By KEVIN DUCHSCHERE
Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, the Legislature’s foremost champion of health care services, has been hired by Hennepin County as a health policy program manager.
She said she expects to begin working for the county later this month -- provided a state budget agreement is reached by then.
“I will be available to work on the budget issues until the budget is resolved,” she said.
Beyond that, she didn’t comment on how she would coordinate the job with her Senate duties or whether she may even leave the State Capitol after eight years in the House and 30 years in the Senate. Her south Minneapolis district awarded her a 10th term in the Senate last year.
Berglin, 66, has lived in Minneapolis since her parents moved there when she was 8. She’s one of the leading architects of the state’s health care and welfare policy, a soft-spoken legislator with a spine of steel when it comes to defending the state’s safety net.
She will work in the county’s administration. Among other things, she’ll help Hennepin County implement new federal health care reforms. She will better assess her duties once she gets started, she said.
It’s her first job in a long time outside the Legislature, which is technically part-time work, she said.
“When I was in the majority and chairing the [Health and Human Services] committee, it really did take almost all of my time, so I never thought of another job,” she said.
Berglin said she’s looking forward to the new position not just because she can make use of her talents but because she will “be developing new skills and working for a great organization I care about a lot – the county and their partners.”
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