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Associated Press, Published January 30 2012

Minn. Senate rejects Dayton utilities chief choice

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Senate has voted to reject Gov. Mark Dayton's choice to lead the state commission that regulates public utilities.

The vote Monday to reject Ellen Anderson as chairwoman of the Public Utilities Commission fell along partisan lines. Thirty-seven Republicans voted against her, while 29 Democrats supported her.

It's the first time the Republican-controlled Senate has rejected one of Dayton's cabinet appointees. Anderson is a former Democratic state senator.

The PUC regulates the state's energy and telecommunications industries. Republican Sen. Julie Rosen says Anderson has "demonized traditional energy sources" that she would now be called on to regulate. Rosen says Anderson's presence on the commission could result in utility rate increases.

Senate Democrats say Anderson is highly qualified for the job and suggested Republicans were motivated by partisanship.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.