Legislative Updates: Walz announces more commissioner appointments

Walz announces more commissioner appointments

Today Governor-elect Tim Walz announced seven more commissioners to his cabinet. Serving as the Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will be Thom Petersen. Petersen is the government relations director for the Farmers Union.

Sarah Strommen will serve as the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Strommen joined the State of Minnesota in 2012, serving as the Assistant Director and Acting Deputy Director for the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. Since 2015, Strommen has served as Assistant Commissioner for the divisions of Fish and Wildlife and Parks and Trails at the Dept. of Natural Resources.

Laura Bishop will serve as the Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Bishop is the chief corporate responsibility and sustainability officer at Best Buy. Bishop also served as an assistant commissioner for the Dept. of Administration during the Ventura Administration.

The Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health will be Jan Malcolm. Malcolm has served as Governor Mark Dayton’s Commissioner for the Dept. of Health since January of last year and will continue on in that role under Walz.

Tony Lourey has been appointed to be the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Lourey, a State Senator from Kerrick, has been a member of the Minnesota Senate since 2007. Because of his appointment to the governor’s cabinet, he will have to resign his seat in the Minnesota Senate. A special election to fill the remaining two years of his term will be held Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

The other two appointments include Rebecca Lucero, who will serve as the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Lucero is currently the public policy director at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Janet Johnson, an employee of the Bureau of Mediation Services, has been appointed to lead the agency.

Governor-elect Walz is expected to make more announcements to his cabinet on Friday. The appointments will take effect on Monday, January 7 when Walz is officially sworn in as Governor.

The upcoming legislative session begins on Tuesday, January 8.

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