Sparks selected for chairman position

Published 7:31 pm Saturday, November 17, 2012

Minnesota Senate Majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk announced this week District 27 Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin, has been selected to lead the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee when the next legislative session begins Jan. 8.

Dan Sparks

“Sen. Sparks has been a tireless advocate for rural Minnesota, agriculture and job creation across the entire state during his time at the Senate,” Bakk said in a news release. “He’s a member that has worked to unite people of different political stripes and beliefs in order to do good work for his constituents. This bridge-building ability will serve him very well as chair of a committee that will have a very significant statewide impact.”

Sparks was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and has served on jobs and agriculture committees during most of that time. This will be his first time as chairman of a full policy committee.

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He said in the release he is pleased to have a leadership role on issues he has significant experience pursuing, especially since they have a direct link to the communities he represents in the legislature.

“Agriculture is a backbone of our communities down here in southern Minnesota, and I’ve been fortunate to gain very good insights and ideas from local leaders on how to encourage more rural development,” Sparks said. “And, of course, job-creation is one of the most important and pressing issues facing all of Minnesota right now. I could not be more eager to begin leading discussions on these important, statewide issues when the legislature convenes in January. I am honored and grateful for this opportunity.”

Sparks said he will begin working on committee agendas and legislative research in the coming weeks, in preparation for the beginning of the session. He also hopes to schedule meetings with local leaders and statewide stakeholders to begin cultivating ideas. He encouraged anyone with suggestions or concerns to contact him.

The phone and email contacts for Sparks will remain the same: 651-296-9248 or 507-438-2898; His new Capitol office address will be announced in the coming weeks.