ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC)- It was a busy day at the Minnesota State Capitol Wednesday with representatives on the House floor pouring over the omnibus tax bill. Destination Medical Center officials were hoping some legislators were keeping an eye to their phones, specifically to Twitter.
It is hard to argue the effectiveness of social media and its ability to spread information at a rapid pace, and DMC officials tried to take advantage of that. Yet, did it have the desired effect?
From the day the Destination Medical Center proposal was announced at the Capitol, supporters have not stopped working.
"Mayo has been very deliberate, working with the community, working with the region and working with the state to make sure that this is done correctly," says Lisa Clarke, an administrator with Mayo Clinic. "We've had a lot of people to weigh in on this, we've received a lot of input."
On Wednesday, that input has come through in the form of Twitter in what they are calling DMC Tweet Day.
"I'm not certain that social media sways people so much as it does communicate issues to people in ways that are short and brief and easy to access and timely," says DFL Representative Kim Norton of Rochester. "So, I think that is the advantage for folks back home."
People with Twitter accounts could use the hashtag #MNLEG to share reasons why they support or object to the proposal, and even though the idea was made by DMC officials, there were some who pointed out negatives.
"The Destination Medical Center, in my view, trumps a lot of negatives," explains Republican Senator David Senjem of Rochester. "We need to do this to ensure Mayo's future in Minnesota and not anywhere else."
But did DMC Tweet Day bring the results they had hoped?
"I don't know if it's having an effect on anyone on the House floor," says Rep. Norton. "I think pretty much because this is included in the tax bill, people know how they're going to vote one way or the other already."
The news for social media users is not all bad, Rep. Norton suggests that it could be a path to a more traditional method of communication.
"It may sway the public's opinion, but I don't think it does anything here in the halls of the Capitol other than, of course, if our constituents hear about it and contact us, we do listen."
In a way, that may be all DMC officials were hoping for.
If you were to glance through #MNLeg through the day Wednesday, even though there were people who used the hashtag to talk DMC, it was mostly used to follow the action of the House debate on the omnibus tax bill.
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