Internal leadership squabble results in loss of metro-rural balance on important committee
Senate Republicans criticized a recent change in the committee structure that puts Sen. John Marty, the legislature’s most radical environmentalist, in charge of environmental, pollution, and water funding. Republicans are specifically concerned that the new committee chaired by Sen. John Marty (DFL-Roseville) will have jurisdiction over the new buffer law that was worked out between the Dayton administration and farm groups.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk announced last week he was creating a new division of the Senate Finance Committee called the Environment and Energy Budget Division. The new committee will have jurisdiction over financial accounts for the Pollution Control Agency, Environmental Quality Board, Board of Water and Soil Resources, and the Public Utilities Commission.
“Sen. Bakk is stacking the deck against Greater Minnesota by packing liberal Democrats from the Twin Cities on this important committee, and choosing the Senate’s leading environmentalist as chair,” said Assistant Republican Leader Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls). “We are concerned the agenda of this newly formed committee will not represent the metro-rural balance of the Senate and the state of Minnesota.”