Gov. Mark Dayton discusses his plan to call a special session next month to address economic issues in two popular lake areas. Tim Pugmire | MPR News

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a special legislative session sometime next month to consider an emergency financial aid package for resorts and other businesses in the Mille Lacs Lake area. But House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, says he thinks it may be too early to talk about bringing back the Legislature.

Dayton is concerned about the economic hit that the popular fishing destination will suffer if state officials close the walleye season early due to a dwindling fish population. He discussed the idea with Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, Tuesday afternoon, and they agreed to meet next week to begin planning.

No decisions have been made, but Dayton told reporters Wednesday that the state assistance could include zero interest loans, property tax abatements and additional tourism promotion. He said “time is of the essence” to address a potentially “catastrophic” situation.

“We need to get the loan program under way,” Dayton said. “The resorts up there need working capital so they can pay their employees and just keep open, especially if the walleye fishing has to be closed beginning next week.”

Before a special session area legislators, lawmakers who oversee natural resource issues and state commissioners should meet to talk about the problem and ways to respond, Daudt told MPR News Wednesday.

“We’re very concerned about the situation. We want to make sure we do what’s right by these resorts. We don’t want to see them suffering because of this closing of the season early,” Daudt said. “But we also want to make sure we’re doing the right thing. And we want to look at all options.”

Dayton is scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon in St. Paul with Mille Lacs area officials and business owners. He plans to visit the area later in the week. The governor said he also intends to bring up the issue of tribal netting of walleye during spawning season on Mille Lacs.

Dayton said the special session would also include state assistance for the Brainerd area, which was hit hard by heavy storms two weeks ago.

MPR News reporter Tom Scheck contributed to this report.

Good morning. Here are five stories to read as you start your day, none of which involves a lion or a dentist.

1. Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders talked Tuesday evening about a possible special session next month to provide financial assistance to the Lake Mille Lacs area if walleye fishing is shut down early as appears likely. (MPR News)

2. The Dayton administration says competitive bidding and lower than expected costs combined to save taxpayers $650 million in HMO care for people on Medicaid and MinnesotaCare. The savings are bad news for a couple of HMOs. (MPR News)

3. Minnesotans who helped pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act are reflecting as its 50th anniversary approaches. (MPR News)

4. John Boehner faces a challenge as House Speaker from the right, but based based on history he has little to fear. (Washington Post)

5. More than five months before any of the 2016 presidential primaries, Politico is all but declaring Republican Sen. Rand Paul out of the race.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-MN, wants an investigation into whether a Minnesota dentist broke any U.S. laws when he killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe.

“To bait and kill a threatened animal, like this African lion, for sport cannot be called hunting, but rather a disgraceful display of callous cruelty,” McCollum wrote in a statement. “For those of us committed to ending poaching of iconic African species I strongly believe the U.S. Attorneys’ Office and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should investigate whether U.S. laws were violated related to conspiracy, bribery of foreign officials, and the illegal hunting of a protected species or animal.”

The killing of the lion has sparked international outrage. Conservation groups have criticized Dr. Walter James Palmer of Eden Prairie for killing the animal. Authorities in Zimbabwe told the Associated Press that Palmer will face poaching charges.

Palmer issued a statement today saying he regrets killing the lion but believes he secured proper permits and believes the hunt was legal.

The 13-year-old lion named Cecil was a popular attraction in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The lion was killed on July 1 during a guided hunt that cost Palmer about $50,000, according to a report in the Telegraph.