Governor-elect Walz makes first cabinet picks
Governor-elect Tim Walz announced his first five cabinet choices earlier this afternoon. He chose commissioners to head the Department of Administration, the Department of Transportation, the Housing Finance Agency, Metropolitan Council, and Minnesota Management and Budget.
Leading the Department of Administration will be Alice Roberts-Davis. She has served as an assistant commissioner at the Department, as well as worked at Target Corporation.
Margaret Anderson Kelliher will lead the Department of Transportation. Anderson Kelliher is the President and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA). Prior to joining MHTA, Anderson Kelliher served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1999-2010, and served as Speaker of the House from 2007-2010. Anderson Kelliher has also served as a trustee on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.
The new commissioner for the Housing Finance Agency is Jennifer Leimaile Ho. Ho has held a top position in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under former President Barack Obama.
Nora Slawik will lead the Metropolitan Council as the new chair. Slawik recently won a second term as Maplewood mayor. She also served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for multiple years: 1997-1998 and 2001-2012.
Myron Frans will remain as the Commissioner for the Department of Management and Budget, which will help provide some continuity between administrations.
While members of the cabinet are appointed by the governor, they are subject to confirmation by the Senate. They can serve without any action by the Senate, but a person cannot serve as a cabinet member if the Senate has voted to refuse to consent to their appointment.
Walz has many more positions to fill, including commissioners and hundreds of other appointments to commissions and boards. The appointments will take effect on January 7, 2019, when Walz is officially sworn in as governor.
House Republicans announce committee leads
House Republicans announced the committee leads for the 2019-2020 biennium. Committee leads will serve as the top-ranking Republicans on each of the House committees during the legislative session that begins January 8, 2019. The Republican lead for the Higher Education Finance and Policy Division is Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls. Rep. Nornes has served as chair of the committee in previous sessions.
In the news release, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said, “Our committee leads bring a great deal of experience and expertise to the table, many having served previously as chairs or vice chairs of their respective committees. House Republicans are ready to roll up our sleeves this session and work with the DFL majority to solve the problems facing Minnesota families. If Democrats are working to lower health care costs and protect Minnesotans from unnecessary tax increases, we will gladly join them. However, if they vote to raise the cost of health care or vote to increase taxes on Minnesotans, House Republicans and our committee leads will be there to hold them accountable and oppose those damaging policies.”
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