Inauguration ceremonies were held in Minnesota Monday morning as several lawmakers took their oaths of office leading into the start of the 2023 legislative session.
Everyone sworn in Monday won their re-election bids in November, but it sets the stage for what should be an interesting session, as Democrats have control of the House, Senate and the Governor’s Office.
Among the key issues that could possibly be addressed in the upcoming session include legalizing marijuana, codifying abortion rights, family and medical leave and gun laws.
Minnesota’s constitutional officers sworn in Monday include Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and Keith Ellison, who narrowly won his re-election for Attorney General last November. Secretary of State Steve Simon and State Auditor Julie Blaha were also sworn in on Monday.
This legislature will be the most diverse on record, with 35 lawmakers of color. Twelve lawmakers, all Democrats, are part of the LGBTQ+ community and have formed their own caucus, led by Rep. – elect Leigh Finke. And for the first time, Black women will be represented in Minnesota’s Senate; there will be three of them.
Walz promised to pass a sweeping agenda that includes historic spending on education, an end to child poverty and the protection of a woman’s right to choose.
Walz intends to take advantage of the new DFL control of both houses of the legislature, expressing that he has plans to go bold for his agenda for the next four years – an agenda that is aimed at improving the lives of children and families in Minnesota. He is quoted as saying, “The era of gridlock in St. Paul, is over.”