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District 16 state legislators return to (mostly) familiar committee roles

Now under DFL control, Minnesota Senate merges Veterans Committee that Senator Andrew Lang had chaired. Lang and Representatives Dave Baker and Dean Urdahl otherwise serving in familiar committee roles.

Close-up of Minnesota Capitol dome
Don Davis / Forum News Service file photo
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ST. PAUL — District 16 legislators are beginning the 2023 session in familiar committee roles, with one exception.

Andrew Lang
Sen. Andrew Lang, R-Olivia
Contributed / Minnesota Legislature

The DFL-controlled Senate has merged the Veterans Committee that State Senator Andrew Lang, R-Olivia, had chaired under Republican control last session. It is now part of the State and Local Government and Veterans Committee.

Lang lambasted the DFL for ending the Veterans Committee as a standalone committee in a news release. Lang stated he was “completely shocked and disappointed” by the action and said it silences the voices of veterans.

Lang was not appointed to the new committee, but he began the session on other committees that reflect his areas of previous interest and experience. He is serving on the Environment, Climate and Legacy Committee and the Transportation Committee.

He is serving his third term in the Senate.

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Dave Baker, Willmar
Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar
Contributed / Minnesota Legislature

District 16B State Representative Dave Baker, R-Willmar, is serving as the Republican lead on the Workforce, Development, Finance and Policy Committee. He is also serving on the Human Services Policy Committee and the Human Services Finance Committee.

In announcing his return to office, Baker said his priorities are tax reform and the elimination of the Social Security taxes for retirees and lowering income and property taxes.

Baker is serving his fifth term in the House.

Dean Urdahl
Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City
Contributed / Minnesota Legislature

Distruict 16A State Representative Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, will also continue in his role as the Republican lead on the Capital Investment Committee. The committee is expected to take up the bonding bill that was not approved last session. A former educator, Urdahl is also serving on the House Education Policy Committee.

Urdahl’s District 16A has been reconfigured to extend from Litchfield to west of Montevideo, but Urdahl said in announcing his return to office that he will remain focused on local issues and advocating for the area.

He is beginning his 11th term in the House.

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