Senate DFL Caucus Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, has appointed State Senator Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, as the caucus’ lead member of the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee. Senator Lourey has served on the prestigious committee since his first term in 2007 and will replace retiring State Senator Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, a long-term member who helped craft some of Minnesota’s most notable health and human service policies.
“Senator Lourey brings a great depth of knowledge on health care issues, an understanding of the importance of this budget area, and a compassion for those affected by the decisions this committee will have to make,” Sen. Bakk said. “I am confident that his experience will allow him to excel as a leader on health care issues for this committee and the citizens of Minnesota.”
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee encompasses one of the state’s largest budgets. The just-approved 2012-2013 budget for the jurisdiction exceeds $11 billion, nearly one-third of the state’s entire two-year budget. As lead DFL member on the committee, Sen. Lourey will play a key role in policy and funding decisions that typically have some of the most dramatic effects on the state’s long-term budget planning.
“I am very honored to be asked to take a leading role on health care issues, and to be replacing one of the Senate’s most respected authorities on the subject,” Sen. Lourey said. “Senator Berglin is widely hailed by members of both parties as being a thoughtful, compassionate expert on health care and human service issues that affect so many families throughout this state. I look forward to following the outstanding example she has set by taking a leading role in crafting these challenging and important policies.”
In his five years as a committee member, Sen. Lourey has taken a leading role in health care issues. This session, he was one of the leading voices against a Republican-proposed budget that would have eliminated health care for 140,000 people, citing the need to retain affordable and accessible care for as many Minnesotans as possible.
“This appointment certainly will be a great challenge, but it’s one I am excited to take on,” Sen. Lourey added. “Health care issues affect every, single person in this state and are eminently important to our state’s quality of life. I am grateful for the chance to shape such a rapidly changing and important function of our state government, and I look forward to the challenges this appointment will present.”
For more information on the appointment or committee issues, please contact Sen. Lourey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-0293.