Minnesota lawmakers are starting to hold remote listening sessions for redrawing congressional district lines.
Redistricting takes place every 10 years following the U.S. Census. Lawmakers have a Feb. 15 deadline to define new districts.
Minnesota has 67 legislative districts, each with two seats in the state House of Representatives and one in the state Senate. General statewide population data arrived at the end of April. Lawmakers at that time learned that Minnesota’s population grew 7.6% from 2010 to 2020 (now at 5,706,494), which was slightly more than the 7.4% national average.
The size of each House and Senate district in Minnesota could either grow or shrink, once redistricting is complete.
According to the Minnesota House of Representatives information service, the “ideal” House district will now have a population of 42,586 — up from 39,582 in 2010 — while the “ideal” Senate district will be 85,172 — up from 79,163.
The 2020 census, which faced challenges with COVID-19 and national politics and was due to come out at the end of 2020, was issued in July. According to those data, the top 10 fastest-growing counties in Minnesota over the last decade were Carver, Scott, Wright, Olmsted, Washington, Hennepin, Clay, Dakota, Anoka and Sherburne. All of those counties have growing populations in metro areas.
However, 35 rural Minnesota counties lost population. Counties losing more than 5% of their populations were Traverse, Norman, Murray, Renville, Lake of the Woods, Lac qui Parle, Kittson, Yellow Medicine and Koochiching.
A 19-member Minnesota House redistricting committee has been working over the summer and has set up remote listening sessions for congressional districts across the state. They will be held as follows:
• Wednesday (Aug. 25), 2 p.m.5th Congressional District
• Wednesday (Aug. 25), 7 p.m. 4th Congressional District
• Sept. 13, 3 p.m. 3rd Congressional District
• Sept. 13, 7 p.m. 6th Congressional District
• Sept. 15, 8:30 a.m. 1st Congressional District
• Sept. 15, 11:30 a.m. 2nd Congressional District
• Sept. 20, 3 p.m. 7th Congressional District
• Sept. 20, 7 p.m. 8th Congressional District
Each listening session begins with a 15-minute recap of population trends and shift analyses, followed by a 75-minute period for public testimony.
Nancy Conley is the committee administrator for the Minnesota House Redistricting Committee and Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee. If you would like to testify or submit written testimony, email your request or testimony no later than 4 p.m. the day prior to the hearing to [email protected].
Remote hearings may be viewed via the House webcast schedule page.
All meeting documents are posted on the House Redistricting Committee website.