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

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Legislative Update- May 13, 2022

Friday, May 13, 2022
Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

We are in the last ten days of the legislative session and have been busy passing individual bills on the House floor, monitoring hearings, and engaging with constituents. House and Senate Conference Committees are working to reach agreements on our supplemental budget. You can follow along and learn the latest on negotiations here. On Thursday, I was appointed to the Tax Conference Committee. Unfortunately, the Senate just passed their Tax bill off of the floor on Tuesday, so we are not able to start the anxiously awaited conference committee until early next week.

A quick reminder about conference committees. The Senate and House each bring a bill they passed off of their respective floors to the table. The conference committee’s task is to come up with a report reflecting a compromise between the two bills. While some of the provisions in the bill may match up, there are many that do not. For any of the provisions, even the similar ones, to make it into a conference committee report, they need a majority vote of the conferees from the House and the Senate. That means three out of the five conferees in the House and the same number in the Senate must vote yes to have the provision included. Next week will be full of conference committees finishing their work. Once the conference committees vote on and pass the final reports, they go to the House and Senate floors for a vote. A conference committee cannot be amended. So the vote must be yes or no. On another note, since it is the second year of the biennium, all votes must be taken by midnight on May 22. No official business can be conducted on May 23. That day is generally full of retirement speeches.

Earlier in the week, I was grateful for the opportunity to connect with Jewish Family and Children’s Service Advocacy Committee members to discuss some of their legislative priorities. We talked about anti-hunger initiatives, workforce/caregiver wages and shortages, and Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits. We also had a great conversation around the Parent-Child + program and early childhood issues.



Frontline Pay Becomes Law

If you worked 120 hours from March 15, 2020 to June 30, 2021, you may be eligible to receive a worker bonus check for your in-person work during the early days of the pandemic.

Following a bipartisan compromise, Governor Walz has signed a bill into law providing $500 million worth of bonus payments for frontline workers including health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service and retail workers, and more. Workers can sign up to receive notifications about updates at Once the application process opens – a few weeks from now – workers will have 45 days to apply. A full FAQ document, including eligibility information, is available here. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.

Frontline worker pay graphic

This week, much of our focus has been on passing standalone bills. Here’s a look at those:

Floor Action


Supporting our Veterans

The governor recently signed into law the compromise Veterans & Military Affairs finance bill following a bipartisan agreement with the House and Senate. This bill invests significant new funding to address veterans homelessness, provides additional funding for Minnesota’s new veterans homes, and offers service bonuses to those who served during the post-9/11 Global War on Terror. You can read more about what we’re doing for veterans from the nonpartisan office of House Public Information Services here.



Updating Liquor Laws

Minnesotans love craft beer and spirits. For too long, our state liquor laws have prevented our local breweries and distilleries from growing and thriving. On Wednesday, the House passed a bill to modernize our liquor laws by increasing the growler cap for breweries from 20,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels of beer sold annually, allowing distilleries to sell more products to the public, and more. This bill is an agreement resulting from months of work with stakeholders from all over our state and all corners of the liquor industry.


Legalizing Sports Betting in Minnesota

Yesterday, the House also passed legislation to legalize sports betting in Minnesota. Since the United States Supreme Court allowed states to legalize sports betting in 2018, 30 other states have legalized the practice.

This bill allows sports betting in-person at tribal casinos and mobile platforms. House DFLers have listened to and consulted with our sovereign Tribal nations and stakeholders to ensure the best outcome for Minnesotans. It also ensures consumer protection while regulating an activity many have either been driving out of state to enjoy, or betting in the black market.


Opioid Settlement 

We also approved a bill to distribute the $300 million Minnesota is expected to receive from the National Opioid Settlement which Minnesota signed onto last summer. In 2020, a record 678 Minnesotans died as a result of an opioid overdose. You can read more about the bill here


Filing Storm Damage Insurance Claims 

Wanted to provide this information after the severe weather we had the last few nights. If you had storm damage, the Minnesota Department of Commerce offers Minnesotans guidance on steps to take when filing an insurance claim after storms damage their home, business or other property that occurred.

Key tips for filing insurance claims to your property: 

  1. Contact your insurance company immediately.
  2. Wait for the company’s adjuster before you or anyone starts working to remove or repair or replace property.
  3. Inventory your damage.
  4. Take notes of who you talk with and what they say from your insurance company, adjusters or repair services. Note dates, names and contact information.
  5. Avoid scammers or high-pressure sales tactics if you are contacted by someone you don’t know, such as salespeople going door-to-door in areas hit by storms. 

Question or complaint about your insurance company? 

If you have questions, complaints or problems with your insurance company, contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce Consumer Services Center: 

You can submit complaint online or call Commerce’s Consumer Services Center.


Mental Health Awareness Month

May is mental health awareness month. We have made great strides in investing in affordable and accessible mental health supports in Minnesota, but we still have a way to go, especially in our schools. I’m proud that we put a down payment on it in the House Education Bill.



National Nurses Week

We honor the dedication these health care professionals make to all those in our communities. I got to see their professionalism firsthand when my father spent four days at Regions Hospital after a pulmonary saddle embolism. Our family is forever grateful for the care he received. A special shout-out to our school nurses who take care of our kiddos each and every day!



 Keep in Touch 

Please continue to reach out anytime with questions or input. I can be reached at or 651-296-9889. Email is the quickest way to get in touch.

Thank you for the honor of representing you in St. Paul.

Have a great weekend!


Cheryl Youakim
State Representative