2019 Legislative Preview
House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka will preview the legislative session and the prospects of working together. Minnesota is the only legislature in the country in which one political party does not monopolize power. Can the DFL and GOP leaders work together on the state’s most pressing issues such as tax and health reform? MPR political reporter Briana Bierschbach will moderate the conversation.
Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman was first elected to the Minnesota House in 2004. She represents district 36B including Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids. She served as Minority Leader following the 2016 election and was recently elected to serve as Speaker when the DFL gained control of the House in November 2018. Speaker Hortman has been active in the areas of transportation, K-12 education funding, higher education, energy, and the environment. Before joining the legislature, Speaker Hortman was an attorney and law clerk, having attending law school at the University of Minnesota.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has been a member of the Minnesota Senate since 2010. He represents District 9 in the Brainerd area and has been the Senate Majority leader since 2016. Senator Gazelka has recently served on committees such as Commerce, Finance, and Taxes, and is currently the chair of the Rules and Administration Committee. Prior to the Senate he served for two years in the MN House and worked in various capacities in the insurance industry for State Farm.
Briana Bierschbach is a political reporter for MPR News and adjunct faculty member at the Humphrey School. She got her start in journalism covering city government and transportation for the Minnesota Daily, the University of Minnesota’s campus newspaper. She has also worked with the AP, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and MinnPost.