Who Represents Me?
Minnesota is made up of 67 districts, each containing one Senator (four-year terms) and averaging 79,163 people. Each of these senate districts are divided into two sections with one Representative (two-year terms) elected from each of these sections representing about 39,582 people.
Look up your legislators: https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/
Qualifications, Duties, and Salary
The main duties of the State Legislature are to pass laws and adopt a state budget. For this service, MN legislators receive a yearly salary of $46,500.
Here are the qualifications to run for the MN Legislature:
21 years old by election day
A qualified voter of the state
A resident of MN for at least one year before the election and at least six months in your district
How to Track a Bill
There are so many potential bills to track in a legislative session, consider signing up for your personalized bill tracking account to keep track of issues that matter to you: https://www.leg.mn.gov/mybills/login?ReturnUrl=%2fmybills%2f
Submitting Public Testimony
Submitting public testimony to a State Legislative Committee Hearing can shape the outcome of policy! It has the ability to spark debate among committee members and can give elected officials a more nuanced view when making policy decisions.
Here’s how you can make your voice heard:
Meeting Calendar: https://www.leg.mn.gov/cal?type=all#s_15721
Click on a meeting to read the instructions on how to submit written testimony for it
State Legislature and Legislative Process
In Minnesota, the legislature meets EACH YEAR as part of a two-year (biennial) session. In odd-numbered years the session is longer for budget planning, convening January through mid-May. The even-numbered years have shorter sessions, convening February through April. The legislature is limited to 120 days for these two-year sessions.
Legislative Committee Calendars
The weekly Legislative Committee schedule comes out every FRIDAY.
Find the schedule here: https://www.leg.mn.gov/cal?type=week
Watch Committee Hearings and Floor Sessions
You can check out live video or archived recordings of legislative committee hearings and floor sessions at:
https://www.senate.mn/media/index.html?ls= (MN Senate)
What is a Legislative Committee?
Committees are the powerhouse of the legislature - this is where the work gets done.
The job of committees is to consider proposed bills. They hold public hearings, make sure each bill is in its best form before it leaves the committee, and decide whether to recommend a bill.
What is a Conference Committee?
If a bill has passed both chambers and the two versions of the bill are not exactly the same, the bill will enter a conference committee, made up of legislators from both the House and Senate, to resolve any differences.
When the two bills look exactly the same, the revised bill is sent back to each chamber for approval. If approved, the bill heads to the Governor. If not approved, it can head back to the conference committee to try again or the bill will die.