Republican Speaker-designate Kurt Daudt this morning announced which lawmakers will get a committee gavel in the upcoming legislative session.
Three lawmakers from southeast Minnesota — Rep. Greg Davids of Preston, Rep. Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa, and Rep. Tim Kelly, or Red Wing, are on that list. Davids will once again chair the House Taxes Committee — a position he held from 2011 to 2012. After Democrats won control of the chamber in 2012, Davids became the ranking member on the Taxes Committee.
Drazkowski will chair the Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division Committee. Kelly has been named chairman of the Transportation Policy and Finance Committee.
In a statement, Daudt highlighted the fact that more than half of the lawmakers picked to chair committees are from Greater Minnesota. Republicans won back control of the Minnesota House earlier this month thanks in large part to rural Minnesota. Of the 11 seats Republicans gained, ten of them came from Greater Minnesota.
One thing worth noting is that no Rochester area lawmakers will a committee chairmanship this year. Republican Rep. Duane Quam, of Byron, was just elected to his third term. Fellow Rochester Republican Nels Pierson was elected this year to replace retiring Rep. Mike Benson.
Rochester DFL Rep. Tina Liebling has been chairwoman of the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee the past two years under DFL rule. Fellow Rochester DFL Rep. Kim Norton was vice chairwoman of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee. Democrats remain in control of the Senate and Rochester is represented by two Republicans — Sen. Carla Nelson and Sen. Dave Senjem.