In a 33-31 vote, the confirmation of Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley was not confirmed, ending his service in this role to the state of Minnesota.
Senator Ron Latz, DFL-Saint Louis Park, who sits on the Commerce Committee, releases the following statement:
“I have known Commissioner Steve Kelley for a long time. He brought the right kind of experience and temperament to this job as any former Commissioner of Commerce, DFL or Republican. He understands business, consumers, and his role as the Department head. Business leaders in this state were remarkably similar in their assessment of him and his department. Through my research, I found that other than the normal tension between the regulated and the regulator, which has been handled with good communication and professionalism, there were no issues, complaints, or concerns and people were treated fairly.
“It’s a sad day for Minnesota that the Senate Republican Caucus decided to end the highly respected and productive public service career of Commissioner Kelley for crass political reasons. There is simply no performance-based or other plausible reason to not confirm Commissioner Kelley. The Senate Republicans’ action today is another disservice to the institution of the Senate and all Minnesotans. They show, once again, that they put politics over governing.”