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Dayton will wait until Wednesday to sign Medicaid order

New Gov. Mark Dayton had long said one of the first things he’d do in office was to sign an executive order moving Minnesota to a Medicaid expansion program.

New Gov. Mark Dayton had long said one of the first things he’d do in office was to sign an executive order moving Minnesota to a Medicaid expansion program. And it was on the to-do list for Tuesday.

But now Dayton says he’ll sign the order Wednesday, at the request of new House Speaker Kurt Zellers, who apparently wanted to get Tuesday’s first-day-in-office logistics — when Republicans take over the state House and Senate — squared away first.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty wouldn’t make the switch to the federal expansion last year, saying it would cost the state too much. But he had signed a bill passed by legislators giving a new governor the authority to make the switch.

The expansion will take some time to implement, and the one-day delay should have no impact on the change-over. It will cover all Minnesotans currently on General Assistance medical care, as well as 20,000 others.

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Dayton will sign the order at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, in a public ceremony in the Governor’s Reception Room at the Capitol.