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House and Senate Republicans announced a slate of legislators to chair committees before taking off for a fly around of the state.

House and Senate Republicans announce committee chairs

Sen. Julianne Ortman

Sen. Julianne Ortman

House and Senate Republicans announced a slate of legislators to chair committees before taking off for a fly around of the state.

Republican Senate Majority leader Amy Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers announced on Wednesday the heads of the Legislature’s new slimmed down committee structure.

In the House, Rep. Mary Liz Holberg will chair the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Greg Davids will run Taxes, newly-elected Rep. Linda Runbeck will head up the Property and Local Tax Division Committee, Rep. Jim Abeler will chair HHS Finance Committee and Rep. Pat Garofalo will run Education Finance.

“Our House committee chairs are experienced, knowledgeable members who can come in on day one and start the task of redesigning government and saving the taxpayers money.  They have real world experience and policy expertise,”  Zellers said in a statement.

In the Senate, former Minority Leader Dave Senjem will head up Capital Investment, with Sen. Claire Robling running the Finance Committee and Sen. Julianne Ortman leading Taxes. Sen. David Hann will chair the HHS Budget and Policy Committee and Sen. Geoff Michel will lead the Jobs and Economic Growth Committee.

“These committee chairs will be instrumental as we begin an honest conversation with Minnesotans about how we do business in state government.  They are determined to be leaders in structural reform and policy innovation and other concepts that we have promoted over recent years,” Koch said in a statement.

The leaders made the announcement at a Capitol news conference before boarding a plane for a fly around. They will stop in Rochester, Mankato, Alexandria, Moorhead and Duluth.

See the GOP list of committee chairs here.

In a statement released later Wednesday, DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton congratulated the new legislative chairs, saying he looked forward to working with them “should” he be declared governor on Dec. 14. Dayton is leading GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer by nearly 9,000 votes in the governor’s race, a margin that is likely subject to an automatic hand recount.

“I congratulate the new Committee Chairs in both the Minnesota House and Senate, and the newly elected leadership in the Caucuses.  Minnesotans are counting on all of us to work together to address the serious challenges before us, and, should I be declared the winner on December 14, my Administration will stand ready to work with the new leadership in the State Legislature to serve the people of Minnesota,” Dayton wrote in a statement.

Dayton is arranging meetings with the legislative leadership of both parties in the upcoming days.

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