First Legislative Update for the 2017 Session

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Sam Walseth, Capitol Hill Associates, in his role as the MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

House and Senate GOP leadership announced committee structures and chairs today. They worked to align the committees as closely as they could between the two bodies.

Senate GOP Chairs

This morning Senate GOP leaders announced a committee structure and chairs for the upcoming 2017-18 biennium. The newly elected Senate will serve a four year term, so this structure is likely to be in place through 2020.

The E-12 work has been divided up between a Finance and Policy committee. Sen. Carla Nelson (GOP Rochester) will chair E-12 Finance and Sen. Eric Pratt (GOP Prior Lake) will chair E-12 Policy. Merging and slitting the E-12 Finance and Policy committee work has gone back and forth under both DFL and GOP leadership in the Senate.

The Capital Investment Committee will be chaired by Sen. Dave Senjem (GOP Rochester). Senate Taxes will be chaired by Sen. Roger Chamberlain (GOP Lino Lakes).

Legacy Funding goes to Sen. Carrie Ruud (GOP Breezy Point) whose committee is titled “Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance”.

House GOP Chairs

The House committee structure remains largely the same, but due to a few retirements there is some reshuffling. Education will stay the same with Rep. Sondra Erickson (GOP Princeton) at Policy and Rep. Jennifer Loon (GOP Eden Prairie) at Finance.

The more notable House changes are with Rep. Dean Urdahl (GOP Grove City) going to Capital Investment and Rep. Paul Torkelson (GOP Hanska) going to Transportation. Tax committee stays with Rep. Greg Davids (GOP Preston) and the Property Tax committee stays with Rep. Steve Drazkowski (GOP Mazeppa).

Rep. Bob Gunther (GOP Fairmont) will chair the Legacy committee.

Link to the House Chairs