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Senate Media Services

New Leadership in the Minnesota Senate

The results of the 2022 midterm election have changed the power dynamics of the Minnesota Senate. Senator Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis, was selected by her Senate DFL colleagues as the next Majority Leader. In the role, she will navigate the caucus' priorities in setting the agenda for the entire Senate. Senator Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, will head the Senate Republican Caucus as the next Minority Leader. The new leaders join moderator Shannon Loehrke to talk about their new responsibilities.

Twenty-four freshman Senators-elect spent two days at the State Capitol for new member orientation sessions, which included learning about Senate customs and procedures. Shannon spoke with some of the newly-elected members about their initial impressions.

Reviewing the Election / Secular Government Caucus / Reflecting on an Expansive Senate Career

Governor Tim Walz, along with DFL legislators, will be in a strong position to secure their legislative agenda as a result of this year’s midterm election. Beginning in 2023, DFLers will hold a 34 to 33 majority in the Minnesota Senate and a 70 to 64 majority in the Minnesota House. On this week's program, DFL lawmakers talk with the media about the new DFL trifecta.

In early October, before the 2022 election, twenty-four DFL members of the House and the Senate founded the Secular Government Caucus, which they have described as “a coalition of nonbelievers and religious people to uphold our constitutional separation of church and state.” Senator John Marty, a co-chair of the new caucus, joins moderator Shannon Loehrke to explain the purpose of the new group.

He was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and during his 20-year tenure, he held several leadership posts, chaired high-profile committees, and championed several big initiatives. Senator David Senjem, R-Rochester, joins Shannon to reflect on his expansive Senate career.

Senate DFL Announces New Leadership

Following a day-long private caucus meeting Thursday, November 10, newly elected Senate DFL leaders met with the media. Senator Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis, announced that she was elected as Senate Majority Leader. Senator Bobby Jo Champion, DFL-Minneapolis, will serve as the Senate President; Senator Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, will chair the Senate Tax Committee, and Senator John Marty, DFL-Roseville will serve as Finance Chair.

During the coming weeks, the Senate DFL caucus will organize the committee structure, select a Secretary of the Senate, and prepare an agenda for the 2023 session, which begins Tuesday, January 3.

Senate Republicans Announce New Leadership Team

Senator Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, announced the new Senate Republican leadership team at a State Capitol press conference Thursday, November 10.

"We have a number of things that we want to discuss going forward," said Johnson. "It's about getting the surplus back to Minnesotans. Minnesotans paid those taxes, let's get that money back to Minnesotans. It's also about public safety. How do we make people feel safer," he asked? In addition, Johnson said, "the caucus wants parents and students success. That's a priority for us."

Also named to the leadership team were Senator Julia Coleman, R- Waconia, Senator Justin Eichorn, R- Grand Rapids, Senator Karin Housley, R- Stillwater, and Senator Bill Weber, R- Luverne. The caucus will be naming a Deputy Leader and an Assistant Leader at a later date.

Governor Walz Discusses Midterm Election Results

Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan held a media availability Wednesday, November 9, to discuss the midterm election. The administration will be working with a DFL-led Senate and a DFL-controlled house in 2023, when legislators will be charged with enacting a two-year budget.

Walz said he was humbled being reelected. "I also know that last night's vote was not just a pat on the back. It was a mission order going forward," he said.

Flanagan said, "The new voices that are coming into the Minnesota Legislature means that our democracy will function better. When the folks who represent us more accurately reflect the community, that's good for all of us."