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Here's hoping for a successful 2017 Legislative session

Good luck to the 90th Minnesota Legislature, which officially convened Tuesday as legislators were sworn-in and celebrated the opening of the newly-restored State Capitol.

Representative Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, was elected to continue serving as Speaker, a position he was first elected to in 2015. Other formalities included the election of Patrick Murphy as Chief Clerk.

"We must work together to solve the biggest problems that face Minnesota," Daudt said during brief remarks following his re-election as Speaker. "Our first priority is to address the current health insurance crisis by providing both short term relief and long term reforms. We will also balance the budget, investing in our priorities while respecting the resources taxpayers have given us."

Daudt also delivered a challenge to lawmakers to undertake an effort to modernize state government and take steps to make it more responsive, efficient, and effective.

Health care, tax relief, and beginning to craft the state's next two-year budget will be among the top priorities heading into 2017.

House Republicans begin the 2017 session with an historic 76-57 majority, the largest following a Presidential election since the beginning of partisan elections in 1974.

We hope lawmakers will make common cause with Gov. Mark Dayton to improve the lives of Minnesota residents in 2017.