The good bipartisan vibes were so strong on the Legislature's first day that it was almost suspicious, like someone put something in the air ducts or the water. If not for the subzero temperatures, they might have marched up Cathedral Hill, joined hands and sang the Coke song.
From my story this a.m.:
Members of both the newly Republican House and the DFL-controlled Senate avoided talk of policy fights that will consume them later this year, instead encouraging comity and collaboration as they celebrated the pomp of being sworn in and other first-day traditions in front of their families and friends.
Interesting detail: New Speaker Kurt Daudt's gavel is from a white oak tree from his grandparents' farm, which will always remind him where he came from, he said. Like Roy Hobbs' bat "Wonderboy."
The only surprise of the day came when there was chatter from Senate GOP Minority Leader David Hann about not holding a session next year due to the construction at the Capitol.
This notion seemed a bit unlikely, with veteran Rep. Greg Davids telling my colleague Pat Condon that it's not realistic.
It was somewhat surprising coming from Hann -- from his perspective, one would think he would want the DFL-controlled Senate in session so House Republicans could force senators into tough votes that could be used against them in the 2016 election, but maybe not everyone is as cynical as I.
Nice photos of Day One from our own Strib shooters.
Also from the Capitol
Peter Callaghan of MinnPost looks at what metro cities want out of the Legislature. Short answer: $.
ICYMI: MinnPost's Legislative preview from Briana Bierschbach, with issues, personalities and dynamics.
MPR says the proposed Southwest light-rail line is in trouble.
The Campaign Finance Board dismissed a Republican complaint against Dayton and the DFL.
Today, legislators board buses and head to the U for the every-other-year One Minnesota event, where they'll hear seminars on subjects such as state demographics, the outstate economy and transportation.
The governor and legislative leaders will address a sold out crowd at a Chamber event tonight at the St. Paul RiverCentre.
The governor's people keep telling us to make sure we're there, so maybe he'll make news.
Also, the Minnesota Chamber has retained Ballinger Leafblad of St. Paul to conduct a national search for candidates to be its new president. Applicants should direct all inquiries to Marcia Ballinger, Marcia@ballingerleafblad.com, or Lars Leafblad, Lars@ballingerleafblad.com
Other upcoming events
Move MN coalition, which is a transpo advocacy group of business, labor and local government, will unveil its plan to fund Minnesota transportation. Thursday, 9 a.m., State Office Building, room 181.
Flaherty & Hood host a photo exhibit, featuring photos of the Capitol, Jan. 14 from 4-7, with wine and cheese. Photogs are John Kaul, Tom Olmsheid and Andrew Von Bank. RSVP to Julie Liew, Jlliew@flaherty-hood.com or call 651-259-1917.
Nice piece by Allison Sherry, who followed new Rep. Tom Emmer around on his first day as a congressman.
Meet the new Tom Emmer, nice guy who's gonna get stuff done for the district with that sunny Midwest demeanor:
And he’s relying on relationship-building to get him where he needs to be. 'My job over the next few months is not only to get up to speed, but to continue the process of building the relationships with people I’m going to be working with over the next two years in this Congress … so they know who I am,' he said. 'My district has a need. We need your help. That’s really what I’m going to be doing.'
Strib reports: BNSF has to provide emergency coal delivery plans:
Responding to utilities’ complaints about coal deliveries, federal regulators have ordered BNSF Railway to submit a plan for keeping power plants in Minnesota and other states supplied this winter.
Of course there was a release from Sen. Amy Klobuchar: After a push from U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) will require BNSF Railway Company to submit a detailed plan outlining how it will help mitigate future coal shortages.
Obama threatened a veto of the Keystone pipeline.
Welcome to the era of "dynamic scoring." (Think Laffer Curve.)
Vice President Biden stole the show Monday, even as GOP took control of the Senate.