For the first time in decades, legislators are holding a special session outside of the Capitol, one in which lawmakers are expected to vote on a handful of bills that represent roughly of the state's budget.
The temporary space, the State Office Building (SOB), is typically used for committee hearings and houses House members' office. On Friday, legislators crammed into two hearing rooms in the SOB, upending how the two legislative bodies operate.
The House, the larger and typically more rambunctious body, was under strict protocol. Seats were assigned, and there were heavy limitations in the space for public viewing. The Senate, meanwhile, had no assigned seating. DFL senators sat on one side; Republicans on the other.
The Minnesota House gaveled in at 10 a.m., while senators began streaming in. The Senate gaveled in 15 minutes later. Lawmakers are gathered to take action on bills related to education, environment and jobs and energy. They will also vote on a $373-million public works bonding bill, a Legacy bill and a revisor's bill, legislation to make technical fixes to bills.