Dayton-Bakk rift may delay commissioner confirmations in Senate

The public rift between Gov. Mark Dayton and state Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk over pay raises for state commissioners may hold up Senate confirmation of some of those commissioners.

MPR reported over the weekend that some Senate committee chairs plan to hold off on their confirmation hearings until the rancor cools.

Finance Committee Chair Richard Cohen said he expects Myron Frans to eventually be confirmed as commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, but is holding off the hearing set for this week.

Other committee heads, too, may delay hearings. Noted MPR: “A commissioner can serve if the Senate takes no action. But if the Senate votes against confirmation, the person loses his or her job immediately.”

Dayton gave the hefty raises to commissioners, effective Jan. 1, saying they had long been underpaid. Republicans attacked the raises, but the governor surely expected that. Last week Bakk said he wants to delay the raises until July, which set the governor off. He said Bakk had stabbed him in the back.

The Star Tribune says the battle of the two DFL leaders could affect the party’s efforts on roads and education this session, too.

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