by Dennis Dalman
Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell) is now House Speaker Pro Tempore in the Minnesota State Legislature after being appointed to that position last week after Republicans again took control of the state House of Representatives.
As pro tempore (pro tem, for short), O’Driscoll will oversee and conduct House debate when House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) is away on other business or otherwise unavailable. Pro tempore is Latin for “for the time being” – or in legislative jargon, someone who takes over in place of someone who cannot be present.
In last November’s election, O’Driscoll was re-elected, along with other Republican incumbents or newcomers, to take control of the State House from Democrats who held a majority previously.
“I look forward to leading floor debate and helping pass legislation that’s vital to Minnesota and beneficial to the hard-working folks of our state,” O’Driscoll said. “It’s an honor to have been chosen Speaker Pro Tempore, and I look forward to bringing my legislative experience to this new role.”
Daudt praised O’Driscoll for his experience, his reputation for fairness and his ability to help pass major legislation.
O’Driscoll will also serve on several legislative committees, including as vice chair on Commerce and Regulatory Reform, Veterans Affairs, Capital Investment, Government Operations and Elections, and Rules and Legislative Administration.
In a message to his constituents, O’Driscoll said the 2015 legislative session is off “to a great start.”
The House, he said, championed a bipartisan effort to bring tax relief to middle-class Minnesotans in the first bill passed in the session. The measure, he noted, will help preserve the ability for state deductibility of certain federal income-tax deductions. The early passage of that bill, O’Driscoll added, will make sure tax filers won’t have to file amended personal income-tax returns, as some had to do last year.
O’Driscoll said the tax-relief bill will mean almost $20 million in relief for teachers, students, homeowners and others.
He said Republican priorities for the current session include measures that would help grow good-paying jobs, world-class education, ensuring good care for seniors in long-term facilities, funding for roads and bridges, and transparency and accountability in MNsure.
O’Driscoll is now serving his third term in the State House, representing House District 13B, which includes large portions of Stearns and Benton counties.
Born and raised in Sartell, O’Driscoll was the mayor of the city from 2007-11. He was also a member of the city council from 2002-06. He was president of the Sartell Economic Development Commission Authority and secretary and executive board member of the St. Cloud Area Planning Organization. In addition, O’Driscoll has served on many other committees, has been instrumental in work on behalf of veterans and co-founded Sartell’s popular annual SummerFest celebration.
O’Driscoll, who is a corporate trainer, earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University in business education, office administration and real-estate planning development.