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

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Legislative Weekly Recap - January 19-25, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dear neighbors,

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the legislative offices were closed. The rest of the week was busy as committees started to hear the first of many bills this session.

Policy deadlines were set by leadership this week. March 20 is the deadline for policy bills to pass either the House or the Senate. By March 27 policy bills then have to pass the other body. Budget bills have to be heard by and passed to the Ways & Means Committee by April 24.

Committee Work

In the Property Taxes & Local Government Committee we continued overviews and heard three bills that were laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus bill. In Government Operations and Elections we continued overviews with the Metropolitan Airports Commission, the Campaign Finance & Disclosure Board as well as the Public Employees Retirement Fund, the Legislation Commission on Pensions & Retirement, the League of Minnesota Cities and the Metropolitan Council.

One of the highlights of my week was meeting with constituents from the Alzheimers Foundation and the Federation for the Blind (see below). I, along with many families, have personal experience with this debilitating disease, as my grandmother suffered from Alzheimers. I was happy to hear the Governor’s recent proposal to fund more researchers at the University of Minnesota’s medical school to find cures for these types of diseases.

Legislation: Federal Tax Conformity

On Saturday, Governor Dayton signed the first bill of 2015 into law. The bill (HF 6) will simplify tax filing and provide $20 million in immediate tax savings to more than 200,000 middle-income Minnesotans. The tax conformity bill – which received broad, bipartisan support – was enacted in time for the state to implement the changes with minimal disruption to Minnesota taxpayers. It will expand deductions for higher education tuition, classroom supplies purchased by teachers, mortgage insurance premiums for homeowners, and savings for individuals with disabilities who need government assistance.

Community Town Hall

Last Wednesday night, Jan. 21, was my second Town Hall meeting with Sen. Ron Latz at the Hopkins Depot Coffeehouse. It was a smaller crowd but a great discussion around transportation funding, access to internet, education funding/policy, quality of care in senior homes and sales tax reform.

Upcoming Community Events

Hopkins State of the City

Thursday, Jan. 29 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Food in the lobby at 5 p.m. with the program starting at 6 p.m.

St. Louis Park State of the City

Thursday, Feb. 5 at St. Louis Park City Hall starting at 7:30 a.m.

Meeting with representatives from the Alzheimers Foundation and Minnesota Federation for the Blind.


Have a Great Week!

Cheryl Youakim

State Representative (46B)