The League of Women Voters will hold its annual forum on government this Saturday, featuring a number of local and state officials.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Winona History Center, with the forum from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

State lawmakers expected to attend include Sen. Matt Schmit, DFL-Red Wing, Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, and Rep. Gene Pelowski, DFL-Winona.

Local speakers will include Winona Mayor Mark Peterson, Goodview Mayor Steve Baumgart, Winona County Recorder Bob Bambenek, and County Commissioner Marie Kovecsi, among others.

Lynn Theurer, LWV voter services chair, said the group hopes to address a number of issues in the hourlong presentation, which will start with statements from the panelists before moving into open discussion.

“This is an open public forum,” Theurer said. “There should be ample time for those who attend to ask questions.”

Topics are expected to range widely, from topical, timely and close to Winona issues, including mental health services funding, juvenile criminal procedures, housing and undocumented workers’ rights, national topics and more general discussion of immigration reform, election transparency and education reform.

One topic that crosses sections of several of the issues is voters’ rights, Theurer said, which will likely appear in several ways throughout the discussion, in everything from election funding to rights of felons to vote in Minnesota.

“Voting rights are essential to us as citizens,” Theurer said.

Stephanie Nuttall, president of the Winona LWV and moderator for the event, said the forum will also be informative for attendees and give people in Winona County a chance to interact with their elected officials.

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