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Cohen, Richard J. "Dick"

House 1977-78 (District 63B); House 1983-86 (District 64B); Senate 1987-2012 (District 64); Senate 2013-2020 (District 64)

Party when first elected:  Democratic-Farmer-Labor

Counties Served:  Ramsey

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 12/10/1949
Birth Place: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Birth County: Ramsey
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death:
Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names: Dick
City of Residence (when first elected): Saint Paul
Occupation (when first elected): Attorney, Hennepin County Public Defender

EDUCATION

Highland Park High School; Secondary;
Northwestern University; B.A.;
William Mitchell College of Law; J.D.; 1975

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota State Arts Board; [Dates Unknown]
State Public Defender/Office: Hennepin County, Minnesota (Public Defender); 19?? to ?
U.S. Executive Branch: President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (Appointed by President Barack Obama); 11/03/2009 to 08/18/2017 [Appointed]

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Single
Children:
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

Special Legislative Concerns: finance, taxes, civil liberties, courts and justice, economic development.

He did not seek reelection in 2020.

Early in his tenure in the Senate, he founded the Legislative Arts Caucus. He chaired the National Conference of State Legislatures' Arts, Tourism, and Cultural Resources Commission and served on Americans for the Arts' National Policy Board.

He was a member of Mount Zion Temple.

Religion according to Jewish Community Relations Council and the Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1977-78.

Total Days Served: 14610

SESSIONS SERVED

91st Legislative Session (2019-2020) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/8/2016
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/2017 to 1/4/2021
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Finance
  • Higher Education Finance and Policy
  • Rules and Administration

90th Legislative Session (2017-2018)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/8/2016
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/2017 to 1/4/2021
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Finance
  • Higher Education Finance and Policy
  • Rules and Administration

89th Legislative Session (2015-2016) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/6/2012
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/8/2013 to 1/2/2017
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:  2015 1st Sp.S. - Chief Author    2015 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Capital Investment
  • Finance (Chair)
  • Finance: State Departments and Veterans Budget Division
  • Finance: Subcommittee on Legacy (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Committees Subcommittee
  • Rules and Administration: Litigation Expenses Subcommittee (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration: Subcommittee on Elections

88th Legislative Session (2013-2014)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/6/2012
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/8/2013 to 1/2/2017
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:  2013 1st Sp.S. - Chief Author    2013 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Capital Investment
  • Finance (Chair)
  • Finance: Judiciary Division
  • Finance: State Departments and Veterans Division
  • Finance: Subcommittee on Legacy (Chair)
  • Judiciary
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Elections

87th Legislative Session (2011-2012)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/2/2010
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/4/2011 to 1/7/2013
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Finance
  • Jobs and Economic Growth
  • Rules and Administration
  • State Government Innovation and Veterans

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/7/2006
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/2007 to 1/3/2011
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney; Personal Injury, Private Practice
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:  2010 1st Sp.S. - Chief Author    2010 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Capital Investment
  • Finance (Chair)
  • Finance: Economic Development and Housing Budget Division
  • Finance: Higher Education Budget and Policy Division
  • Finance: Judiciary Budget Division
  • Higher Education
  • Rules and Administration

85th Legislative Session (2007-2008)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/7/2006
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/2007 to 1/3/2011
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney, St. Paul
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Capital Investment
  • Finance (Chair)
  • Finance: Economic Development Budget Division
  • Finance: Higher Education Budget and Policy Division
  • Finance: Judiciary Budget Division
  • Higher Education
  • Rules and Administration

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/5/2002
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/7/2003 to 1/2/2007
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
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:
  • Capital Investment
  • Finance (Chair)
  • Finance: Environment, Agriculture and Economic Development Budget Division
  • Finance: Public Safety Budget Division
  • Finance: State Government Budget Division
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Audit
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget

83rd Legislative Session (2003-2004)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/5/2002
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/7/2003 to 1/2/2007
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
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:
  • Capital Investment
  • Finance (Chair)
  • Finance: Environment, Agriculture and Economic Development Budget Division
  • Finance: State Government Budget Division
  • Judiciary
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Audit
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget

82nd Legislative Session (2001-2002)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/7/2000
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/2001 to 1/6/2003
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Capital Investment
  • Education
  • Education: Higher Education Budget Division
  • Finance
  • Finance: State Government, Economic Development and Judiciary Budget Division (Chair)
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Family Law
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Redistricting
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/5/1996
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Commerce: Banking
  • Governmental Operations and Veterans
  • Governmental Operations and Veterans: Veterans
  • Governmental Operations and Veterans/Election Laws/State Gov't. Finance Comm.: Governmental Operations Budget Division
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Family Law
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget
  • State Government Finance (Chair)

80th Legislative Session (1997-1998)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/5/1996
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Commerce: Banking
  • Governmental Operations and Veterans
  • Governmental Operations and Veterans: Veterans
  • Governmental Operations and Veterans/Election Laws/State Gov't. Finance Comm.: Governmental Operations Budget Division
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Family Law
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget
  • State Government Finance (Chair)

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
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:
  • Crime Prevention
  • Crime Prevention: Crime Prevention Finance Division
  • Ethics and Campaign Reform
  • Finance
  • Finance: Finance State Government Division (Chair)
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Family Law

78th Legislative Session (1993-1994)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
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:
  • Crime Prevention
  • Ethics and Campaign Reform
  • Finance
  • Finance: Finance State Government Division (Chair)
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Family Law

77th Legislative Session (1991-1992)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/6/1990
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/8/1991 to 1/4/1993
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Commerce: Banking
  • Commerce: Insurance
  • Elections and Ethics
  • Finance
  • Finance: Economic and State Affairs Division
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Civil Law Division (Chair)
  • Judiciary: Privacy
  • Metropolitan Affairs
  • Redistricting

76th Legislative Session (1989-1990) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection
  • Commerce: Insurance
  • Economic Development and Housing
  • Elections and Ethics
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Civil Law Division
  • Judiciary: Privacy (Chair)
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Property Taxes and Local Government Aids Division

75th Legislative Session (1987-1988)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 64
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Commerce: Insurance
  • Economic Development and Housing
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Civil Law Division
  • Judiciary: Privacy (Chair)
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Property Taxes and Local Government Aids

74th Legislative Session (1985-1986)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 64B
Elected: 11/6/1984
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/8/1985 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Appropriations
  • Appropriations: State Departments Division
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Civil Laws and Administration
  • Regulated Industries and Energy
  • Regulated Industries and Energy: Energy

73rd Legislative Session (1983-1984)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 64B
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/7/1985
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Appropriations
  • Appropriations: State Departments Division
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Judicial Administration
  • Judiciary: Law Reform
  • Local and Urban Affairs
  • Local and Urban Affairs: Physical and Economic Development
Session Notes: His margin of victory over John Drew was only 14 votes so a recount occurred. After the recount he was declared the winner by 118 votes.

70th Legislative Session (1977-1978)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 63B
Elected: 11/2/1976
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/2/1979
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney, Hennepin County Public Defender
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Governmental Operations
  • Higher Education
Ran in next election? Yes. Defeated in general election