The start of 2016 legislative session is Tuesday, March 8. There are big changes with the restoration of the Minnesota State Capitol and the opening of the Minnesota Senate Building. In general, that means changes for meeting locations and access to buildings. If you plan to advocate, attend meetings or sessions, please be sure to read this entire blog post.
Senate: The Senate will conduct all of its legislative activities in the new Minnesota Senate Building (MSB). The Senate Chamber will be temporarily relocated to the new building for the 2016 session. Senate committee hearing rooms and offices for senators are also located in the MSB. Republican senators will continue to have an office in the State Office Building for this legislative session. Here is a link to information about the MSB including maps and parking information: http://mn.gov/admin/capitol-restoration/visiting/senate/index.jsp.
House of Representatives: Most legislative activities for the House of Representatives will continue to occur in the State Office Building (SOB). House legislative offices and committee hearing rooms have not moved. Floor sessions will occur in the House Chamber. Please note, access to the State Capitol Building will be quite limited and will require a pass. A pass system will be used to facilitate public access with an alternate viewing location set up in Room 10 of the State Office Building.
House Chamber: The Capitol Building is an active construction site, which limits accessibility to the House Chamber. The building will only be open when the House of Representatives is conducting business on the House floor. Capacity in and around the Chamber is limited to 258 people, including legislators and staff. The House has designated the east alcove of the House Chamber as a public viewing area for those with passes. A pass does not guarantee access to the alcove.
The public will be able to send messages to legislators in the House Chamber by:
- The Page Desk that will be adjacent to the House Chamber (for those with a pass) OR
- Room 10 of the SOB, that will have a computer for messages to the Page Desk that will be printed and delivered to legislators’ desks.
Please do not hesitate to contact Assistant Commissioners Erin Campbell at 651-201-2561 or Curt Yoakum at 651-201-2771 should you have any questions. Please note that the Capitol Restoration website will be updated throughout session at http://www.mn.gov/admin/capitol-restoration.