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And so it begins...The Minnesota Legislature convenes today, with a new Republican House majority and a new speaker, the 41-year old wunderkind Rep. Kurt Daudt, who will have less legislative experience than any speaker since the 1930s. Today will be mostly ceremonial, with Daudt being elected speaker and the swearing in of members. Families and friends will witness the pomp and ceremony.

Daudt will make a short speech. Expect talk about civility and bipartisanship and problem solving.

Your House, by the numbers, via the House Information Service: 72 Republican members; 62 DFL members; 90 men; 44 women; 54 GOP men; 36 DFL men; 18 Republican women; 26 DFL women.

Newbies: 26 newly elected members; 21 of them Republicans, 5 of them DFLers; 20 of them are men; 6 are women.

The rest: 90.7 percent of incumbents were re-elected; 0 Republican incumbents lost; 11 DFL incumbents lost.

Here's the full roster.

Email of the day: RESCHEDULED: Goldy Gopher, U of M football trophies on hand at Capitol Jan. 6. This event is being rescheduled. We will share new details when they are available.
Ok, please get back to us on that ASAP, m'kay.

MPR rounds up the agenda of rural members.

The inauguration

Gov. Mark Dayton was sworn in yesterday for what he says will be his final term and focused his remarks on education as a way to combat liberals' favorite issue, income inequality. There were four generations of Daytons there, some lovely music from the Greater Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Choir and the stately presence of emcee Justice Alan C. Page.

Pat Condon wrote it up.

Key graphs:

Dayton said inequities in wealth and income between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else “explains the large divide between the new optimism on Wall Street and the persistent pessimism on Main Street, where real wages and median family incomes have continued to fall, even during this recovery.”

The path out of that, Dayton said, is providing the best educational opportunities in the widest manner possible. It’s a variation on a theme that Dayton has returned to throughout his political career, which he launched shortly after working for several years as a public schoolteacher in New York City.

Dayton made clear his budget will include significant new education money. He calls it "investment," Republicans call it spending.

Read the speech.

See the photos.

Watch the video.

Daudt responded that money is not the answer: “We’re spending 30 percent more money on K-12 education today than we were 10 years ago,” said Daudt, R-Crown. “If money were the answer, we’d have probably one of the best education systems in the world.”

Expect Republicans to repeat all session long that Minneapolis schools, spending north of $20,000 per student, show that money isn't the answer. (That's what they spend in New York City, where a pack of cigarettes will cost you $15 and a gosh darned highball goes for....oh nevermind.)

Dayton also said Minnesotans need to brag more about our great and good qualities. Twitter response from Strib columnist Jon Tevlin. "please. No."

A minor inside-baseball kerfuffle erupted when neither Daudt nor DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk showed up for the inauguration. Daudt was across the street at the St. Paul Hotel at a fundraiser while Bakk was interviewing job candidates.

Is this the infamous Minnesota passive-aggressive thing I've heard so much about?

Sighted at the inauguration: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota's James Brown. (I'm referring to the "hardest working," not the drugs and rock n' roll thing.)

Nevermind politics, here's the headline of the day...Frostbite: How to identify symptoms and how to treat it.

In Washington

Dayton is at the White House at a National Governor's Association meeting today.

Lyft tried to assure Sen. Al Franken that the geo-location ride service company is guarding customers' privacy, Allison Sherry reports on the Hot Dish blog.

Lyft is like Uber but the cars have pink mustaches, Sherry helpfully reminds.

Sherry on incoming-Rep. Tom Emmer: He gets to ditch the “elect” part of his title today as he gets officially sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, standing for Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District and replacing Rep. Michele Bachmann. Emmer has been in DC since late last week with various members of his family and saw his new offices on the fifth floor of the Cannon House Office Building, known for housing more junior members of the House, over the weekend. Some of his mostly young staff are holdovers from Bachmann’s office, though leading his office is Minnesota GOP veteran David Fitzsimmons, who was a former state lawmaker.

At a reception Sunday night at a House side Capitol Hill bar, Emmer sought advice from two-decade veteran Rep. Collin Peterson and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Peterson joked that Emmer should be “more like me” than Bachmann. Klobuchar urged him to stay in touch with Minnesota.

Emmer will serve on the Agriculture and Foreign Affairs committees – neither of which were his first choice since the one-time gubernatorial candidate touted bringing transportation dollars back to his district. But alas. This is the reality of being a frosh.

The New York Times reports John Boehner will remain House speaker but will face some defections, despite there being more Republicans in the House than at any time since the 1920s.

Politico's Michael Grunwald has a long investigative piece about how the federal government has become a massive bank with $3 trillion in loans outstanding. Scary.

Finally, some tough news: Rep. Rick Nolan said his daughter has lung cancer, reports the Pioneer Press via Forum News Service. Thoughts and prayers for the congressman's family.


you know where to find me

Tips, complaints, insider stock trading advice to patrick.coolican@startribune.com; follow me on twitter: @jpcoolican


 

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