budget areas:


We’ve had a few late nights, and it’s been nice to have a chance for a quick break to enjoy the Loggia (which is the outdoor space above the Capitol steps). I’m reminded of our dear colleague Rep. Diane Loeffler, who passed away in 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer. During the Capitol remodel, Diane was the driving force behind opening up this space for the public to enjoy. I think of her every time I enjoy the beautiful view with my colleagues.


UI/Frontline Worker Agreement

As I mentioned last week, the House, Senate, and Governor Walz reached a bipartisan agreement to both deliver bonus checks to frontline workers and replenish the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund. This is important compromise has been signed into law to both thank our frontline heroes – first responders, child care providers, grocery store and retail workers, and more – for their sacrifice- while helping businesses avoid a tax increase. $500 million will be available for bonus checks – about $750 each.

Frontline worker pay graphic

The state of Minnesota is currently developing an online application system. Workers can sign up to receive notifications about updates at Workers will have 45 days to apply once the application process opens. A full FAQ document, including eligibility information, is available here.

Some businesses have already paid their first quarter taxes, and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has indicated they will issue refunds and credits. Resources for business owners are available here.


Floor Action

Tuesday we passed the Health and Human Services budget bill to address high health care costs, along with solutions to attract, recruit, and retain dedicated professionals in fields such as direct care, long-term care, and behavioral health. Notably, the House DFL blocked two anti-choice amendments offered by our GOP colleagues.

HHS One-Pager

Wednesday, the House approved the Tax bill with a package of new tax credits and rebates to help Minnesotans who are struggling with rising costs. The majority of the benefits in the House DFL tax bill go to families with young children, senior citizens living on fixed incomes, and people with student loan debt.

Our bill would reduce the cost of housing by making the biggest investment in property tax refunds and renter’s credits in decades. As the Property Tax Chair, I helped craft the bill with my colleagues. The renters credit provision alone expands eligibility, makes it easier for filers to apply by moving it to the income tax forms, and gets folks their money earlier. As a result, more than 150,000 additional renters will qualify, with an average benefit of $700. Statewide, 30% of renter’s credit recipients are seniors or people with disabilities.

In addition to the renter’s credit, we make a large investment in property tax cuts through additional money in the homestead credit refund program, expansion of the homestead exclusion, and increasing the targeted property tax refund program. We also increase the increase the income level for the senior deferral program, as well as reducing the number of years you have to be in your home before you can use this valuable tool. These changes will put money back into Minnesotans' pockets at a time when they need it the most.


Proud House Property Tax Chair here with a debt of gratitude to this Tax team & our amazing non-partisan staff! We couldn’t do our jobs without you. Pictured here: House Tax Chair Paul Marquart, Tax & Property Tax Committee Administrator Polly Cerkvenik, & Committee Legislative Assistant Eric Petersen.


The House also passed a Workforce and Labor bill to, among other things, deliver resources to working Minnesotans, fund training and workforce development, invest in struggling small businesses and economic corridors throughout the state, and keep workers safe on the job. Included in this bill is also a provision that allows school hourly workers to qualify for unemployment benefits.



We also advanced a significant omnibus budget that invests in clean energy infrastructure, consumer protection related to catalytic converter theft and predatory student loan providers and much more.



Hometown Heroes Assistance Program 

Our firefighters are a critical component to our collective public safety in Minnesota, which is why I'm so glad to see the governor sign legislation that extends the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program.

The new, bipartisan program is the most comprehensive in the nation, providing firefighters with free access to emotional trauma resources, up to $20,000 for a diagnosed critical illness, and ongoing health and wellness training that includes evidence-based suicide prevention strategies.

Our dedicated firefighters work hard every day to keep us safe and risk their own health and safety while they’re taking care of us. They deserve ongoing support and I was glad to chief-author this legislation that makes that possible.


National Teachers Appreciation Week May 2-6, 2022

Every week should be teacher appreciation week! Thank you to our teachers across the state for all you do to educate our kiddos and make sure they feel valued. I’d like to give a special shout-out to the 14 teachers and former teachers in my family . I am the proud granddaughter, daughter, niece, sister-in-law, spouse, and mother of teachers.



Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime at or 651-296-9889 with questions or if you need assistance. Email is the quickest way to get in touch.

Thank you for the honor of representing our residents and families in the Minnesota House!

Have a great weekend,


Cheryl Youakim

State Representative