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

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Legislative Weekly Recap - Jan. 26 - Feb. 2, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dear neighbors,

Last Monday the Senate and House passed a disaster relief bill that funded about $17 million in state disaster relief funding, which Governor Dayton signed into law shortly after. The bill passed with unanimous bipartisan support from both chambers and includes $13 million to cover the cost of the state match for monies spent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in responding to flooding that struck the state in June 2014 following a series of torrential rainstorms that affected 37 counties and three parcels of American Indian tribal land.

Also on Monday, I attended a meeting of the Hennepin County legislative delegation. We talked about the importance of funding the Minnesota Poison Control Center that is located in Hennepin County. We also discussed the need for added investment in early childhood programs and how important it is to get the Southwest Light Rail Transit project done.

On Thursday, I turned in my first bill that will be introduced on the floor Monday, February 2 (today). It brings back “This Old House”, a deduction on your tax assessment if you make improvements to a home that is 30 years old or older, and includes a deduction for small businesses in older buildings that make improvements as well. I have the support of the League of Minnesota Cities and am honored to have the Chair of the Tax Committee in the House as a co-author.

Throughout the week I also had the pleasure of meeting with constituents from the Credit Union Network, the Traumatic Brain Injury Association and the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance as well as Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

Committee Work

In the Property Taxes & Local Government Committee we had an overview about the tax assessment process. In Government Operations and Elections we laid over a bill for possible inclusion in the elections omnibus bill. It modified the standards for investigating and prosecuting election fraud. We also heard from the Association of Minnesota Counties, the Association of Minnesota Townships and the St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association.

Community Events

Last Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending the Hopkins State of the City address. After spending nine years as being part of the program, it was fun to be able to sit back and watch. The evening started out with food and beverages from local restaurants, then over 100 people funneled into the Jaycee Studio at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Mayor Gene Maxwell, and members of the Hopkins City Council, began the program with a series of survey questions with technology support provided by the North Junior High Genius Group. Great food, great information and great entertainment!

Friday, I met with St. Louis Park Schools Superintendent Robert Metz. He gave me a great overview of the district programs and a tour of St. Louis Park High School. The district is making amazing strides in addressing the achievement gap and has been recognized nationally for their work on developing assets that help students achieve their maximum potential.

Upcoming Community Events

St. Louis Park State of the City

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


Have a Great Week!

Cheryl Youakim

State Representative (46B)