Hennepin County Commissioner
Peter McLaughlin has served as a Hennepin County Commissioner since 1991.
He has helped coordinate the regional effort with the help of labor, business and the community in successfully lobbying for light rail transit (LRT) funding which led to the opening of Minnesota’s first light rail line, the METRO Blue Line in 2004. McLaughlin was instrumental in establishing a dedicated funding source to expand the region’s transit system of light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit lines. He currently serves as chair of the Counties Transit Improvement Board.
Among other transportation-related accomplishments, he helped develop a comprehensive county bicycle transportation plan and create a bicycle gap funding program to expand non-motorized transportation options for county residents and workers.
He is also a leading advocate for the construction of Target Field Station in downtown Minneapolis, which serves multiple light rail, commuter rail and intercity passenger rail lines, as well as pedestrians, bicyclists, and bus riders. Passed additional funding for road and bridge projects through a county-wide wheelage tax.
Commissioner McLaughlin’s leadership and achievements during his tenure on the county board reflect a strong commitment to public service and encompass the broad range of county programs and services. This includes making Hennepin County one of the founding members of Cool Counties, endorsing Accelerating Graduation by Reducing Academic Disparities (A-GRAD), as well as combating crime with the creation of a drug court; expanded juvenile work squads and adult Sentence-To-Serve work crews; additional juvenile detention beds; putting inmates to work and working closely with the District Court on the Adult Gun Policy and the Juvenile Gun Education Program.
In addition to many other accomplishments, Mr. McLaughlin is actively involved in many community service organizations and innovative initiatives aligning efforts of the public and private sectors. He is a founding member of the Phillips Partnership and the Midtown Community Works Partnership, which have guided transformative investments in infrastructure, housing and jobs in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis and along the Midtown Greenway corridor, respectively, over the past 15 years.
Prior to joining the County Board, McLaughlin served three terms in the Minnesota Legislature, rising to the post of Assistant House Majority Leader. He was the chief author on several key pieces of legislation, including the Parental Leave law, and legislation establishing the State Jobs Program (MEED), and State Dislocated Worker Program.
Mr. McLaughlin received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1971 and his Masters degree from the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in 1977.