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

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Legislative Weekly Recap - February 9-15, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dear neighbors,

Last Tuesday evening, I returned to Hopkins City Hall to meet with the City Council during their work session to discuss legislative issues. It was interesting to be on the other side of the table and we had a great conversation!

Wednesday, I presented my first bill to the Property Taxes & Local Government Finance Committee (HF473). 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. The bill also includes a deduction for small businesses in older buildings that make improvements. Hopkins City Manager, Mike Mornson, and Hopkins resident, Shelly Billiet, testified in support as well as the League of Minnesota Cities and the Historic Preservation Alliance. You can read the ‘Session Daily’ coverage of the bill here.

City Manager of Hopkins, Mike Mornson, testifying in support of the "This Old House/Shop" bill.

Thursday on the House floor, we adopted the permanent rules that the House will function under this session. I serve on the Rules& Legislative Administration Committee that reviewed the amended rules before they were presented on the floor.

Friday, I spent time in Hopkins and St. Louis Park visiting with various community members. I met with the Hopkins City Clerk, as well as others, to discuss election related legislation. Then I had the chance to learn about the amazing program at the Meadowbrook Collaborative from Linda Trummer. I ended the day meeting with Dr. John Schultz, the Superintendent of Hopkins Schools, to hear about new programs and initiatives in the schools. Students in both Hopkins and St. Louis Park are lucky to have such two such amazing school districts.

Committee Work

In Governmental Operations and Elections on Tuesday and Wednesday, we heard a series of bills dealing with a variety of subjects: allowing cities to purchase construction materials tax exempt for local projects, a bill making technical corrections for the campaign finance board, one that ratified a few of the State Labor agreements and the Uniform Faithful Presidential Electors Act. Last Thursday, the Subcommittee on Met Council Accountability and Transparency met in place of the regularly scheduled Governmental Operations and Elections Committee.

In the Property Taxes & Local Government Committee we heard my bill regarding This Old House (mentioned above) that was laid over for possible inclusion in the Omnibus Property Tax bill. We also heard a bill that extended the deadline for property tax refunds as well as one that moves the date for the certification of proposed levies in special taxing districts.

Meetings with Constituents

Throughout the week I met with constituents from the hospitality industry and those here for Pharmacy Day. Unfortunately, I missed the students visiting from the University of Minnesota. My husband and I are both alumni of the University of Minnesota. We have a daughter who is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota (Morris) and our son, who is senior in high school, will be attending there next year as well.

Have a Great Week!

Cheryl Youakim

State Representative (46B)