About Your Legislators
Your Legislators returns to Pioneer Public Television for its 32nd season in 2013. Your Legislators is a live one-hour public affairs program produced for public television stations serving the citizens of Minnesota. It allows moderator Barry Anderson to field questions from viewers and provides a forum for citizens to directly obtain information about state issues that most concern them. Each week the panel is made up of a politically balanced group of four Minnesota state legislators, each representing a different caucus, which allows for rigorous debate and discussion of the issues with the depth and detail necessary to address many of the complex issues facing Minnesota today.
Viewers are invited to call or e-mail Pioneer with questions and comments. In fact, these questions and comments are typically what determine the topics of each show.
Broadcast live every Thursday at 8:00 p.m. live from our studios in downtown St. Paul during the Minnesota Legislative session, Moderator Barry Anderson hosts a panel of representatives and senators and gives them the opportunity to answer your questions. The program is also repeated on Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
Go to channel 10-3 in Appleton or 20-2 in Worthington to see legislative coverage on the Minnesota Channel. The Minnesota Channel is available on many cable systems and is free on over-the-air channels. For more information on cable carriage in your area, contact your local cable system. Check out the Your Legislators coverage map.
In 1981, Your Legislators first aired and was produced in the studios of Pioneer Public Television in Appleton with moderator Virginia Smith. The show initially aired on Sundays at 5 p.m. As the years passed, it became clear it would be easier for legislators to participate in the program if it was produced closer to St. Paul, Minn.. It first found a new home in Hutchinson, Minn.. This move not only improved participation in the program, but also allowed college students in television production to gain real world experience by participating as crew for the show. The second year at the Hutchinson studio brought a new host and moderator for Your Legislators. Mary Page agreed to take the helm and move the program into the future for the next two seasons.
In 1989 Pioneer Public TV was fortunate to find a new host. Barry Anderson, originally an attorney from Hutchinson, is currently a Minnesota state supreme court judge and has served as host/moderator for the past 21 years. He brought and continues to bring a strong legal background to the issues of the program, but a rich history and interest in state politics and public policy. Back-up hosts have included Geoff Hathaway, David Minge, and Jim Thoreen.
In an effort to continually make improvements, Your Legislators made another move from Hutchinson right to St. Paul, to the studios of St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) as well as a move to primetime on Thursday nights. The move to St. Paul made it much easier for all state legislators to participate and the new time allowed more viewership. The program was uplinked on the PBS satellite by Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, and the program grew. With continual production improvements and participation from key legislators (thereby adding more value to the viewers), Your Legislators began to gain popularity in the state. In 1999 Lakeland Public Television, serving north central Minnesota from Brainerd and Bemidji began to air the program, adding an entirely different geographic area with new concerns and questions provided an interesting mix to the program. Then in 2001, KSMQ serving the southeastern part of Minnesota from Austin and Prairie Public Television of Fargo, N.D., serving northwestern Minnesota as well as all of North Dakota began to broadcast the program. In 2002 WDSE PBS 8 from Duluth added Your Legislators to their schedule of programs as well. In 2003, Your Legislators was also carried on cable in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area on MCN 6, cable channel 6 in the seven-county metro area, as well as many other metro cable networks. In 2005, the Minnesota Channel began broadcasting Your Legislators Sundays at 10 p.m. Most recently, in 2009, Pioneer began streaming episodes of the show on our website Friday's after the initial Thursday broadcast.
With Your Legislators being carried by Minnesota’s Public Television stations serving the majority of the state, the program’s mission and purpose become even stronger. After thirty years on the air, Your Legislators has reached the ultimate level in service and credibility. Your Legislators airs every Thursday from 8 to 9 p.m. during the legislative session.