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Anderson, Ellen R.

Senate 1993-2011 (District 66)

Party when first elected:  Democratic-Farmer-Labor

Counties Served:  Ramsey

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 11/25/1959
Birth Place: Gary, Indiana
Birth County:
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death:
Gender: Female
Religion: Presbyterian
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Saint Paul
Occupation (when first elected): Attorney

EDUCATION

Ridgewood High School; Secondary;
Carleton College; B.A.; 1982
University of Minnesota, Law School; J.D.; Cum Laude, 1986

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

Judicial Administration: Minnesota Court of Appeals (Law Clerk for Judge Crippen); 19?? to 19??
State Public Defender/Office: Hennepin County, Minnesota (Public Defenders Office, Trial Attorney); 19?? to 19??
State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council (Appointed by Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller); 12/01/2008 to 20?? [Appointed]
U.S. Executive Branch: White House Working Group of State Legislators on Energy and Climate Control; 2009 to 20??
State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Chair, Appointed by Governor Mark Dayton, Senate Did Not Confirm Her Appointment); 03/28/2011 to 01/30/2012 [Appointed]
State Governor Staff: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's Office (Senior Adviser on Energy and Environmental Issues; Salary Paid by 4 Agencies, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Commerce, Natural Resources, and Pollution Control Agency; Office in the Department of Agriculture); 02/2012 to 20??

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Single (when first elected); Andrew "Andy" Dawkins (married while in office, later divorced)
Children: Two children: Jack and Nick (sons, born while she was in office)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:
Andrew J. Dawkins  - Husband

GENERAL NOTES

Special Legislative Concerns: education, economy, neighborhood issues/revitalization, jobs and economic development, energy and environment, consumer protection, children's issues, violence prevention.

She was the Research Director for United States Senator Paul Wellstone's 1990 campaign.

On April 16, 1993 she was the first woman to wear pants on the Senate floor.

Religion provided by the 2006 WCCO TV Voters' Guide.

Total Days Served: 6649

SESSIONS SERVED

87th Legislative Session (2011-2012)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 66
Elected: 11/2/2010
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/4/2011 to 3/20/2011 (unfinished term)
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney/College Instructor
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications
  • Finance
  • Local Government and Elections
Reason for unfinished term: Appointed to other office
Session Notes: She was appointed to Chair the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission by Governor Mark Dayton.

86th Legislative Session (2009-2010) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 66
Elected: 11/7/2006
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/2007 to 1/3/2011
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney/College Instructor
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Education
  • Energy, Utilities, Technology and Communications
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Finance
  • Finance: E-12 Education Budget and Policy Division
  • Finance: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division (Chair)
  • Finance: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division: Clean Water Legacy
  • Finance: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division: Energy Subdivision
  • Finance: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division: Natural Resources
  • Finance: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division: Parks and Trails Legacy

85th Legislative Session (2007-2008)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 66
Elected: 11/7/2006
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/2007 to 1/3/2011
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney/College Instructor
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Energy, Utilities, Technology and Communications
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Finance
  • Finance: E-12 Education Budget Division
  • Finance: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division (Chair)
  • Finance: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division: Energy Subdivision
  • Finance: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division: Natural Resources

84th Legislative Session (2005-2006) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 66
Elected: 11/5/2002
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/7/2003 to 1/2/2007
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney/College Instructor
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:  2005 1st Sp.S. - Chief Author    2005 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection, Banking and Insurance
  • Commerce: No Fault Insurance
  • Finance: Environment, Agriculture and Economic Development Budget Division
  • Finance: K-12 Education Budget Division
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development (Chair)
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Economic Development and Tourism - Ex Officio Member
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Energy - Ex Officio Member
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Housing - Ex Officio Member
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Telecommunications and Technology - Ex Officio Member
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Audit
Session Notes: She was an ex officio member of the Jobs, Energy and Community Development Committee's Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee, Energy Subcommittee, Housing Subcommittee, and Telecommunications and Technology Subcommittee.

83rd Legislative Session (2003-2004)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 66
Elected: 11/5/2002
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/7/2003 to 1/2/2007
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney/College Instructor
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:  2003 1st Sp.S. - Chief Author    2003 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Commerce and Utilities-2003/Commerce-2004 (Chair) [She was the Chair in 2003 only.]
  • Commerce and Utilities-2003/Commerce-2004: Consumer Protection and Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce and Utilities-2003/Commerce-2004: Liquor - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce and Utilities-2003/Commerce-2004: Telecommunications and Technology - Ex Officio Member
  • Finance: Early Childhood-Grade 12 Education Budget Division-2003/K-12 Education Budget Division-2004
  • Finance: Environment, Agriculture and Economic Development Budget Division
  • Jobs, Housing and Community Development-2003/Jobs, Energy and Community Development-2004 (Chair) [She was the Chair in 2004 only.]
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Audit

82nd Legislative Session (2001-2002)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 66
Elected: 11/7/2000
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/2001 to 1/6/2003
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney/College Instructor
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Environment and Natural Resources: Environmental Protection
  • Environment and Natural Resources: Fish and Wildlife
  • Finance
  • Finance: State Government, Economic Development and Judiciary Budget Division
  • Jobs, Housing and Community Development (Chair)
  • Telecommunications, Energy and Utilities

81st Legislative Session (1999-2000) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 66
Elected: 11/5/1996
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney/College Instructor
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Crime Prevention
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Environment and Natural Resources/Agriculture and Rural Development/State Government Finance: Environment and Agriculture Budget Division
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Housing and Economic Development (Chair)
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development/Commerce/Human Resources Finance Comm.: Economic Development Budget Division
  • Judiciary/Crime Prevention/Human Resources Finance: Crime Prevention and Judiciary Budget Division
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Income and Sales Tax

80th Legislative Session (1997-1998)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 66
Elected: 11/5/1996
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney/College Instructor
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Crime Prevention
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Housing and Economic Development (Chair)
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development/Commerce/Human Resources Finance Comm.: Economic Development Budget Division
  • Judiciary/Crime Prevention/Human Resources Finance: Crime Prevention and Judiciary Budget Division
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Income and Sales Tax

79th Legislative Session (1995-1996) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 66
Elected: 11/3/1992
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/6/1997
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection: Insurance
  • Crime Prevention
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Environment and Natural Resources: Public Lands and Waters
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Economic Development and Housing (Chair)
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Energy and Public Utilities
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Jobs, Energy and Community Development Finance Division

78th Legislative Session (1993-1994)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 66
Elected: 11/3/1992
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/6/1997
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection: Insurance
  • Crime Prevention
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Environment and Natural Resources: Public Lands and Waters
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Economic Development and Housing (Chair)
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Energy and Public Utilities
  • Jobs, Energy and Community Development: Jobs, Energy and Community Development Finance Division

Senate Photos

The photos in this collection were scanned from the files of the Minnesota Senate Photographer with the generous help of the Minnesota Digital Library, and are included in the Minnesota Reflections collection.

Articles & Books About
"A Senator Redresses a Tradition - She Wears Pants; History is Made; a Colleague Follows Suit." Star Tribune, April 26, 1993, p. 3B.



The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library has collected newspaper articles on legislators since 1973. They are available in the Library.