Fresh off Tuesday’s takeover of the Minnesota House of Representatives, the DFL caucus met Nov. 8 and nominated current House Minority Leader Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls) as speaker-designate. They also chose Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) as their majority leader. She will be the fourth woman to hold the post in the House’s history. The first was Connie Levi in 1984.
Thissen said that Murphy has the ability to articulate the caucus priorities, and has displayed the ability to “work on tough issues across the aisles. I think that is one of the strengths she brings as well.”
Investing in education will be one of the top priorities for the majority, with a strong focus on the middle class, Thissen said.
When the Legislature convenes on Jan. 8, the speaker will be elected by the full House.
“As Speaker of the House, I will work hard and listen to Minnesotans so we can make progress on the bread-and-butter issues facing our state. To move forward, we must work together with Governor Dayton and legislators on both sides of the aisle so we get passed the gridlock and govern effectively. We face big challenges but we can meet them if we work together. It is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
According to House Rules, the speaker has all the powers and duties of a presiding officer. That includes the appointment of committee chairs and members, ruling on parliamentary motions and signing legislation passed by the body.
The majority leader serves as chair of the House rules committee, schedules legislation for consideration and leads floor debate.
CORRECTION: The original post stated that there have been three women named to the majority leader position in the House. There have been four; the first was Connie Levi.