Tricounty News

Sen. Fischbach named to committee chairmanship

Senator Michelle Fischbach (R-Paynesville) has been named the chair of the Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Committee.

The Higher Education Committee has jurisdiction over all bills related to post-secondary education in Minnesota, including institutions and student financial aid. Fischbach said she sought the assignment because of the number of higher education institutions in her home district and surrounding area.

"The state will face budget challenges during the upcoming session, but I am eager to get to work to find solutions that don't further burden taxpayers, that create jobs and that stimulate growth," she said. "Leading to these goals is a need to have an educated and well-trained workforce, and for this we need to work with colleges, universities and vocational schools to help students reach their own educational goals."

Committee assignments followed the new Republican majority's streamlining of the Senate structure with a reduction of the number of standing committees from 25 to 16 and combining policy and finance divisions. Legislative leaders made the change in order to reduce cost and make the process more open and transparent for citizens to follow legislation through the lawmaking process.

Fischbach, who was recently re-elected to a sixth Senate term, was also nominated by the new Republican majority to be the President of the Senate, and would be the first woman to do so.