MN House committee structure announced

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House leadership has announced a smaller committee structure for the 2009-2010 biennium.

“We’ve streamlined the committee structure to allow for more member involvement and help the Legislature better fulfill its oversight role,” House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-Mpls) said in a press release. “Minnesotans have been very clear they want to see more transparency and accountability in state government.”

In hopes of better aligning with the Senate, the structure has been reduced by 15 percent.

The new Cultural and Outdoor Resources Finance Division comes on the heels of state voters passing a constitutional amendment to increase the state sales tax by three-eighths of 1 percent with the money dedicated to environment and arts. The division “will work to ensure an open and transparent process as a portion of sales tax proceeds are dedicated to conservation and cultural heritage projects.” Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown) will be the chair.

Committee membership is to be announced later this month.

Here are the committees and divisions:

Rules and Budget Committees
• Rules and Legislative Administration – House Majority Leader Tony Sertich (DFL-Chisholm)
• Ways and Means – Rep. Loren Solberg (DFL-Grand Rapids)
• Finance – Rep. Lyndon Carlson (DFL-Crystal)
• Taxes – Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington)
• Property and Local Sales Tax Division – Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth)
• Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance – Rep. Al Juhnke (DFL-Willmar)
• Capital Investment – Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul)
• Energy Finance and Policy – Rep. Bill Hilty (DFL-Finlayson)
• Environment and Natural Resources Finance – Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Mpls)
• Early Childhood Finance and Policy – Rep. Nora Slawik (DFL-Maplewood)
• K-12 Finance – Rep. Mindy Greiling (DFL-Roseville)
• Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance and Policy – Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia)
• Bioscience and Workforce Development Policy and Oversight Division – Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul)
• Health Care and Human Services Finance – Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth)
• Housing Policy and Finance and Public Health Finance – Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Mpls)
• Cultural and Outdoor Resources Finance – Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown)
• Public Safety Finance – Rep. Michael Paymar (DFL-St. Paul)
• State Government Finance – Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Mpls)
• Transportation Finance and Policy – Rep. Bernie Lieder (DFL-Crookston)
• Transportation and Transit Policy and Oversight Division – Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Mpls)

Policy Committees
• Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs – Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba (DFL-Long Prairie)
• Veterans Affairs Division – Rep. Lyle Koenen (DFL-Clara City)
• Civil Justice – Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-Mpls)
• Public Safety Policy and Oversight – Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center)
• Crime Victims/Criminal Records Division – Rep. John Lesch (DFL-St. Paul)
• State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology and Elections – Rep. Gene Pelowski (DFL-Winona)
• Local Government Division – Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park)
• Commerce and Labor – Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights)
• Labor and Consumer Protection Division – Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-Mpls)
• Telecom Regulation/Infrastructure Division – Rep. Sheldon Johnson (DFL-St. Paul)
• Environment Policy and Oversight – Rep. Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley)
• Game, Fish and Forestry Division – Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake)
• K-12 Education Policy and Oversight – Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul)
• Health Care and Human Services Policy and Oversight – Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls)
• Licensing Division – Rep. Cy Thao (DFL-St. Paul)