Lobbyists who have been waiting on pins and needles for the House and Senate to release their committee rosters got an early holiday present on Wednesday, when the Senate GOP sent out a final list of Republican names that will make up the majority in the chamber's 16 committees next year.
The 2010 elections bolstered the ranks of fiscally conservative Republicans in the Legislature. And that spells trouble for a bonding bill's prospects in the 2011 legislative session.
Sen. Amy Koch has just one quibble with her new office on the third floor of the state Capitol: the pencil that's improbably stuck in the ceiling some 20-plus feet above the floor.
Moving has commenced at the state Capitol. The most dramatic change will be Senate Republicans now occupying offices under the dome, reflecting their new majority. Senate DFLers, by contrast, will have to relocate across the street to the State Office Building for the first time in four decades.
Last Wednesday, just a day after new Republican legislative majorities unveiled their downsized committee structure, it rained gavels at the Capitol. Incoming caucus leaders Amy Koch and Kurt Zellers handed down a total of 40 chair appointments as a substantial contingent of the anointed stood beaming at their side.
House and Senate Republicans announced a slate of legislators to chair committees before taking off for a fly around of the state.
The restructuring of the caucus and its chairs by a new leadership team is widely expected to produce a decidedly conservative shift on the part of Senate Republicans, who in recent years have built a more centrist track record than their increasingly conservative House colleagues.
Former Senate Republican Minority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, will serve as one of six Assistant Majority Leaders next legislative session, after Republicans took control of the state Senate for the first time in 38 years.
The Democratic and Republican caucuses in the House and Senate are meeting between now and Sunday to organize and decide on leadership after a presumed DFL-stronghold in the Legislature fell into the GOP's hands Tuesday night.
Republicans pummeled DFLers in the suburbs and greater Minnesota on Tuesday night to take control of both chambers of the Legislature for the first time since the modern partisan era started in the early 1970s.
DFL Sen. Larry Pogemiller says he will not seek the Minority Leader position in the DFL Senate Caucus after Republicans picked up 16 seats in Tuesday's election and claimed the majority in the chamber.
While most Minnesota politicos are devoting their attention to the race for the governorship this year, a smaller power battle is brewing in the state Senate. Many who frequent the Capitol halls in St. Paul predict there will be a spirited race for head of the Senate GOP caucus after the general election, a spot that is looking more desirable to Republicans given boasts within the party that the G[...]
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