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Showing posts from December 2012. Show all posts

Results Minnesota: Reforming State Government

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 8:30 AM
Categories: Reform, Commerce, Economy, Technology

Governor Dayton, Commissioner Cassellius, and Melissa Schaller, Special Education Director for Intermediate School District #917 compare original TSES and reduced TSES packets.

Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton remains committed to building a better Government for a Better Minnesota.

One important aspect of continuing this progress is improving the value, efficiency, and accountability of state government. Building a better government for Minnesota requires new thinking, and changing the way the state conducts its business. Governor Dayton is focused on using every tax dollar wisely to deliver valuable services that improve the lives of Minnesotans. This includes using new technology to improve efficiency and reduce waste, controlling cost increases, and eliminating programs that don’t work.

In the Spotlight

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has significantly reduced time-consuming, burdensome paperwork for special education teachers and administrators. MDE reduced a 279 page special education manual to just 16 pages – a 94 percent reduction in paperwork.

The manual used to take several teachers and administrators more than 40 hours to complete. But Melissa Schaller, a special education administrator from Rosemount, completed the new manual by herself in less than three hours.

Reducing unnecessary piles of paperwork means administrators and teachers can direct more of their time and attention to students with disabilities.

Read more >>


Results Minnesota: Minnesota Mobility

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 8:40 AM
Categories: Commerce, Transportation, Technology, Outdoors, Economy

Pictured: iPhone Autism App Emergency Scale Screenshot Pictured: An additional photo of the iPhone Autism App

The Autism Help App assists individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other disabilities to communicate and regulate in emergency situations. 

Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton is making important progress toward building a Better Minnesota by working to provide sustainable options to safely move people, goods, services, and information.

The success of Minnesota’s economy depends on a transportation system that safely and efficiently gets people and goods where they need to be. Our roadways, bridges, and rail systems are continuously improving thanks to Governor Dayton’s strong leadership.  In addition to strong physical infrastructure, Minnesota citizens and businesses need affordable access to the high-tech infrastructure that drives our global economy, including high-speed internet in every corner of our state.

In the Spotlight

The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (DDC) at the Minnesota Department of Administration has developed a free award winning mobile device application that helps individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) communicate in emergency situations.

Using a proven 5-point, color-coded scale, the Application can be customized for an individual or family.  In an emergency situation, a parent’s calming voice can explain what to do.  For example, in the case of a fire, the App shows a picture of a safe meeting place and the parent’s voice instructs the individual to go there.  The 5-Point Scale was created by Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Beth Curtis of Hamline University, which is a nationally known and accepted system, widely used in public schools.

This mobile tool is designed to be simple and user friendly.  To date, more than 16,300 people have downloaded this App.


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Commissioner’s Column: Minnesota’s Agricultural Exports Hit a Record

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Categories: Agriculture, Trade Mission, Economy, Commerce

 Commissioner Fredrickson
When I became the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in 2011, I resolved to continue the good work this agency had been doing with regard to international trade. Like other commissioners who came before me, I understood that Minnesota’s farm and food sector needed to expand its visibility and market share in the fast-growing international markets of Asia and Latin America.

Two years in, I am pleased to say that we are making good progress. New figures from the Minnesota Trade Office show Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products reached a record $5.1 billion in the third quarter of 2012. State exports for the third quarter increased by 1 percent compared with the same period from 2011. This marks the eighth straight quarter of record exports in Minnesota. 

MDA’s own economic studies show Minnesota’s agricultural exports hit a record $6.8 billion last year. This is up 13 percent or about $750 million over the previous year. Agriculture is well-established as Minnesota’s second-largest exporting sector, with major markets in China, Mexico, Japan, and Canada. Minnesota now ranks sixth among all states in agricultural exports.

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Results Minnesota: Cleaning up Minnesota’s Environment

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 9:00 AM
Categories: Agriculture, Transportation, Outdoors, Health, Environment, Education, Economy

Photo of two men equiping a pipe to their boat on the Minnesota River

Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton is continuing his efforts to build a Better Minnesota. The Dayton Administration is taking note of what has been accomplished so far while still considering the work that is yet to be done.

One important component of building a Better Minnesota is supporting a clean and healthy environment. Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 lakes and a state where people care about the health and integrity of our natural resources. A healthy environment is central to the quality of life that all Minnesotans enjoy, and a crucial component in the success of our economy. Governor Dayton is committed to protecting and improving our natural resources, and leaving a legacy of clean water, cleaner air, and better parks and trails for future generations of Minnesotans.

In the Spotlight

For years, the Minnesota River has been considered one of the most polluted rivers in the state. But collaborative efforts across agencies have made important progress toward improving the health of the river.

Recent testing from the Pollution Control Agency showed marked improvements in dissolved oxygen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll levels. That means conditions have improved to support the health of fish and aquatic species populations in the river.

More work must be done to reduce sediment, bacteria, nutrients, and other contaminants in the river. But the work of over 40 wastewater treatment plants and other clean up efforts have put the Minnesota River on the path to recovery.


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Results Minnesota: Minnesota Safety

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 8:30 AM
Categories: Public Safety, Transportation, Technology

Photo of a Minnesota State Trooper making an arrest

Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton is making important progress toward building a Better Minnesota. Measuring that progress by the improvements Minnesotans have seen in their lives, families, communities, and economy, the Dayton Administration is taking inventory of what has been accomplished thus far, and considering the work that still remains to be done.

One crucial measure of that progress is ensuring the safety of Minnesotans, which is one of the most important functions of state government. Our quality of life depends on the safety of our homes and communities. Governor Dayton is committed to improving safety on or roadways, in our workplaces, and in our neighborhoods. Governor Dayton is working to reduce the incidence of violent crime in our communities, keep drunk drivers off the road, and ensure that emergency personnel have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.

In the Spotlight

The Department of Public Safety has launched several new programs to keep drunk drivers off the road in Minnesota. 

The Triple Check program is designed to ensure that Minnesota does not issue a license to anyone with an active record of drunk driving in other states. To date, the program has prevented almost 15,000 drunk drivers from unlawfully obtaining a driver’s license in Minnesota.

The Ignition Interlock program requires convicted drunk drivers to prove they are sober with a breath test before their car will start. Nearly 2,900 drunk drivers are currently enrolled in Ignition Interlock, with 289 drivers successfully completing the program.


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The New Red Line

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Photo of new METRO Red Line bus
A sneak peak at the new METRO Red Line buses which will provide station-to-station service from the Apple Valley Transit Station to the Mall of America.

It’s been a long time coming – with years of planning and study – but the METRO Red Line Service on Cedar Avenue is just a few months away. 

The METRO Red Line will provide station-to-station service from the Apple Valley Transit Station to the Mall of America, with additional stops at 147th Street and 140th Street in Apple Valley and the Cedar Grove station in Eagan. The line will use bus-only shoulder lanes constructed with roadway improvements along Cedar Avenue. The bus-only shoulder lanes extend south into Lakeville for future service development and also support express bus service in the Cedar Avenue corridor.


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Results Minnesota: Strong and Stable Minnesotan Communities

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Photo of El, a resident of St. Paul pictured with MHFA employee Kate Britney

El, a resident of Saint Paul, was just one of 8,100 Minnesotans who avoided homelessness in 2012 thanks to the work of MHFA.

Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton is making important progress toward building a Better Minnesota. Measuring that progress by the improvements Minnesotans have seen in their lives, families, communities, and economy, the Dayton Administration is taking inventory of what has been accomplished thus far, and considering the work that still remains to be done.

One crucial measure of that progress is supporting strong and stable families and communities, which is essential to improving the quality of life enjoyed by Minnesotans. Governor Dayton is focused on helping all Minnesotans do better by delivering high-quality services that support a nation-leading quality of life. From helping seniors find comfort and security in their old age, to providing support for vulnerable Minnesotans, to driving down the cost of living – Governor Dayton is committed to making Minnesota an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.

In the Spotlight

Every day, thousands of Minnesotans face the challenges of homelessness.  The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) provides assistance to homeless individuals and families, helping people find the safety and comfort of affordable housing.

Ten years ago, El (pictured above) was homeless, until he received the assistance of MHFA. Thanks to rental assistance and support services, El now lives in a one bedroom apartment in Saint Paul with his two cats.

El recently shared his story with MHFA’s staff and Board, crediting MHFA employee Kate Britney for, “helping to save his life.”


Read more >>


Jesson addresses ‘Together, We Work’ conference on employment for people with disabilities

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Categories: Human Rights

Commissioner Jesson Speaking

Commissioner Jesson Speaking at "Together, We Work" Conference

Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson spoke Dec. 5 k at “Together, We Work,” the first conference hosted by Minnesota APSE (Association of People Supporting Employment First) and Pathways to Employment.

The two-day event brought together people with disabilities, employers, supported employment service providers and advocates to make connections and discover ways to increase employment opportunities even in times of scarce resources.


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Results Minnesota: Improving the Health of Minnesotans

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM
Categories: Health, Public Safety, Military Servicemembers, Veterans

Photo of exhaust coming from retrofited school buses equiped with diesel oxidation catalysts and closed crankcase filtration systems

The MPCA is a major partner of Clean Air Minnesota’s Project Green Fleet (PGF). Since it began in 2005, PGF has worked with school districts and school bus fleet operators to retrofit buses with Diesel Oxidation Catalysts and closed crankcase filtration systems.

After two years in office, Governor Mark Dayton is continuing to make important progress toward building a Better Minnesota. 

One crucial measure of that progress is improving the health of Minnesotans, which is essential to a high quality of life in Minnesota.  Governor Dayton is pursuing a variety of strategies to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities across our state, including increasing access to high quality, affordable health insurance and promoting strong community health programs.  The Dayton Administration is focused on improving the quality of life for all Minnesotans, and lowering the cost of health care in our great state of Minnesota.

In the Spotlight

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has worked to reduce diesel emission in school buses, snowplows, fire trucks, and other large vehicles.  Emissions retrofits on school buses alone have improved air quality for nearly 85,000 kids in 91 school districts statewide.

In 2012, MPCA focused on reducing diesel emission in long-haul semi-trucks.  At current fuel prices, retrofits made to 282 vehicle engines, and reduced idling on 155 trucks, will save trucking companies $600,000 each year in fuel costs. Health benefits derived from these emissions reductions are estimated to total $123.5 million.


Read more >>


Results Minnesota: Minnesotans Have the Education and Skills Needed to Achieve Their Goals

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 8:30 AM
Categories: Education, Economy, Technology, Jobs

Photo of Governor Dayton, Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, and Read it!

On February 1, Governor Mark Dayton and Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, visited the North St. Paul-Maplewood Oakdale ISD 622, to celebrate February as “I Love to Read” Month. The Governor and Commissioner, along with Read It, enjoyed story time with the Kindergartners and third graders. 

Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton is making important progress toward building a Better Minnesota. Measuring that progress by the improvements Minnesotans have seen in their lives, families, communities, and economy, the Dayton Administration is taking inventory of what has been accomplished thus far, and considering the work that still remains to be done.

One crucial measure of that progress is ensuring Minnesotans have the education and skills they need to achieve their goals. Building a better Minnesota starts with giving our children and workforce a world-class education, and the skills they need to succeed in a global economy.

That is why Governor Dayton is strongly committed to providing more funding for K-12 classrooms and early childhood education, increasing per pupil spending, and making college more affordable for Minnesotans. Governor Dayton is also focused on helping working Minnesotans access the education and workforce training they need to compete and succeed in today’s economy. 

In the Spotlight: Teaching Kids to Read Well 


Reading is the cornerstone of all learning. That is why making sure every child is reading well by third grade is key to overall student success. 

In 2011, Governor Dayton invested more than $55 million in early literacy.  The Department of Education worked with every school district to develop local literacy plans that outline how curriculum, instruction, and assessments will be used to improve third grade reading scores.

Early results of this key investment are promising:  In 2012, student in grades 3-8 made substantial overall gains in reading, with notable progress among American Indian and Hispanic students.


Read more >>


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