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

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Legislative Update- March 5, 2021

Friday, March 05, 2021

Rep. Youakim

 

Dear Neighbors,

Our state received encouraging news on Wednesday with the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. This is a significant development and I, like everyone else, am optimistic about widespread vaccine availability being around the corner. If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to sign up for Minnesota’s Vaccine Connector, which will notify you when you’re eligible and connect you with vaccination opportunities.

There are two more opportunities to join in on a virtual Community Conversation. Tuesday, March 9 will be the next one, at 6:30 p.m. And, the final one before our brief legislative break is Saturday, March 13 at 10:30 a.m. With the legislative session nearing the halfway point, it will be a great opportunity to share priorities and ask questions. Hope to see you there!

 

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Committee work continues and chairs are holding meetings into the evening as we approach our first committee deadline next Friday. Here’s an update on our progress:


Legislation Advances

This week, I had an opportunity to present two of my bills. The first extends state aid to local governments to fund increased employer contributions to the Public Employees Retirement Association and the second would make investments to the ParentChild+ home program. This program focuses on improving children’s literacy. There are proven outcomes for children in the PCHP program; they are 50% more likely to be ready for kindergarten; 50% less likely to be referred to special education services by 3rd grade; and 30% more likely to graduate from high school. I’ll continue to advocate for both of these important measures’ advancement.


New Appointment

I’m pleased to share I’ve been appointed by the Speaker to serve on the Subcommittee on Employee Relations for the 2021-2022 biennium. This is the subcommittee charged with reviewing and approving state employees’ labor contracts. I’m looking forward to this new opportunity!

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New Proposal Provides Jobless Benefits for Hourly School Employees

Legislation has been introduced to provide Unemployment Insurance benefits to school bus drivers, cafeteria, paraprofessionals, and other hourly school employees. These Minnesotans have gone above and beyond to care for Minnesota kids. These heroic individuals, whose jobs got interrupted through no fault of their own, deserve access to unemployment benefits. KARE11 has the story here


Public Option Legislation Featured on Newest Minnesota Values Podcast Episode

A new proposal to establish a public option for Minnesotans without access to affordable, comprehensive health care is the focus of the newest House DFL podcast episode. The bill’s chief author, Rep. Jen Schultz of Duluth, says Minnesotans from across all geography and backgrounds would benefit. Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts, and share the episode with your family and friends. 


Survey Reminder

Here’s a reminder to please take a moment to share your thoughts with me by taking my 2021 legislative survey. Hearing from you is very important to me, and helps drive my work for our Hopkins and St. Louis Park neighbors.


Connecting with Community

This week, I had the chance to join advocates at the Children First Annual (virtual) Breakfast. They do incredible work supporting and mentoring our St. Louis Park youth! And that was on full display yesterday morning with the wonderful student emcees and a student produced film. You can learn more about Children First and their work here.

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Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime with feedback, ideas, or questions. I can be reached at rep.cheryl.youakim@house.mn or 651-296-9889. As we continue to operate remotely in the House, email is the quickest way to get in touch.

Have a great weekend!

Warmly,

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Cheryl Youakim

State Representative 

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