Gov. Dayton will miss business dinner that kicks off session

Gov. Dayton’s back surgery has forced him to cancel a speaking engagement at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s annual Session Priorities Dinner.

He’ll be the first governor in 22 years to not speak at the event. Officials with Dayton’s staff and the Minnesota chamber are careful to note that Dayton isn’t sending a message by not appearing. His ongoing recovery from back surgery in late December led him to cancel all of his public events for the first two weeks of January.

Dayton’s chief of staff, Tina Smith, will be speaking on behalf of the governor at the event, which has become a place for business officials, elected officials and lobbyists to outline their priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

The Chamber Dinner will still feature the four incoming legislative leaders; DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt and GOP Senate Minority Leader David Hann.

Both Gov. Dayton and the business community are on our list of key players for the session. You can also check out our list of key issues.

The event, which is sold out, will be held on Wednesday night.