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

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Legislative Update- March 31, 2023

Friday, March 31, 2023
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Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you well!

Second committee deadline for passing bills is behind us and our third deadline is next week on April 4th. I’m pleased to report our House Education Finance Committee has wrapped up our work and passed our budget bill out of committee.

As the House Education Finance Chair, I worked with my Vice Chair Mary Frances Clardy, the House Education Policy Chair Laurie Pryor, and the House Policy Vice Chair Josiah Hill to put together our Education Finance bill. I cannot thank them enough for their work and our amazing education staff! Our education budget bill will deliver historic new investments in public education while ensuring Minnesota students can have the sustainable funding they deserve over the long term by tying future formula increases to inflation. It provides a 4% per-pupil increase in the general education formula in 2024 and a 2% increase in 2025, linking the formula to inflation in all future years. Linking the formula to inflation is a game changer. It provides stability for our schools so that they can plan for the future to meet our students' needs.

Chronic underfunding in our schools for the last two decades has not enabled our school budgets to keep up with inflation. On top of that, that gap in our funding for our English learning and Special Education budgets has led to significant budget shortfalls, impacting school districts and shortchanging our kids with the resources they need. House DFLers are taking action by prioritizing investments in our bill to fill these gaps by reducing the special education cross-subsidy as well as the English learning cross-subsidy. 

All Minnesota students deserve a world-class education and academic achievement is the cornerstone of that goal. Our bill delivers targeted investments to close the achievement gap with funding for literacy improvements in schools while also investing in building and diversifying our workforce.

Our schools’ hourly workers feed, bus, and support our students and are an important part of our kids’ ability to learn, grow, and thrive. The education budget bill makes investments to improve the economic security of our dedicated hourly workers, ensuring they can access Unemployment Insurance as others currently can. You can read more in Minnesota Public Radio’s coverage of our work.

Our other committees rolled out their budget bills as we set the two-year budget for our state. The committees on which I serve were among those hearing budget bills. You can read about each specific area of interest on the nonpartisan House Public Information’s Session Daily website. After our Passover/Easter break, the work of the House Ways & Means Committee begins. I sit on this committee, and we will be hearing all of the budget bills as they make their way to the House floor.

Rep. Youakim


 Floor Action

On the Minnesota House floor yesterday, we passed legislation with my support to repeal the requirement that type III public schools vehicles, such as minivans and cars, be retired once they reach a certain age. Current state law requires these vehicles to be retired once they are 12 years old, regardless of if they are still in safe working order. There is no reason to replace these working vehicles based on their age; this is a cost-effective strategy to save districts money across the state.

We also passed a bill responding to the federal government “unwinding” the public health emergency to ensure Minnesotans maintain coverage and provide resources for counties. Major items in the bill include $23.25 million in administrative investments related to DHS’s efforts to unwind the emergency; $36 million in funding for counties to assist with costs resuming renewals; and making MinnesotaCare available with no premiums through June 30, 2024. This legislation helps ensure Minnesotans aren’t falling through the cracks as we return to normal policies.


Constituent Visits

I had the opportunity to attend an Iftar Dinner hosted by the Minnesota House and Senate. Members of our Muslim Community gathered at the Capitol to break their fast and share their religious traditions.


On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to meet with Carl Holmquist and Todd Carlson from The Glenn in Hopkins. The Glenn is a Senior Community that included independent and assisted living for our Seniors. We talked about the need for funding the elderly and Medicare waiver as well as investing in the workforce for their communities.

On Thursday, I stepped off the floor briefly to speak with Rabbi Jill Avrin (from Bet Shalom) and Gayle Kaplan from our district. They were here during the Joint Religious Legislative Council’s day on the hill. One of the exciting things they are working on is a bill to allow places of worship to create tiny homes on their property for persons experiencing chronic homelessness.


I finished off the week on a high note talking to a group of teachers from West Junior High about the House Education Finance bill. They are doing such amazing work with their new full-service community schools model and making sure that they reach our students where they are at.

I also had a chance to celebrate our trans neighbors and loved ones at the Trans Visibility Rally in the Capitol today. We see you and love you for who you are.

Trans Day Rally


 Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out and contact me anytime at or 651-296-9889 with questions or input. Email is the quickest way to get in touch. On a side note, next week during our break we will be celebrating our son’s wedding to his wonderful partner. So if you have an urgent request, please call the office number above.

Thank you for the honor of representing our Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and Edina neighbors at the State Capitol.

Have a great weekend!

Youakim e-signature

Cheryl Youakim
State Representative