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

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Legislative Update- March 8, 2024

Friday, March 8, 2024
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Dear Neighbors,

I hope you’re having a great week and enjoying the sunshine. We’ve just wrapped up week four and we’re moving along swiftly and efficiently with the legislative process. Bills are being heard in committee, moving to the floor, or being laid over to be included in part of a bigger package. We have been hearing individual bills on the House floor as well. We received the February forecast this week. These are the numbers that let us know if there will be money to supplement the larger state budget that we set last session. Finance committees now wait for leadership in the House and Senate to meet, along with the Governor’s office, to set those supplemental budget targets our committees may have a chance to spend.

Thank you to all who continue to participate in our Community Conversations! The last Community Conversations in March will be held tomorrow, March 9th in St. Louis Park at 12:30 p.m. Here are the details below:

Community Conversations


Our District 46 Team is also hosting a town hall meeting next Tuesday, March 12th at 6:00 p.m. at St. Louis City Hall in the council chambers. As always, this event is free, nonpartisan, and open to all constituents. I hope to see you there!

SD 46 Town Hall Meeting


Here’s an update from the Capitol:


House and Floor Action

On Monday, the Minnesota House passed comprehensive legislation to require a statewide standard of the basic training required for School Resource Officers. To minimize harmful, disparate engagements between SROs and students, the legislation also expressly prohibits SROs from being used to deliver discipline for violation of school policies. As chair of the House Education Finance Committee, I was glad to contribute to the bipartisan work that went into fine tuning this bill because all of our kids deserve to be safe at school.

On Thursday, we passed legislation to fund 101 projects across our state that protect our wildlife, water, air, and soil. We also advanced legislation fine tuning bills dealing with the new Department of Children, Youth, and Families and the Department of Direct Care and Treatment.


Forecast Adjustment to Account for the Popularity of Universal Free Meals

On Wednesday, the Minnesota House Education Finance Committee approved legislation to adjust state formula funded programs to match the updated February 2024 budget forecast. The biggest changes in this bill are related to the overwhelming popularity of universal school breakfast and lunch programs which lawmakers enacted in 2023. Participation in the universal school meals program surpassed the initially anticipated increase by more than 20%. The adjusted forecast bill is on its way to the House Ways & Means Committee and then on to the House floor where I will present it for passage.

Today, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long came to Minnesota to celebrate the 4.3 million more breakfasts and 4.5 million more lunches that were served to Minnesota students last fall than in the same period in 2022.


Committee Work

On Tuesday this week, the House Education Finance committee held a day dedicated to student voices. We heard from several youths in various school districts about the positive impacts of our historic 2023 Education Budget. You can watch a recap of our meeting here. In the Education Committee this week, along with a variety of bills, we also heard an overview of the great work the Career and Technical Education Consortiums are doing across the state to make sure our students have access to career exploration and opportunities to start along the pathways to those careers.

Student voices


EMT Training/Paramedic Scholarships Available

DFLers are working to address the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) statewide shortage. One of these initiatives that I supported funds a one-time appropriation of $3 million will provide up to 600 scholarships of $5,000 each starting Fall 2024 to be awarded by June 30, 2026. If you or anyone you know might be interested in this opportunity to serve the public and give back to the community, you can find eligibility information here

EMT Scholarship



Connected to Community

A big thank you to Sergeant Jepson with the Edina Police Department for the ride along last Friday night! We spent from 6 p.m. to midnight together and I was very impressed by her professionalism, as well as her commitment to the community of Edina. Thank you for all you do!

City of Edina



Students, School Boards, and Administrators Visit the Capitol 

There was a tremendous turnout at the Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD) Day on the Hill! At their morning kick-off meeting, I had a chance to speak with student leaders, school board members, and administrators from across the state to thank them for helping shape public education policy in Minnesota. I was excited to see such a large presence from Edina Schools who brought dozens of students who are part of their Legislative Action Coalition to meet with their legislators. I also had a chance to connect with students, schoolboard members, and Superintendents from Hopkins and St. Louis Park. And finally, a group from the Duluth School District here for Duluth Days.

Revised photo


Updated photo

This week I had the pleasure of meeting with several constituents and organizations representing various advocacy groups, including Rare Disease Council, PACER Center, National Kidney Foundation, Minnesota Association of College Admission Counselors, Carpenters Union, and Minnesota School Social Workers. I also had a chance to catch up with folks here with the City of St. Louis Park and Hopkins to talk City issues. It was quite a busy week!

Capitol visitors


Keep in Touch

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

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

Have a great weekend!

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Cheryl Youakim
State Representative