Republicans streamline Capitol committee structure

Two weeks after taking control of the Minnesota House and Senate, Republicans cut the number of committees by a third and better aligned the two chambers.  GOP House Speaker-designate Kurt Zellers stood next to a chart of the old DFL structure and called it a “plate of spaghetti” that many found difficult to follow.  Now the House and Senate committees line up more directly as in the chart below.

One lobbyist called the move “huge” and the room was packed with lobbyists.  At least a dozen legislative positions will likely be eliminated.  Incoming GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said “These reformed committees will restore simplicity and transparency to the committee process while offering potential for budget savings and clarity for citizens.”   Republicans say the savings looks to be about $800,000 in total.  The House goes from 36 to 24 committees and the Senate from 25 to 16.

New DFL Minority Leader Paul Thissen reacted “A streamlined committee structure makes sense and both parties have been working on it.”  But he added ” My fear is that Republicans will use their new structure to reward the anonymous corporations who helped pay for many of the seats they picked up.”  Zellers called it a cheap shot and responded that government oversight could be better in a simplified system.

Tomorrow Republicans will announce the new committee chairs in a sweep around the state with stops in St. Paul, Rochester, Mankato, Alexandria, Glyndon, and Duluth.  The current DFL State Government Chair Gene Pelowski said

“Since we assumed the majority in 2006, I have led the effort to streamline the legislative workflow, including the committee process.  I am pleased to learn today that the Republicans are adopting our DFL measures in a bipartisan way.”

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/16/2010 - 05:19 pm.

    When you’re not going to bother with facts, figures and statistics, except the extremely ideologically-tainted ones provided to you by the “American Enterprise” and “Cato” Institutes, and from the “Tax[protester’s] League,” and when, indeed, the actual information and truth regarding many situations would likely contradict what you want to do, it’s probably better not to have staff around who would research reality and produce inconvenient reports which reflected the actual results of the policies you’re going to cram down the throats of the state’s citizens.

    When you’re going to let the conservative echo chamber set your policies, it’s far more important to know who to call — who will give you your marching orders and then to march ONLY to the beat of that invisible drummer, all evidence to the contrary be damned.

    After all, the ship of state we know as Minnesota is as unsinkable as any large ocean liner from the days of yore, and nothing you can do, nothing you can pass no matter how stubbornly blind; no “full speed ahead despite the warnings” is going to risk crashing the state into any icebergs, and you’ve got your lifeboats all reserved, anyway, so you’ll be all right and who cares what happens to the passengers far below the decks in steerage class, anyway, right?

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