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

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Legislative Update- May 3, 2024

Friday, May 3, 2024
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Dear Neighbors,

We continue long days on the House Floor, with debate stretching after midnight most evenings. We are passing legislation to improve the lives of working and middle class families across Minnesota. Some of the votes are bipartisan, some break on party lines. What I am proud of is the work that has been done in committee to take changes and suggestions from members on both sides of the aisle.

The House continues to debate and pass supplemental budget and policy bills on the floor, covering important issues such as education, labor, housing, the environment, and more. As a member of the House Taxes and Ways and Means Committees, I’ve been balancing early morning committee meetings with late night floor sessions. I haven’t gotten this little sleep since our kids were young. But the work is meaningful, rewarding, and will keep Minnesota moving forward.

Once we have passed all the budget bills off the House floor, and the Senate passes their versions of the bills, folks will be spending time in conference committee ironing out the differences. Those conference committees will then send one version out and to the House and Senate floors for an up or down vote. You cannot amend the conference committee report. Once they pass the respective floors, they go to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

On Monday, the House passed the 2024 Legacy Budget bill with broad bipartisan support on a vote of 118-13. The bill invests nearly $240 million in Minnesota’s outdoor heritage, clean water, parks and trails, and arts and culture from the Legacy Amendment fund. Middle-class

On Tuesday, I joined Education Finance Vice Chair Clardy, Education Policy Chair Pryor, Rep. Edelson, Rep. Sencer-Mura, and Rep. Bianca Virnig at a press conference to announce our intent to pass the K-12 Education bill. You can watch the press conference here and see the coverage of the press conference here and here. The K-12 Education Finance supplemental budget bill builds on our investments last year by increasing funds and flexibility to the Read Act, gets more teachers in our schools, keeps more students in the classrooms, and brings student voices to the table. If you want to take a deep dive into the bill, the House non-partisan summary is here.

K-12 press conference


The rest of the week, the House passed: 

  • An Environment and Natural Resources bill with new investments in tree planting, improving air quality, holding repeat polluters accountable, and tackling solid waste and recycling. 
  • A Children and Families bill that reforms our child protection system and builds on historic investments in economic support for families, food security, and emergency shelter. 
  • A Transportation, Labor, and Housing bill that invests in railroad safety and public transit, enhances worker rights and safety, improves housing stability for renters and seniors, and funds homelessness prevention. 
Transpo, Housing, Labor, Children and Families, Enviro

We passed a Pensions and Retirement bill with bipartisan support, which prioritizes educators’ retirement security, improves our pension systems’ health, and strengthens the benefits retirees can expect. 

On Friday, we started House floor session at 12:30 pm after an early morning Ways & Means Committee. We will work into the early morning hours, but as I write this, we have passed the Tax bill, the Jobs and Economic Development, and started the Higher Education bill and the Elections bill.

jobs and taxes

In the next update, I will fill you in on the details of those bills as well as the rest we will be passing off of the House floor before we head into conference committees.


Gun Violence Prevention Measures Advance

Last year, DFLers took long overdue action to save lives and prioritize Minnesotans’ public safety by enacting criminal background checks and “red flag” laws. We’re building on the work we delivered last year and this week, the House passed the following measures:

HF 601 – Requires lost or stolen firearms to be reported promptly to law enforcement. Lost and stolen guns are often used in crimes or end up in the hands of those who may cause harm to themselves or others. This bill will assist in the recovery of guns and help prevent gun trafficking, so weapons don’t end up in the hands of those ineligible to possess them.

HF 4300 – Requires guns to be stored safely. Heartbreakingly, gun violence is the leading cause of death among children. This is an important step to prevent access by children and help stop tragic accidents.

HF 2609 – This bill has two components. First, it improves Minnesota’s law prohibiting the straw purchase of guns, which occurs when an individual buys a firearm for someone ineligible to have one. The bill increases penalties for straw purchasing and expands the circumstances under which the crime can be prosecuted. Second, the bill bans so-called “binary triggers” which modify guns to more closely mimic fully automatic weapons. The shooter used one of these devices during the February tragedy that occurred in Burnsville, and these weapons have no place in our communities.


Visits to the Capitol

When the legislative session ends on May 20, we will be moving out of the State Office Building and across the way to the Centennial Building. Many of you have visited me at the Capitol and have seen the beautiful work of art (Las Mujeres) that I have been hosting from the artist Jimmy Longoria. Friday morning, Jimmy came to pick up the painting while we are in our two-year temporary offices. A huge thank you to Jimmy Longoria for letting me enjoy this incredible piece of art for the last 10 years! You can see more of Jimmy’s artwork here.


On Friday morning, Edina student athletes visited the Capitol to celebrate their championship wins. Rep. Heather Edelson arranged to have the teams come and receive a legislative resolution to honor their achievements. Unfortunately, I was unable to join in the festivities because I was in the Ways & Means Committee. Congratulations to these student athletes from these Edina teams: Girls’ Hockey, Boys’ Hockey, Girls’ Soccer, Girls’ Swim & Dive, Debate Team, and Robotics Team. Your perseverance and hard work paid off!


Keep in Touch

Please continue to contact me anytime at or 651-296-9889. Email is the best way to get in touch with these long days on the House Floor.

It’s an honor to represent our Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and Edina neighbors in St. Paul.

Have a great weekend!

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Cheryl Youakim
State Representative