Minnesota government is made up of three separate branches (executive, legislative, and judicial). The legislative branch is responsible for the enactment and revision of laws and is the branch we work most closely with as we advocate for library issues, including funding.
The Minnesota Legislature has 67 senators and 134 representatives for a total of 201 members. The State of Minnesota is divided into 67 legislative districts. Voters elect one senator from each of these districts. Each senate district is divided into two sections. Voters elect one House member, or representative, from each section, making a total of 134 representatives. These districts, which are made up of about 39,582 people each, are identified with an "A" or a "B."
When Does the Minnesota Legislature Meet? The Minnesota Legislature meets each year, functioning on a two-year cycle called a biennium. In odd-numbered years, the session begins approximately the first week in January. In even numbered years, it convenes on a date set by joint agreement of both bodies.
The first year (odd-number) of the biennium runs from January through mid-May. It is typically the budget year, focusing on government funding issues, including library systems.
The second year (even-number) typically runs from February-April. This year is usually the bonding year, and also includes focus on policy changes.
Legislative Committees Most Closely Tied to Library Issues
In the Legislature, the library community is most closely involved with the following Senate committees:
E-12 Finance Committee
Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee
Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance
The House Committees that the library community is most closely involved with include:
Education Innovation Policy
Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance
Legacy Funding Finance