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Welcome to the second year of the 89th legislative session

By Lee Ann Schutz
House Photography file photo
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Legislators will have to hit the ground running if they want to get work done in 2016 — they face the latest start-date for the regular session in recent memory.

The 2016 legislative session is scheduled to begin March 8, and with a constitutionally mandated end date of May 23, lawmakers have just 55 legislative days in which to get the job done. A legislative day is different than a calendar day, and lawmakers have a total of 120 days within the two sessions – they used up 65 last session - so there’s not a lot of time until the gavel comes down to end biennium.

Odd vs. Even

House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) previews the 2016 legislative session
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Why is this year’s session so short and so late? To answer that question, you have to look at what traditionally differentiates the first, or odd-numbered, year of a biennium, and the second, or even-numbered, year.

The Legislature’s most important task in an odd-numbered year is to create the state’s biennial budget, but in the second year of the biennium, like 2016, the Legislature’s focus is usually on capital investment.

That bonding law helps fund state and local infrastructure improvements, and in recent years tops out at nearly $1 billion in projects.

Historically, these bonding sessions are shorter and tend to start later than odd-year sessions. This year, however, the length of the session is being somewhat determined by the Capitol renovation project. The building will only be open for House floor sessions and there will be no running water or indoor toilets.

Public access

House Photography file photo
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Public access to the capitol this year is limited because of the ongoing restoration project. However, the House of Representatives is making every effort to provide public access to what is happening on the House Floor and in committees.

If you are planning a visit to your legislator or would like to attend a hearing, first visit the Department of Administration web page, to learn where to park, and how to view the legislative happenings.

However, there are several ways that you can stay informed. If you haven’t done so already, sign up to follow House action the nonpartisan way:

This session, besides having the ability to watch the Legislature at work on your local public television Minnesota Channel, House Floor sessions and selected committee hearings will be streamed live on the House website.

Stay connected with your representative

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls) previews the 2016 legislative session
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To access your representative's page, go to the House of Representatives website. Click the “Member Information” link, which can be found along the left side of the page. You will find yourself on the “House Member Information” page. Next, click on “List of all members of Minnesota House of Representatives.” You will then find yourself on a page listing House members with their contact information. Click on your member’s name and you will now be on his or her House page.

  • To download a photo of your legislator to your computer for your use, right click on image and save.
  • On many member pages, you will find a link to a video interview. Some members have RSS feeds for their press releases or podcasts; links to these are provided as well. Included on the page are links to bills the member has “authored” (we call it sponsored).

Many Legislators are also active on social media — find a list of current House members on Twitter here

Search Session Daily

Priority Dailies

House GOP offers tab fee hike in effort to break transportation deadlock

House Republicans hoped to move toward a transportation compromise Tuesday morning, offering, for...

Recent Dailies

2016 session goes sine die, but will loose ends mean a special session?

The words “sine die” had barely been uttered before legislators started talking special session. ...

No bonding bill after chaotic close to 2016 legislative session

It could be the bonding year that wasn’t. House and Senate lawmakers failed late Sunday to pa...

House, Senate pass $182 million supplemental budget headed to governor

Although few members had read all of the 599 pages of the supplemental budget bill before it appe...

House repasses LCCMR appropriations bill, sends to governor

The House voted 92-40 to adopt the conference committee report and repass HF2993/SF2963* late Sun...

Omnibus state employee retirement bill passes House

Departing member Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) had aimed to “go quietly into the nigh...

Railroad crossing requirements pass House as amended

Additional requirements could be coming to utility companies looking to establish facilities alon...

Omnibus tax bill wins overwhelming House support

The first of this session’s major spending bills was passed off the House Floor 123-10 early Sund...

Supplemental budget coming together one piece at a time

UPDATED at 2:16 a.m. In the waning hours of the legislative session, lawmakers are beginning ...

House passes bill to reform substance use disorder treatment system

Minnesotans struggling with substance use could receive better treatment and support under a bill...

Pared-down game and fish bill, as amended, moves on

The House voted 80-44 to pass HF2845/SF2759* Saturday, amending a bill that deals with penalties ...

Omnibus tax bill ready to return to the House Floor

House and Senate conferees approved the report on the agreed provisions in the omnibus tax bill, ...

Amended child care task force passes House, back to Senate

Where have all the child care providers gone? Proposed legislation aims to answer that and other ...

Sulfate discharge change at Keetac mine proposed

A requirement that United States Steel Corporation’s Keetac mining facility in Keewatin observe a...

Transportation chairs outline compromise funding plans

House and Senate lawmakers negotiating a long-term transportation funding package outlined new of...

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