Oct 22, 2021 - Politics

Minnesota House to remain hybrid in 2022

The Minnesota House chamber, with a blurry vignette.

The House chamber, pictured in April 2020. Photo: John Autey/MediaNews Group/St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images

The Minnesota House will continue pandemic-era precautions and restrictions on public access.

Driving the news: In an email to members and staff Thursday, House Speaker Melissa Hortman said the chamber "will continue remote and hybrid operations at least through the end of the 2022 regular session."

  • That means many legislators will participate (and vote) in floor sessions from home. Most committee hearings will also be conducted online.

Plus: Those who do attend in person will still be required to wear masks, and the building housing members' offices will be closed to the public.

What she's saying: "This decision was not made lightly, but with full consideration for the health and safety of members, staff, and the public, as well as the need to minimize disruptions to legislative business while ensuring the public's ability to participate in the legislative process," Hortman wrote.

Yes, but: While Zoom hearings can allow a broader population to tune in and testify, remote legislating can make it harder for the public and press to reach their representatives directly and in person.

  • And some legislators have said the hybrid nature made dealmaking more difficult over the last two years.

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