Minnesota House and Senate restructure, name committee chairs

Before sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner last week, the new Minnesota House DFL majority announced its committees and chairs for the 2019 legislative session. Most notable for CGMC priorities is that Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth), a longtime advocate for the Local Government Aid program, will serve as chair of the House Tax Committee.

The DFL made a few structural changes relevant to CGMC priorities, including the creation of a Greater Minnesota Jobs & Economic Development Division. The new Greater Minnesota committee will be chaired by Rep. Gene Pelowski (DFL-Winona). The new majority also combined the Transportation Finance and Transportation Policy committees. This new joint committee will be chaired by Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis), who also served as transportation finance chair last time the DFL held the House majority. There was also a shake up on the bonding committee, where longtime Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown) will now serve as chair, with former chair Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul) moving over to chair a newly created Housing Finance & Policy Division.

Here are a few of the committee chairs most relevant to CGMC’s priorities:

  • Taxes – Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth)
  • Capital Investment – Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown)
  • Environment & Natural Resources Finance Division – Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul)
  • Environment & Natural Resources Policy – Rep. John Persell (DFL-Bemidji)
  • Subcommittee on Water – Rep. Peter Fischer (DFL-Maplewood)
  • Transportation Finance & Policy – Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis)
  • Jobs & Economic Development Finance Division – Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul)
  • Greater Minnesota Jobs & Economic Development Finance Division – Rep. Gene Pelowski (DFL-Winona)
  • Government Operations – Rep. Michael Freiberg (DFL-Golden Valley)

A full list of House committee chairs can be found HERE. The full membership of these committees will likely be named in mid-December.

The Minnesota Senate also made committee announcements this week. Although the majority party in the Senate has not changed, the departure of Senate President Michelle Fischbach (R-Paynesville) from the Legislature led to some minor shake ups in the committee structure. Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) was chosen to take Fischbach’s place as Senate President, leaving a vacancy in the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Committee. Taking Miller’s place as chair of that committee will be Sen. Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake). Pratt, who has served in the Senate since 2012, chaired the E-12 Policy Committee during the 2017-18 biennium and did not serve on the Jobs Committee during that span.