ST. PAUL, Minn.—Minnesota Senate Majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk announced Wednesday that Senator Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin, has been selected to lead the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee when the DFL regains control of the body Jan. 8. Sen. Bakk cited Sen. Sparks’ years of leadership on these issues as the key factor in determining his chairmanship position.
“Sen. Sparks has been a tireless advocate for rural Minnesota, agriculture, and job creation across the entire state during his time at the Senate,” Sen. Bakk said. “He’s a member that has worked to unite people of different political stripes and beliefs in order to do good work for his constituents. This bridge-building ability will serve him very well as chair of a committee that will have a very significant statewide impact.”
Sen. Sparks was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and has served on jobs and agriculture committees during most of that time. This will be his first time chairing a full policy committee. He said he is pleased to have a leadership role on issues he has significant experience pursuing, especially since they have a direct link to the communities he represents in the legislature.
“Agriculture is a backbone of our communities down here in Southern Minnesota, and I’ve been fortunate to gain very good insights and ideas from local leaders on how to encourage more rural development,” Sen. Sparks said. “And, of course, job-creation is one of the most important and pressing issues facing all of Minnesota right now. I could not be more eager to begin leading discussions on these important, statewide issues when the legislature convenes in January. I am honored and grateful for this opportunity.”
Sen. Sparks said he will begin working on committee agendas and legislative research in the coming weeks, in preparation for the beginning of session on Jan. 8, 2013. He also hopes to schedule meetings with local leaders and statewide stakeholders in order to begin cultivating ideas. He encourages anyone with suggestions or concerns to contact him.
Senator Sparks’ phone and email contacts will remain the same: 651-296-9248 or 507-438-2898; firstname.lastname@example.org. His new Capitol office address will be announced in the coming weeks.