November 12, 2012

New DFL Leadership in House and Senate

A hurricane blew through the Minnesota State Capitol on election night! The Democrats swept both chambers in the Legislature and now have control of the State House, Senate and the Governor’s office.  The House DFL Caucus met this week and elected Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls) as their Speaker-designate. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) will serve as Majority Leader. The House has 42 newly elected members; 27 DFL and 15 GOP.  The Senate DFL Caucus also met and elected Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) as Majority Leader-designate, Katie Sieben (DFL-Newport) as Assistant Majority Leader-designate, and Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) as President-designate of the Senate. The DFL Caucus also elected Dick Cohen (DFL-St. Paul) as Finance Committee Chair and Rod Skoe (DFL-Clearbrook) as Tax Committee Chair. The Senate has 23 new members; 14 DFL and 9 GOP.  The House Republicans elected Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) minority.   
The Senate GOP   Minority Leader David Hann (R-Eden Prairie)
Once the Majority Caucuses are organized, they will begin working on committee structure and membership. Incoming Majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk has indicated the Senate DFL will make some modifications to the committee structure. All four caucuses will begin work on their session priorities and moving offices. Sixty-five freshmen will begin wandering the halls and learning the legislative process. There will be significant staff changes as the DFL Majority will need more staff and the GOP will need less. Session begins January 8, 2013.