Dayton to have back surgery next week

Gov. Mark Dayton expects to be hospitalized for a few days next week for back surgery.

Dayton is scheduled to undergo back surgery next week. His spokeswoman, Katharine Tinucci, says Dayton is scheduled to receive surgery on his lower back next Thursday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She says Dayton is expected to be dismissed from the hospital on December 31st and will then work from the governor’s residence for two weeks as he recuperates.

She says Dayton does not plan to turn over any duties to Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon during that time.

“Governors have an option of designating their duties to the lieutenant governor,” Tinucci said. “He will not be doing that. Previous governors who had surgery have not done that so there’s no reason to think that this is a different situation.”

The legislative session begins on January 8th, when Dayton is expected to still be recuperating from the surgery. Tinucci says Dayton will continue to work with commissioners and staff to craft a two-year budget proposal to present to the Legislature.

He’s required to release a budget plan by January 22nd.

“There is no reason to think that this surgery or this recovery is going to impede his ability to manage the state effectively as governor,” Tinucci said.

Dayton’s staff is working to reschedule events that he’d already planned over that period.

MPR’s Tim Nelson contributed to this report.