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Legislature Starts with New Leadership
The Minnesota Legislature reconvenes on Monday, January 31 with several new key players. In the Senate, there will be new leaders for both caucuses – Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) and Senate Minority Leader Melisa López Franzen (DFL-Edina). Miller takes over for Paul Gazelka (R-Brainerd), who is running for governor. López Franzen takes over for Sen. Susan Kent (DFL- Woodbury), who is not seeking re-election.
The House leadership remains largely the same, but 23 legislators have already announced they are not seeking re-election, including House Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Rena Moran (DFL-St. Paul) and House Tax Committee chair Paul Marquart (DFL-Moorhead). Seven of those legislators are seeking other offices.
Governor’s Supplemental Budget Reflects Investment in Kids
Governor Tim Walz unveiled parts of his supplemental budget proposal last week. The $5.1 billion proposal would fund several programs aimed for Minnesota’s children, families, and schools over three years. The proposal also includes expansion of childcare access, additional pre-K funding, $183 million for free student meals and $77 million for mental health services.
Legislature to Meet Mostly Virtually
Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) announced the House will meet predominantly virtually this session, with floor sessions being in-person and committee rooms available to members if needed. The State Office Building, where representatives have their offices, will be closed to the public. Speaker Hortman noted that this may change as health and safety conditions evolve. The Senate is expected to hold more hybrid committee meetings, with some in-person options available, but senators’ offices in the Senate Office Building are accessible by invitation only.