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Dayton plans Feb. 6 State of State address

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Gov. Mark Dayton plans to deliver his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature at 7 p.m. on Feb. 6, the Associated Press reported. It will be the second year in a row he has given an evening speech rather than the more traditional daytime speech.

The Minnesota Legislature kicked off a new session on Tuesday.

The Democratic governor is expected to submit a proposed budget to the Legislature on Jan. 22, which will serve as a framework for fiscal debates in the newly DFL-controlled House and Senate. Lawmakers are seeking solutions to a $1.1 billion state deficit.

The state budget is expected to dominate lawmakers' time this session.

In other news from the Capitol:

Lawmakers are expected this week to introduce bipartisan legislation aimed at creating a Minnesota's health insurance exchange, an online marketplace for residents to buy coverage, beginning late this year, the Pioneer Press reported.

Forum Communications reports that debate about whether Democratic House leaders undermining agriculture programs by lumping them in with environmental projects interrupted an otherwise ceremonial first day of the session.

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Dayton aims for hopeful tone in State of the State address

The governor's second state address since taking office will focus on the positive, covering topics such as creating jobs, bolstering education and streamlining government. The Pioneer Press says it should be a departure from the acidic tone coming out of the Capitol lately.