Tribune of the People was first published in 1990. The Minnesota legislature enjoys a national reputation for confronting difficult state problems and devising innovative ways of dealing with them. In recent years, however, as issues have become increasingly complex and controversial, public respect for the legislature has declined. In 1985 the legislature commissioned a study to analyze this troubling situation. Tribune of the People is the result of that study. Working under the auspices of the Hubert H. Humphery Institute of Public Affairs and the political science department of the University of Minnesota, the authors conducted in-depth interviews supplemented with independent research to evaluate the legislature in the quarter century since reapportionment was mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court. Moving from a historical view to a series of close-up shots, the study considered the decision-making process during the 1985-86 session: how the legislators confronted divisive issues such as the Environmental Superfund, taxes, and health policy. Finally, the study suggests a number of procedural and staffing reforms aimed at restoring public confidence in the institution. Most notable among them are proposals for reducing the size of the legislature and making it a unicameral body.
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