St. Paul, Minnesota — House Speaker Melissa Hortman, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, and Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent released the following statement regarding legislative operations in the wake of COVID-19:
“Over the next few weeks, the Minnesota Legislature will continue to work, but by alternative means. We expect to operate efficiently and safely to aid Minnesotans with COVID-19 preparedness and response, and to continue our work to address other pressing needs of the state. While it’s important that we remain in session to swiftly respond to the needs of Minnesotans at this time, we will fully comply with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines including social distancing, limiting large gatherings, telework, and increased cleaning measures.
“The Legislative bodies and committees will meet in floor and committee session on an on-call basis from March 16 through April 14. This means there will not be standing floor and committee meetings, but we will meet on the House and Senate floors and in committees with advance notice to members and to the public. All meetings will be held in spaces that allow six feet of distance between individuals. We will implement telework arrangements for legislative employees where it is possible to do so. We encourage Minnesotans to continue to reach out to their legislators by email, telephone and mail during this period while we are operating via alternate means. We intend to take up legislation on the House and Senate floors during this time period only by agreement of the House DFL, House GOP, Senate DFL and Senate GOP caucus leaders.
“We are working together to ensure the safety of our members, our staff, and the public at this time.”
Legislative leaders will hold a media availability on Monday, March 16 at 10:30 AM in Room 1300 of the Senate Office Building to discuss these changes and what to expect in the week ahead.