Although the Minnesota State Legislature is changing its regularly scheduled hours and recess due to COVID-19 concerns, southwestern Minnesota legislators will still be available to discuss issues with their constituents.

Senator Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls stated on Monday, “This recess is not a break for the legislature. Rest assured, I will continue working on our most important projects and the issues my constituents bring forward. I will remain available by phone and email. As this is uncharted territory, we have to be flexible in our response and will keep the public updated as necessary.”

Representative Paul Torkelson of Hanska stated, “Residents should know that I’m still working for them, but I’ll be doing so by alternate means. As we move forward, I hope we can all take a moment to recognize that some of our neighbors are in need and that we will look for ways to help.” 

Representative Chris Swedzinski, of Ghent, stated, “Daily operations are going to be different at this time and the most important thing we can do is to take advantage of today’s technology to remain in constant communication. Constituent outreach remains a priority for us in the legislature, and we encourage citizens to continue using us as resources. Also, it is crucial that we seek trusted online sources as we obtain new information regarding this outbreak so that we can best manage this issue together.”

Leaders of the Minnesota Legislature have also announced that beginning Tuesday, March 17, the House of Representatives and Senate will alter their operations and suspend all legislative business until April 14 in order to protect the public and limit the public spread of COVID-19.

Residents who have concerns or questions can still direct them to: