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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

Republicans affirm Daudt, Peppin leadership; DFL chooses Hortman

Current House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin (R-Rogers) retained t...

Dayton, Daudt pessimistic on prospects for special session

A potential special session appears to be no closer following a meeting Tuesday between Gov. Mark...

Recent Dailies

Dayton, legislative leaders close to wrapping December special session deal

Just in time for Christmas, the Legislature could be providing gifts to many Minnesotans. Gov...

State budget forecast holds steady, projects $1.4 billion surplus

(UPDATED) A Republican-controlled Legislature and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton are projected to have ...

House committee structure and chairs named for upcoming biennium

House Republican leadership has announced the committee structure and chairs for the 90th legisla...

Republicans hold House, expand their majority

Republicans retained control of the Minnesota House of Representatives on Election Day, enlarging...

House committee buzzes over governor's executive order on pollinator decline

Farmers were caught off guard by Gov. Mark Dayton’s Aug. 26 executive order calling for steps to ...

State fair poll: Tax hikes for transit, transportation receive positive responses

Most of those participating in the House of Representatives state fair poll are willing to pay mo...

Dayton declares he won't call special session

Funding for a light rail line has derailed plans for a special session that would have addressed ...

With lawmakers deadlocked on light rail, still no special session

Disagreement among top Minnesota lawmakers over state funding for the proposed Southwest light ra...

Dayton, leaders say deal is near for August special session

Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders said Friday they expect to hold a special session in mid...

Little special session progress as legislative leaders, governor meet again

If legislative leaders and the governor can’t even agree if a meeting was productive, what does t...

Bonding bill that failed in session’s final moments gets first hearing

House and Senate lawmakers on Tuesday resumed sparring over a proposed $1 billion bonding bill as...

After Monday’s tax veto, focus shifts to resurrecting nearly $1 billion bonding bill

Now that the omnibus tax bill is off the table because of Gov. Mark Dayton’s pocket veto Monday, ...

Tax bill standoff continues as House Republicans, Gov. Dayton stand firm

With the clock ticking toward an omnibus tax bill veto, House Republicans on Monday laid a hard-s...

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