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

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Legislative Update- June 3, 2023

Saturday, June 3, 2023
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Dear Neighbors,

Happy June! I hope you’re enjoying the quick start to summer with the heat we’ve been experiencing. 

While session is over, I have still been busy. On Thursday, I started the day with a tour of Burnsville High School and the incredible pathways program they have to get students ready for life post high school. Thank you to Rep. Kaela Berg for inviting Rep. Laurie Pryor and myself to tour Burnsville High School.

Cheryl Burnsville School


Rep. Youakim at school

I ended the day at St Louis Park’s STEP food shelf fundraiser supporting their incredible community resource programs. Great to see the Executive Director Derek Reise, St. Louis Park City Council members Nadia Mohamed & Lynette Dumalag as well as St. Louis Park Schoolboard Chair Anne Casey.


Now that we’ve adjourned for the year, and I had a chance to share with you the big wins for Minnesotans from our budget, I wanted to take a moment to share with you bills I championed and was also able to pass into law.

As the Education Finance Chair, the majority of the bills I carried were in the areas of education including the final package that funds our schools (HF2497). I am happy to say that most of my individual education related bills were included in the final version of the K-12 Education Finance & Policy bill. These bills will improve our learning environments for our students and teachers. My bill (HF795) provided access to the extended time revenue stream for students to continue their education while they reside in residential treatment facilities and juvenile corrections facilities. Another bill of mine (HF1175), allows certain services our school social workers provide to be billed to the federal Medical Assistance program. Our schools were leaving over $10 million of federal funds on the table, so this is a cost effective win-win for students and our schools. I am happy to report that a bill I have carried for the past three years has passed. HF620 provides funds for schools to provide eight hours or more of training for their paraprofessionals so that they can better take care of their students. I was also able to obtain funds for an organization that started in St. Louis Park Schools called BARR (Building Access & Reducing Risks). This grant allows BARR to expand to 18+ additional schools across Minnesota. Finally, a technical bill (HF2920) to acknowledge the monetary forecast adjustments for our existing education budget was included in the final package.

As a member of the Tax Committee, I had a few provisions included in the final Taxes bill as well. One was the renewal of the Historic Tax Credit that had expired last year. HF1488 brings back the credit after a one year hiatus and extends it for eight more years. The credit aligns with the Federal Historic Tax Credit and will help cities across the state retain and reuse their historic buildings, while expanding our communities’ tax bases and employment opportunities. There was also a bill (HF328) to adjust a tax increment finance district in Hopkins to help with economic development. Another provision I authored was (HF1343) ) included in the Taxes bill and will provide access to those with ITIN numbers to homestead their property and provide fairness in our property tax system. Finally there was a provision (HF705) I have been working on for multiple sessions to study an electronic “free filing” system for our Minnesota income taxes. This provision was enhanced to provide funding beyond a study to align with a proposition that the IRS is looking at for federal income taxes. 

I also had two small provisions, with large impacts, included in two other funding packages. In the Transportation bill, I had a bill (HF2333) included that removes the prohibition of the state providing operating costs when the Southwest Light Rail Line is finally in service. This would mean that Hennepin County taxpayers are not on the hook for the entire operating costs of the Green Line extension. In the final Health bill, I had a provision included that allows 16 and 17 year-olds to access outpatient mental health services without parental consent. Currently, they can only access inpatient treatment without parental consent, but not outpatient. This bill was brought to me a few years ago by students at Hopkins High School and I am thrilled that we finally got it across the finish line. All in all, it was a very productive session for me and for Minnesota.

Cheryl on the House Floor


Unemployment Insurance Information for Hourly School Workers

 A key provision in the Education Finance budget package we passed covers Unemployment Insurance for hourly school workers over the summer. With the hourly school worker unemployment insurance going into effect this week, I’ve already heard from a number of workers and schools who have questions about this new opportunity.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has two web pages to provide information for workers and employers:

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to these resources with questions about eligibility. 


Community Happenings

Hopkins is kicking off its first Pride event this year! Hopkins’ Inaugural Pride Festival will take place from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Downtown Hopkins. Everyone is invited to join for family friendly fun, affordable art, games, and activities. 

Hopkins Pride

Hopkins Farmers Market

The Hopkins Farmers Market will get underway in mid-June and go through October on Saturdays, 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. More information can be found on their website.

Hopkins Farmers Market

St. Louis Farmers Market

Depending on where you live in St. Louis Park, the closest locations for a farmers market may be the Market in the Valley, in Golden Valley. It takes place behind City Hall, under the water tower, every Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm, from June 25 through October 9. If you have inquiries about the vendors or products, you can click here

Edina Farmers Market

Edina’s Centennial Lakes Park Farmers Market kicks off the season on June 8th and will stay open Thursdays from June 3:00-7:00 p.m. through September 28th. You can follow the link to subscribe to the Centennial Lakes Park Farmers Market Newsletter.

Edina Farmers Market


This year, my colleagues at the legislature are hosting a “Juneteenth Jubilee” event to celebrate Juneteenth's the first year as a State Holiday in Minnesota on Thursday, June 15th from 12:00pm – 4:00pm on the State Capitol Lawn. I hope you can make it!


Keep in Touch

Please continue to keep in touch throughout the summer and fall! I can be reached at or 651-296-9889. Email is the quickest way to get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you!

Have a great weekend,

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Cheryl Youakim
State Representative