Walz announces new commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday announced the appointment of Jim Schowalter as the new commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB).

Schowalter previously served as MMB commissioner in Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration and also served as the state budget director under Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

The appointment comes after Commissioner Myron Frans was named the senior vice president of finance and operations at the University of Minnesota Wednesday morning.

"We are incredibly grateful for Commissioner Frans’ service to our state," Walz said in a statement. "Because of his leadership, Minnesota is in a stronger position to weather the fiscal consequences of this pandemic, and we wish him well in his new position.

"At a critical time for our state, Jim Schowalter will bring extensive experience and a proven track record of effective governance. I look forward to working together to balance our budget while continuing to invest in the services and programs that make Minnesota a great place to live."

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan added, "Budgets are moral documents. Building a moral budget requires compassion, imagination, and a commitment to the most vulnerable among us. Commissioner Myron Frans has been an invaluable partner in this mission. To fill his shoes in these unprecedented times, we need someone who can hit the ground running. Jim Schowalter is that person."

"It has been my honor to serve the people of Minnesota for 10 years," said Frans. "I have worked for tax reform, pension reform, sound fiscal management, and supporting equity in the workplace. I am proud of the incredible changes we made to improve state services and to help create more opportunities for all Minnesotans. Thank you for this opportunity, this was the job of a lifetime."

Schowalter was most recently the senior vice president for partnerships at HealthPartners and previously served as president and CEO of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans.

"I am thrilled at the opportunity to return to Minnesota Management and Budget to continue Minnesota’s tradition of smart financial and personnel leadership," said Schowalter. "I’m ready to dive in with Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan, the Legislature, and our partners to develop a budget that addresses our current situation and delivers the critical services that Minnesotans depend on."

The MMB commissioner is the state’s chief financial officer, chief accounting officer, state controller, chief human resource officer, and is in charge of employee insurance for over 50,000 state employees and collective bargaining on behalf of the state.