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Minnesota swears in five new state leaders on Monday

Tim Walz swears in as Minnesota's 41st governor.

Posted: Jan 7, 2019 11:25 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Five elected state leaders took the oath of office Monday.

The state welcomed Tim Walz as their 41st governor. Walz is a Democrat from Mankato, who previously represented Minnesota's 1st Congressional District. He takes over for Mark Dayton who's retiring after eight years as governor.

Peggy Flanagan took her seat as Lieutenant Governor, a historic day as she becomes the highest ranking Native woman to ever be elected to executive office in the country.

"It was really powerful and I think that it is a symbol of the changing face of Minnesota, but also understanding who we are and where we come from," Flanagan said.

The pair's platform aims at tackling issues like economic security in families, education, and healthcare.

During his inauguration address, Walz stressed the need for better education and health care for everyone.

Keith Ellison took his seat as Attorney General. Steve Simon swore in as Secretary of State. Julie Blaha is now Minnesota's State Auditor.

During Monday's ceremony, the theme of "One Minnesota" rang clear among the five as a way to bring the state together.

On Tuesday, the real work starts with the start of the 2019 Minnesota Legislative Session.

Some Minnesotans already have things they'd like to see happen.

"I'm a teacher and so the thought of having teachers kind of on that level, I think that's really going to positively impact our students," Kristi Weidlein, of Columbia Heights, said.

"I'm very concerned about environmental issues, and I hope that he'll help us protect the water and the land and the air in Minnesota," Kriss Wells, of Minneapolis, said.

As the partial government shutdown enters its third week at the federal level, it's something local legislators have to think about.

"We'll start to feel the pinch as a state on the 31st of January," Walz said, "but I want to be very clear, there are thousands of Minnesotans that did not get paid on Saturday that should've."

Minnesota's House and Senate will be in session starting at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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