ST. PAUL — Minnesota Senate Republican leaders have unveiled their 2021 committee formation, which includes the creation of nine new committees that shed light on leaders' upcoming legislative and political priorities.

According to a Tuesday, Nov. 24 news release, mainstay chairs of the Republican-controlled Senate committees remain largely the same: Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) will continue chairing the rules committee, Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center) finance, Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake) state government and elections, Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) health and human services and more.

Of the 29 total committee chairs named, 16 are new to their posts — including members of the newly created Independent caucus Senators Tom Bakk (I-Cook) and David Tomassoni (I-Chisholm), who will chair the capital investment and higher education committees, respectively. The former Democrats are moderates from northern Minnesota's Iron Range.

Nine committees and subcommittees are newly created as of this year, set to consider legislation on redistricting, property taxes, housing, technology, civil law, labor, mining and forestry, human services licensing and so-called metropolitan governance. The new committees come as tensions rise in the nation's only split Legislature over topics like the Twin Cities-Greater Minnesota divide and upcoming legislative and congressional redistricting.

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