Walz appoints Minnesota’s first ‘Chief Equity Officer,’ promptly moves into taxpayer funded lakeside mansion costing $17,000 a month

Yesterday, Gov. Walz announced the appointment of Dr. Stephanie Burrage as Minnesota’s first Chief Equity Officer. She will: “…use her expertise to advance equity and opportunity in communities across the state as we continue our work to make Minnesota the best state in the country to grow up in.”


Dr. Burrage’s leadership will ensure the policies we make here at the Capitol come from community and are centered around equity.

Also this week, it emerged that, while his official residence is renovated, Gov. Walz and his family are going to be housed for 18 months in an 18,000 foot lakeside mansion. The cost to Minnesota’s taxpayers is $17,000 a month. Alpha News reports that there is:

…an option to renew for 3 additional months. The total lease will cost taxpayers $314,662.

The state will also be required to reimburse the owner $14,919 for carpet replacements, according to the lease.

Rep. Paul Novotny claims that, with a “simple Google search,” he found a comparably sized property on Lake Phalen that would cost $12,000 less per month. House Speaker Melissa Hortman, on the other hand, defended the deal, telling MPR News that she’s “not surprised it’s an expensive proposition to house the governor in a secure location.” Indeed, secure locations aren’t as easy to find in Minnesota they once were.

It is unclear, however, how this new ‘crib’ will advance the cause of ‘equity’ in the state. There is a question for Dr. Burrage to tackle. For myself, I’m reminded of that old line from ‘Animal Farm’: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”