Austin to host legislators for House of Representatives mini-session

Published 9:12 am Saturday, September 28, 2019

Next week, during the first week of October, Austin will host part of the Southeastern Minnesota Mini-Session, the first one held in over 20 years. In an ongoing effort to make the Minnesota House of Representatives more responsive and accessible to all Minnesotans, legislators will be holding a series of committee hearings, tours, and educational presentations in Southeastern Minnesota from October 2nd to the 4th.

It used to be a tradition to hold mini-sessions outside of St. Paul, with fourteen mini-sessions taking place between 1987 and 1997. This year’s effort brings new life to the tradition, and I look forward to sharing our corner of Minnesota with my fellow legislators who might be unfamiliar with the needs and importance of our region.

Jeanne Poppe, State Representative, District 27B

Though Winona will act as the official host city, about one-third of the Minnesota House membership will be in Austin on Wednesday morning, Oct. 2, as we welcome a number of legislative committees. Other committees will spend time meeting in Rochester that day.

As the local State Representative, I’m grateful Austin will have the opportunity to be part of this historical event and have the chance to showcase the unique attributes of our region.

While all Minnesotans are welcome and encouraged to participate in legislative activities at the State Capitol in St. Paul, this mini-session will give state legislators from all over Minnesota the opportunity to venture beyond the Capitol to discuss the educational, industrial, and residential policy needs of Southeast Minnesota right in our own backyard.

Many members will start the mini-session in Austin, with the House Agriculture, Capital Investment, Environment, Education, Higher Education, and Elections committees participating in events around the town. Members of the House Agriculture and Food Division will start the day with a tour of the Hormel Plant. The committee will then be joined by the higher ed committee to tour the Hormel Institute.

Education committees will tour our public schools and Riverland Community College. The environment and bonding committees will tour the Austin Wastewater Treatment Plant and flood mitigation projects of the Cedar River Watershed District.

An event for public attendance is the Subcommittee on Elections hearing on the 2020 Census. Minnesota, and the rest of the nation, is preparing for the twenty-fourth United States Census on April 1, 2020. The resulting count will guide the distribution of billions of dollars to Minnesota’s communities, determine political representation for the next decade, and provide data that shapes how Minnesota’s policymakers and business leaders decide to invest public and private resources. Set-up for the hearing should be done by 10:15 a.m., allowing the hearing to begin shortly after. The location for the hearing is Austin City Hall. The public is invited to learn more about the upcoming census, and are welcome to testify by contacting the Committee Administrator Amanda Rudolph at amanda.rudolph@house.mn.

For more information about the 3-day southeastern Minnesota mini-session, please see the Minnesota House of Representatives webpage at www.leg.state.mn.us.