The Minnesota Legislature determines what will and will not become law. Literally. The Senate and House of Representatives meet in regular session each biennium for a total not exceeding 120 legislative days to make or not make our laws. Per Minnesota Statute Section 3.011, the Ninety-third Session of the Minnesota Legislature will begin on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at 12:00pm. Why is January 3, 2023, the first day of Session? Again, according to Minnesota Statute Section 3.011, “the legislature meets on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each odd-numbered year, unless the first Monday in January falls on January 1, when it meets on the first Wednesday after the first Monday.” Seems easy, or not. Even numbered years are easier: “In even-numbered years, the legislature convenes on a date set by joint agreement of both bodies.”
Regardless of when Session starts, the process of making or not making laws is important to everyone, and if you want to continue to meaningfully trap or benefit from those that do trap, you need to be involved during the Legislative Session. In 2023, the Minnesota Trappers Association, as with other state trapping associations and national trapping associations, will be involved at the state legislative and national legislative sessions around the country.
Involvement in the last two Sessions has in large part been limited by COVID restrictions. The 2023 Session should be more open to getting involved. A Trappers Day at the Capitol, in-person committee hearings and meetings with legislators should again be available to the public. You should take the time to “show up.” You should and need to support state and national trapping associations so they can show up. You can do this first by being a member, but also by volunteering and financially supporting your associations. Meaningful trapping is literally one legislative session away from being part of history and not part of the future. So, support and show up. I look forward to seeing you in St. Paul this Session.
Gary R. Leistico- MTA Legal Counsel
Gary R. Leistico is an Attorney along with Attorney Jayne E. Esch at the newly established law firm of Leistico & Esch, PLLC., and has practiced civil and criminal litigation concentrating in the areas of natural resources, environmental, and agricultural law for the past 29 years. He is general counsel to the National Trappers Association and Minnesota Trappers Association.