The Legislative session kicked off Tuesday with plenty of pomp and circumstance, the election of Speaker Kurt Daudt, a Republican from Crown, and the promise of GOP legislation on education and health care to be introduced this week.
Twenty-six new members of the House were also sworn in at the Capitol, now teeming with activity as the five-month session gets underway.
The balance of power in the statehouse has shifted since last session. Republicans now formally hold the majority in the House. The DFL controls the Senate and all statewide offices.
Speaker Daudt struck a civil tone in a short speech after he was formally elected and later said he looks forward to working with Democrats as the session unravels. He also welcomed new lawmakers and said Republicans are ready to offer legislation on topics such as education and MNSure.
"I'm ready for the challenge of abdicated for solutions we believe are best for Minnesotans," he said. "I will listen to those who offer alternatives. Minnesotans deserve a great debate on these issues."
Daudt did not offer many particulars about five bills Republicans intend to introduce this week. On education, he said the GOP wants to once again eliminate teacher seniority as a consideration in making layoff decisions.
Unlike past years, the start of the 2015 appears to be a slower ramp-up. Formalities -- such as the adoption of temporary House rules and the selection of chief clerk -- abounded Tuesday. The day adjourned around two and the House will convene Thursday.