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Dayton collapses during State of State speech

Plus: Dayton proposes quasi-public option for Minnesota health insurance; St. Paul cop punches handcuffed 14-year-old; Republicans in Legislature take aim at solar incentive program; and more.

Gov. Mark Dayton speaking during Monday night's State of the State address.
MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach

Well, this isn’t good. Gov. Dayton’s collapse made news around the country. Nicole Hensley in the New York Daily News writes, “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed while discussing the importance of healthcare during his State of the State address at the St. Paul capitol building on Monday. Dayton fell to the ground after pausing to take a sip of water about 40 minutes into the talk. The 69-year-old was slurring his speech moments before the apparent medical emergency. ‘Get him to the ground’, said one person, who was captured on an open microphone while rushing to help the second-term Democrat. A camera in the House Chambers continued to roll as lawmakers gasped and stood up in their seats. A handful of state staffers and politicians crowded around Dayton behind a podium.”

For NBC News Alex Johnson says, “Video of the speech aired by NBC station KARE of Minneapolis showed Dayton, 69, pausing for several seconds and reaching for a bottle of water. The governor then began slurring his speech before appearing to faint and falling to the floor. The governor’s office said in a statement Monday night that Dayton had simply fainted after having spoken while standing for more than 40 minutes. It said he quickly recovered and walked out of the Capitol under his own power.

MPR’s story says, “Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska, a doctor, was one of two medical professionals in the Senate who responded immediately when the governor fell. He said the governor was in stable condition shortly after the event. Sen. Dan Schoen, who is also a paramedic, was among those who went to Dayton’s aid; he said Dayton was acting normally within 20 minutes of the collapse and poking fun at himself.”

Ricardo Lopez of the Strib writes, “Dayton’s son Eric in a tweet said his father was ‘doing great’ and thanked people for their support. In a subsequent tweet, he said his father and Dayton’s grandson, Hugo, ‘are now doing a very advanced puzzle together, so that has to be a good sign!’ Before the incident, Dayton gave most of his penultimate State of the State address, unveiling a broad vision for his final two years in office that calls for targeted ‘public investments’ that include $371 million in additional funding for schools and the creation of a public health-insurance option.”

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In the PiPress David Montgomery says, “In his seventh State of the State address Monday night, Dayton was to propose letting Minnesotans buy unsubsidized insurance coverage from the state’s MinnesotaCare program, which could expand choice and save Minnesotans money. … The anchor of Dayton’s speech was to be his proposal to create a quasi-public option competing against health insurance plans on the individual market. It would be the first such plan in any state, Dayton administration staffers said.”

Well, you know for certain something’s going to change. In the PiPress John Spry writes, “This year the federal government is likely to pass the most sweeping overhaul of the tax code since the 1986 tax reform. The tax plan proposed by U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on the campaign trail would reduce income tax rates while eliminating many deductions and tax preferences. Individuals would have a choice between keeping only the charitable giving and mortgage interest deductions or taking a larger standard deduction. Other itemized deductions, including the deduction for state and local taxes, would be eliminated. Changes in the federal tax code will significantly affect Minnesota state government because state tax forms start with data from federal tax forms.”

We will assume he felt a clear and present danger. Says Mara Gottfried in the PiPress, “Prosecutors charged a St. Paul officer with assault Monday, saying he punched a 14-year-old girl twice in the face when she was handcuffed in the back of a squad car. The teen had spit in Officer Michael Philip Soucheray II’s face, according to the criminal complaint charging him with a misdemeanor. Officers were trying to get the girl from an emergency shelter to a hospital because she was reported to be suicidal but was refusing to go, the complaint said. After Soucheray struck the teen with a closed fist, causing her pain, he grabbed the girl ‘by the jaw and/or face/neck area’, the complaint said. He then called her a ‘(expletive) bitch’, the court document continued.”

Also from Ms. Gottfried, “Ramsey County’s chief deputy sheriff is making history as the first woman to hold the position. Sheriff Jack Serier appointed Julie Rudie as his second-in-command Monday. She steps into the role that Serier held until the county board appointed him sheriff on Jan. 10. Serier is completing the final two years of Matt Bostrom’s term since he retired.”

Also in cop news, Riham Feshir of MPR says, “Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau said there will be more cops walking the beat this year to bring a suburban feel to the city. While violent crime rates are at a 30-year low, repeat offenders continue using guns to solve their feuds, Hodges said at a press conference Monday on 2016 crime trends. In addition to more beat policing, Minneapolis cops will use a $325,000 grant from the Department of Justice aimed at reducing gang and clique-related violence.” Hm, not a lot of cops walking around Edina last time I checked.

Factoid. Ron Trenda at MPR says, “The clouds and fog the past three days helped us accomplish one thing; we tied a record for consecutive January days above freezing in the Twin Cities:

Our average low temperature is 7 degrees in the Twin Cities this time of year, so it is very unusual to stay above 32 degrees for 3 consecutive days.”

Drill, baby, drill! Brian Edwards of the PiPress says, “Republican lawmakers in the Minnesota House are considering killing a solar incentive and taking control of an energy fund they say has little oversight. The bill would shift money deposited into a renewable energy account to a general energy fund and end the ‘Made in Minnesota’ solar energy incentive program.  GOP lawmakers want more legislative oversight of the state’s energy funds and pointed toward the low energy production from the solar incentive at a Monday House ways and means committee hearing as a sign of the energy program’s failure.”

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Yeah, reality is whole different beast. Says Jim Spencer for the Strib, “The new era of trade restrictions signaled by President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will not be good news for some of Minnesota’s major corporate players and industries, but comes as relief to others. … Cargill, the Wayzata-based agribusiness giant, worked hard to bring about TPP. Some other Minnesota-based businesses, including Target Corp., import from foreign production plants. Others planned to increase revenue by selling more in foreign markets. ‘We supported TPP strongly and wish [the president] would have embraced it’, said Charlie Weaver, who heads the Minnesota Business Partnership, a group that includes dozens of CEOs of the state’s biggest companies. ‘Protectionism isn’t good for U.S. workers, consumers or the economy. That’s the fear of changing NAFTA and walking away from TPP’.”

In City Pages, Becky Lang gave the Paleo Diet a week’s trial. She writes, “This diet is tasty. The food on a paleo diet is more delicious than most other I’ve tried. Adding a lot of fat (olive oil, nuts, avocados) back into meals and snacks feels like a treat after years being told fat is bad. Cooking dinners that feature a quality cut of meat and a well-seasoned side felt like eating at a restaurant. I also ate a whole jar of almond butter in a week, which was fun. …

Tasty food
Sense of wellbeing
Makes you better at cooking
No calorie counting

Ugly recipes
Hard to explain while eating out with friends
Family thinks you’re crazy
No cheese.

…” Cave men ate bacon, right?