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

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Legislative Update- May 17, 2023

Wednesday, May 17, 2023
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Dear Neighbors, 

I hope this email finds you well and you’ve had a chance to enjoy the nice weather we’ve been having. May 11th was Minnesota’s 165th birthday and to celebrate statehood day, every year on May 11th the electrolier is lit in the Capitol Rotunda. I was grateful to have a quick moment to check it out with Rep. Larry Kraft in between floor sessions and conference committees. 

Statehood Day

On Wednesday, May 24 at 6:00 p.m., Senator Mann, Senator Latz, Representative Edelson, and I will host a post-session town hall meeting at Edina Community Lutheran Church. We’ll do a brief overview of our work, what we accomplished, and how it will help our Edina neighbors, and then we’ll go to Q&A.


Our work continues in the House as we work efficiently to move Minnesota’s two-year state budget forward. Conference committees haven’t stopped working since the beginning of the month and I’m pleased to report so far, we’ve passed and sent to the governor:  Veterans and Military Affairs, Housing, Higher Education, Legacy, Agriculture, Early Education, Public Safety and Judiciary, K-12 Education, and Jobs and Labor.

We're on track to complete our work by the constitutionally required date to adjourn, which is May 22. It is Wednesday evening as I write this and today we have passed the Commerce bill, as well as the Paid Family and Medical Leave bill. We are awaiting the Environment and Energy bill, the Transportation bill, a Health bill, a Bonding bill, a Tax bill, and a variety of smaller bills that are awaiting on the General Register.

While these last few days will stretch into late hours, I feel very blessed to be here to do this work. This is a reflection of a functioning state legislature and partnership with the governor to get things done for Minnesotans.


Education Budget Passes

Yesterday, the House DFL passed the Education Conference Committee Report to deliver new, transformational investments of $5.4 billion over the next four years to support our students and school staff as well as stabilize our public school funding. The bill provides a 4% per-pupil increase in 2024, a 2% increase in 2025, 2026, and 2027. The bill also links the formula to inflation in all future years to help school districts have more predictability in their financial outlooks.

We're also using a portion of the surplus to reduce the Special Education cross-subsidy by nearly half with a $662 million investment. That is equivalent to another 4% increase on the formula. The bill also triples the English Learner funding by 2027 targeted to the school districts serving students with the highest needs.

We're also delivering school districts $64 million in dedicated investments to hire school support staff like school counselors, psychologists, and nurses. And we include measures to recruit and retain teachers of color and expand access to Indigenous education and diverse courses so students can more easily find role models who look like them in their curriculum and at the front of the classroom.

One of the other highlights is a $90 million investment in literacy with the Read Act. This includes training for our teachers and funds curriculum for our schools to teach evidence- based reading to help close the literacy gap.

There are so many increased investments in our schools, it is hard to list them all here. You can see the available spreadsheet and bill language online. 

Group photo


Education Fact Sheet


Public Safety Budget Heads to the Governor

We also passed our Public Safety budget, SF 2909, this week. Support for law enforcement and victims is central to the bill, carrying significant investments for both. The legislation includes law enforcement priorities with a $5 million investment I’m carrying in police officer recruitment. Victims and survivors will receive the assistance they need through advocacy programs, housing supports, and state-paid sexual assault exams.

In response to increasing gun violence among our children and fallen peace officers, the bill includes a number of violence prevention measures. It implements criminal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those who are prohibited from having them. It also includes a red flag law, creating an effective tool to prevent those likely to cause harm from doing so. We’re also investing in gun violence prevention research grants to determine the next best steps to end gun violence.

Rep. Carlie KW and Rep. Youakim


Public safety fact sheet


Replacing Lead Pipes Statewide

Yesterday, the governor signed Chapter 39, House File 24 into law, legislation we passed to deliver $240 million to the Public Facilities Authority to establish a grant program for replacing water service lines containing lead. These grants will be available to community public water suppliers of a community water system, municipalities, suppliers of other residential drinking water systems, and anyone eligible for grants or loans under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

The Minnesota Department of Health estimates there are about 100,000 water service lines in the state leaching lead into the drinking water flowing through them. Coming in contact with lead can damage the brain, kidneys, and nervous system. In children, lead can also slow development or cause learning, behavior, and hearing problems. Clean water infrastructure is critical, and I’m glad we got this done.


Keep in Touch

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

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

Have a great weekend! 

Cheryl signature

Cheryl Youakim
State Representative