Senate confirms two of Dayton’s commissioners

The Minnesota Senate has confirmed two of Gov. Dayton’s appointments. The Senate approved Jim Schowalter as commissioner of Management and Budget and Larry Pogemiller as director of the state Office of Higher Education.

Dayton appointed Schowalter in January of 2011. Schowalter has worked in the state’s finance department for more than a decade. He served under former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Independence Party Gov. Jesse Ventura.

Dayton appointed Pogemiller to his post in October of 2011. Before that Pogemiller was a Minneapolis state senator and Senate Majority Leader between 2007 and 2011. He didn’t seek a leadership role in the Senate after Democrats lost control of the Senate in the 2010 election.

Democrats won back the chamber in last year’s election and are acting quickly to confirm Dayton’s appointments.

Commissioners can serve in their roles unless the Senate rejects their appointments.