Dahms to take lead role on jobs, agriculture and rural development issues.

Last week State Senator Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls) received his committee assignments for the 2013 legislative session. Dahms will serve as the top Republican member on the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. He was also appointed to the Senate's Commerce Committee, and the State Departments and Veterans Division and the E-12 Education Division of the Senate Finance Committee.

"I am pleased with my assignments and am particularly honored to serve as the Ranking Republican on the Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee," said Dahms. "Agriculture, jobs, education, and veterans are very important to our district. I will use my membership on these committees to strengthen Minnesota's agriculture industry, support rural Minnesota and grow Minnesota's economy.

Although the state budget forecast released in December unveiled a total positive balance of over $2.5 billion for the current biennium, it also projected a $1.1 billion deficit for the 2014-15 biennium. Balancing the state's budget for the next two-year budget calendar is expected to be the primary focus of this year's legislative session set to begin on Jan. 8.

"To keep our state on a path toward fiscal recovery, we must continue to focus on policies that will encourage entrepreneurs, give confidence to existing businesses and attract new companies into the state," Dahms continued. "My colleagues and I are prepared to look for efficiencies in the state's budget to live within our means and not balance the state budget on the backs of hard working Minnesota families and businesses."

Dahms was re-elected in November to the newly reconfigured Senate District 16 that includes Brown, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Lyon, Redwood, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties.

Dahms welcomes comments and questions and can be reached by telephone at (651)296-8138, by mail at 121 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155 or by e-mail at sen.gary.dahms@senate.mn.