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Senate Media Services

A New Generation of Leaders in the Minnesota Senate

A younger and more diverse leadership team will guide the Minnesota Senate as Senator Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, assumes the role of Senate Majority Leader and Senator Melisa López Franzen, DFL-Edina, becomes the Senate Minority Leader. Senator Miller is the first person of Jewish faith to serve as Majority Leader, and Senator López Franzen is the first non-Caucasian member to lead a caucus. Capitol Report Moderator Shannon Loehrke talks with the leaders about their new positions, their goals for the Senate and the future priorities of their respective caucuses.

Also, Governor Tim Walz establishes a new executive council on economic growth, charged with forwarding recommendations to expand Minnesota's economy. Finally, State Capitol historian Brian Pease provides an overview of Minnesota's historic Supreme Court Chamber.

New Council to Focus on Economic Expansion

Governor Tim Walz announced the creation of a new executive council on economic growth that is charged with forwarding recommendations to expand Minnesota's economy. Walz addressed the media Tuesday, September 14, outside the Osborne 370 Building in St. Paul.

The council will consist of 15 members representing labor, business, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. "These are highly respected leaders across Minnesota...public, private and nonprofit," Walz said. He explained that the council will provide recommendations to address discrepancies between available jobs and job seekers, including addressing factors impacting opportunities for all Minnesotans.

Newly Elected Senate Minority Leader Meets with the Media

Senator Melisa López Franzen (DFL-Edina) met with the State Capitol press corps Tuesday, September 14, following her election as the Senate Minority Leader by fellow DFL Senate members. Franzen becomes the first non-Caucasian member to hold a Senate leadership position.

Senator López Franzen, DFL-Edina, was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2012. She previously held the position of Deputy Minority Leader and is a member of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus. She also joined the now defunct Purple Caucus, which was formed in 2013 by Senator Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, and former Senator Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, to find commonality on issues between the GOP and DFL Caucuses.

Frontline Worker Bonus Pay, Creating New Districts, New Senate Majority Leader

The Frontline Worker Pay Working Group, comprised of three Senators, three Representatives and three members of Governor Walz’s administration, held meetings throughout the month of August to develop a framework to distribute $250 million dollars in bonus pay to frontline workers. Senator Erin Murphy is a member of the working group, and she joins Shannon Loehrke to offer her perspective.

In mid-August, the U.S. Census Bureau released the data necessary for states to begin the work of updating the legislative and congressional district maps in a process called redistricting. Senator Mark Johnson, chair of the Senate Committee on Redistricting, talks with Shannon Loehrke about the process and the significant role of the public in helping shape future representation in Congress and the Legislature.

Also, Senate Republicans elect Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, as the future Senate Majority Leader. He talks with the media about his new position. Plus, a look at some of the official gubernatorial portraits that hang in the State Capitol.

Senate Republican Leader Jeremy Miller Meets with the Media

Senator Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, addressed the media Thursday, September 9, following his election as the Senate Republican leader. Upon passage of a Senate Resolution during a special or regular session, Miller will officially become the Senate Majority Leader.

Senator Miller, R-Winona, was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and previously served as Senate President and previously helped establish the Purple Caucus with former DFL Senator Roger Reinert of Duluth. Miller said that one of his biggest frustrations serving in the legislature has been the political divisiveness. "There are going to be disagreements on issues. That's the way democracy works, but I feel we can work through those disagreements in a respectful manner, and that's what I hope to accomplish as the next Senate Majority Leader," Miller said.

Miller will soon be tasked with negotiating a special session agreement with Governor Tim Walz and Speaker Melissa Hortman for the disbursement of $250 million for COVID-19 frontline workers. A special task force addressing the issue his working to identify the eligibility for bonus pay. Miller said his caucus is committed to passing a measure in support of the workers.