Gov. Mark Dayton was back in St. Paul on Friday after having hip surgery at Mayo Clinic early in the week.
Doctors reattached Dayton's tendon, which he injured in a fall at the governor's residence last year.
The 67-year-old said his surgery was successful.
"I'm on my way to recovery," Dayton said from the governor's residence in St. Paul Friday afternoon.
The governor had spent four days at Rochester Mayo's Clinic after the surgery.
Dayton has said repeatedly that the physical injury and recovery would not stop him from doing his job as governor or mounting a vigorous campaign for re-election. Dayton, who will need a brace for several months, staffers said the governor met with senior staff at the residence on Friday.
The governor had said he was not in significant pain, but the injury made his hip less stable.
Republican mega-donor Stanley Hubbard is solidifying his support of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris Dahlberg.
On Thursday, Dahlberg's campaign announced that Hubbard would chair the finance committee for the St. Louis County commissioner's campaign.
Hubbard, who is one of larger political donors in Minnesota, has promoted Dahlberg's candidacy since last summer. The Hubbard Broadcasting CEO, his firm and his family give mightily but not exclusively to Republican candidates and causes.
The announcement that Hubbard will chair Dahlberg's finance committee may give Dahlberg a needed boost. Republican candidate Mike McFadden has picked up support -- and donations -- from a panoply of well known GOP names and candidate Julianne Ortman last week won a straw poll at conducted at Republican caucuses.
Dahlberg's campaign also said Erik Leist, a frequent public critic of other campaigns' social media attempts, had joined the campaign's media team.
The U.S. Senate campaign is not the only one to bulk up staffing now that the 2014 election year is in full swing. Among others:
Gov. Mark Dayton is putting his full political weight behind a new proposal that would pay for hot lunches for students who can not pay.
Dayton's move comes after a new report showed that many Minnesota school districts deny a hot lunch to students if they can’t pay for the meal.
“No child in Minnesota should be denied a healthy lunch,” said Dayton, who is at Mayo Clinic recuperating from hip surgery. “We cannot expect our students to succeed on an empty stomach. I look forward to working with the legislature to make this issue a priority in the upcoming legislative session.”
A majority of public school districts in this state deny hot lunch — or any lunch at all in some cases — to children who can’t pay for them, according to a Star Tribune story on a new report by Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. Some schools take the meals from students in the lunch line and dump them in the trash when the computer shows their account is empty.
The state is likely to have a surplus of close to $1 billion for the rest of the budget cycle and legislators are expected to figure out what to do with the money when they convene later this month.
The $3.5 million needed to pay for the hot lunches would make up a tiny sliver of any larger budget agreement. Deputy Senate Majority Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, is a sponsor of the proposal in the Legislature.
According to the report, more than half of Minnesota school districts provide low-income students alternative meals, such as a cold cheese sandwich, if they are unable to pay the 40 cents required for a reduced-price hot lunch.
Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius contacted all Minnesota school districts this week, urging them to ensure that all Minnesota children have access to a complete lunch.
“For too many of our children, school meals may be the only nutritious meals they receive,” Cassellius wrote to school officials. “We also know that children learn best when they have nutritious meals throughout their days.”
Tonight, at hundreds of sites across Minnesota, partisans will gather with their neighbors to debate the big issues in their parties, rally for their favorite candidates and begin the process of picking people to move up through the political process.
A Republican straw poll for U.S. Senate and governor was one of the focuses of the evening.
In early results, Marty Seifert had about a third of the votes, topping the other field of GOP candidates vying to replace DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. Seifert, a former state representative who ran for governor in 2010, was the last entrant into the governor's race. State Sen. Dave Thompson, one of the first candidates in the race, was in second with about a quarter of the votes.
Republican state Sen. Julianne Ortman, of Chanhassen, also captured a little under a third of straw poll votes that had been reported shortly after 10 p.m. leading all other candidates in the race. Businessman Mike McFadden was pulling a second place with about a quarter of the votes.
The results are expected to continue to trickle in through the night.
Meanwhile, there was a very tense night at a caucus site in Minneapolis where DFLer Mohamud Noor is challenging longtime DFL state Rep. Phyllis Kahn.
With 300 people at the Bryan Coyle Center, a fight broke out and people rushed the stage. After the melee, the Minneapolis police shut down the caucus.
The Star Tribune's Eric Roper reported:
"There was an argument about who was controlling the meeting, as far as I could tell," said Park Board commissioner Scott Vreeland, who tried to break up the fight. "And then there was kind of a rush forward of folks that wanted something different."
The altercation over who would chair the event took place before any delegates were elected. Two women outside the meeting said that an aide for council member Andrew Johnson, Ilham Omar, was attacked.
"She was attacked," Johnson said in an interview. "She’s got some bruises and cuts but she’s going to be fine."
A handful of police quickly started dispersing the crowd, telling people to leave the building. The event, which began around 7 p.m., was over by 7:40 p.m.
It appears the two people running to chair the meeting were Mohamed Jama and Zamzam Ali. "I'm speechless," Ali said outside the gymnasium.
Corey Day, executive director of the DFL, said the precinct elects 44 delegates out of about 700 in the House district.
"I have no clue exactly why this transpired," Day said. "I'm just as shocked as you guys. I really just want to talk to the folks at the party and figure out how we're going to resolve this."
Tuesday night also featured:
Minnesota state leaders will get the a new economic and budget snapshot at the end of the month, likely leaving legislators with a sizable budget surplus in the upcoming legislative session.
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said Monday that the February forecast will be released on Feb. 28.
The forecast will set the budget numbers that will guide much of the upcoming legislative session.
In December, state budget officials predicted a $876 million surplus for the remainder of the two-year budget cycle. Some state officials expect the projected surplus to be even higher by the time the new forecast is unveiled.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and many Democratic lawmakers want to use part of the surplus for tax relief. Some are pressing to use a chunk of the money to bolster the state's budget reserves to better insulate state finances during economic downturns.
The budget fight is expected to be a centerpiece issue in the upcoming legislative session, the last regular session before the November election.
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