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

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Legislative Weekly Recap - January 12-16, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dear neighbors,

This year marks the 50th year of the Voting Rights Act, a landmark piece of federal legislation that prohibited racial discrimination in voting. Yesterday, we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day and once again were reminded of the struggle that so many made to safeguard our precious right to vote. I am honored to serve on the Government Operations & Elections Committee, and I hope that we will continue to find ways to restore the right to vote to those who have served their time and encourage them on their path to re-enter society.

Committee Work

Last week brought the first full week of committees and along with the committee mentioned above, I have also been assigned to Property Taxes & Local Government and the Rules & Administration Committees. I know my experiences and learning during my nine years on the Hopkins City Council will serve me well in this new role.

One of the highlights of my week happened on Thursday when newly elected Secretary of State Steve Simon presented an overview of his office in Government Operations & Elections. He has left big shoes to fill and I wish him well in his new position! Later that day the House voted, with bipartisan support, on a tax conformity bill. The hope is that the Senate will act with expediency and it will be signed into law by the Governor in time for people to be able to put the provisions to use for their tax returns this year.


Currently, I am working on a bill called “This Old Shop/This Old House”. It would authorize a property tax credit for individuals rehabilitating old homes or smaller old commercial/industrial buildings. My hope is to build bipartisan support for it and get a hearing in the Property Taxes and Local Government Committee. Sen. Latz is carrying the bill in the Senate.

I also had the pleasure of signing onto a few bills last week: requesting bonding money to complete the State portion of the SW LRT; funding of universal 4 year-old pre-school; a constitutional amendment to ensure equality under the law is not abridged or denied on account of gender; and, funding for a water inflow and infiltration reduction program that will benefit our local communities and save local funds used to treat and filter water.

As you can see, the session is already off to a quick start and I would love to hear your priorities. Consider attending the next Town Hall or please feel free to contact me with any issues or concerns.

Have a Great Week!

Cheryl Youakim

Minnesota State Representative (46B)