Politics with J. Patrick Coolican

Spring break for legislators; dentist for Dayton

Spring break. We’ll be interested to hear what legislators are hearing at town hall meetings and when they bump into constituents at the grocery store or church etc. Sen. Kent Eken, for instance, has 11 town hall meetings today and tomorrow. He’s an outstate, moderate DFLer from the upper chamber who, like the rest of the Senate, hasn’t faced voters since 2012. Much will depend on his ilk in the coming weeks, which means what he hears at those meetings could matter greatly.

Gov. Mark Dayton is undergoing a “routine dental procedure” and is out today and tomorrow. (Is this their euphemism for a lengthy meeting with a certain Iron Range senator?)

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is with commissioners and staff.

Maura Lerner on the debate over remedial college courses.

Matt McKinney on nasty frac-sand debate in Houston County.

Jenna Ross on the bill from Sen. Tomassoni to turn inmates into butchers.

Capitol renovation projects needs $30 million more.

I had a little fun with the civility folks.

AP runs down everything left to do.

Over the weekend, RSB looked at the revolving door between legislating and lobbying.

Washington and beyond

The Times on the GOP choice: Fire up the base with Gov. Scott Walker, or expand the party with Gov. Jeb Bush

Politico on what to look for in an Iran deal.

you know where to find me

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