Jan 31, 2022 - News

Minnesota House, Senate diverge on COVID policies

ryan winkler walks down a mostly empty house floor with a mask

Photo: Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via Getty Images

The Minnesota House and Senate are again taking different approaches to governing amid the pandemic.

State of play: The GOP-majority Senate will meet in-person, though members have the option to vote remotely. Committee meetings will take a similar format, with people participating both via Zoom and in hearing rooms.

  • The DFL-controlled House, meanwhile, will continue hybrid floor sessions and mostly virtual hearings. Unlike in the Senate, reporters and others will not be allowed on the floor while members are voting.

Plus: Masks are required by House rules, but not in the Senate. Access to offices remains restricted, though the Senate's building has partially reopened.

Why it matters: While originally instituted to protect public health, remote proceedings have also hindered access for advocates, the public and the press.

What to watch: House Republicans are expected to push for changes to the House rules that would give the public access to the State Office Building and media access to the floor.

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