Dayton wants to alter titles of 2 in Cabinetby Alex Friedrich, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton is moving to change the titles of two state agency heads from director to commissioner.
A spokeswoman for the governor said that he simply wanted everyone in his Cabinet to have the same title and that the move would not change the positions' pay or powers.
One of the positions is the director of the Office of Higher Education, a post now held by Larry Pogemiller.
Sen. Terri Bonoff, chairwoman of her chamber's Higher Education Committee, has called the proposal "good news" and endorsed it at a recent legislative hearing.
"What it does is it says that higher ed is important, and that it equals in importance to the other Cabinet functions," she said.
But her House counterpart, DFLer Gene Pelowski of Winona, said now is not the time for such a move. He has questioned the need for the office itself and said he has tried in years past to eliminate it.
"Commissionership, to me, is something that can wait for much more analysis -- or, perhaps, we never need to do it at all," Pelowski said.
The governor's spokeswoman said Dayton would also like to make a commissioner of Carolyn Parnell, who heads the state's Office of Enterprise Technology.