Senate DFL elects new leaders

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State Senators Katie Sieben and Tom Bakk. Photo: Tim Pugmire

Democrats in the Minnesota Senate have elected Sen.Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, to serve as majority leader when they officially take control in January.

Bakk has already served three terms in the Senate and was the DFL minority leader the past two years. He also oversaw the successful campaign effort that won back the Senate majority. Following a caucus organizing meeting today, Bakk said his top priority for the 2013 session is to tackle the state’s budget challenges and break the recent pattern of crisis management.

“We clearly are going to have a significant budget deficit to have to deal with,” Bakk said. “I feel a little sorry for the new members that have just been elected, because their first task they’re going to learn is to find a way we can cut the state budget even further than it is today.”

Caucus members also elected Sen. Katie Sieben, of Newport, as assistant majority leader and Sen. Sandy Pappas, of St. Paul, as Senate president. Sen. Dick Cohen, also of St. Paul, will again be finance chair. Sen. Rod Skoe, from Clearbrook, will be tax chair.

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