Jul 6, 2021 - News
Minnesota Senate puts Walz's top commissioners in the hot seat
A headshot of Laura Bishop, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Laura Bishop, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Photo courtesy of MPCA

Gov. Tim Walz's top administration officials will be under "review" this week — and some could soon be out of a job.

Driving the news: While the DFL-led House adjourned after finishing the budget last week, the GOP-majority Senate is staying in session to evaluate Walz appointees.

Why it matters: The Senate has the ability to oust the DFL governor's agency heads via a floor vote. 

  • Flashback: Senate Republicans canned Walz's commerce commissioner, Steve Kelley, and the Department of Labor and Industry's Nancy Leppink during 2020 special sessions. 

What to watch: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency commissioner Laura Bishop is considered one of the most vulnerable appointees, as MPR News' Brian Bakst notes. She's come under fire from Republicans over the "Clean Cars" emission standards. 

  • The GOP has also clashed with the state's health commissioner, Jan Malcom, over COVID-19 response, but Sen. Michelle Benson told Bakst she's not one of their "primary concerns."

The other side: Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent accused Republicans of playing political games and trying to "single-handedly dismantle the administration at their whim."


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