For the first time in its history, the Minnesota House of Representatives on Wednesday held an official committee meeting remotely, with members convening over the phone to conduct business and take votes.
The House Rules and Legislative Administration Committee met to learn more about such “remote hearings” and hear how the House could implement them in the coming days and weeks to continue its work amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley), the committee chair, said he is reluctant to meet remotely but sees no alternative given the present circumstances requiring social distancing.
“We have to keep staff and legislators safe and healthy during this pandemic,” Winkler said. “We need to continue doing the work of the public and we need to do so in as open and transparent manner as we can.”