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Showing posts from May 2013. Show all posts

Destination Medical Center Will Create Tens of Thousands of New Jobs

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM
Categories: Health, Budget, Jobs

In Rochester earlier this week, Governor Mark Dayton was joined by Speaker Paul Thissen, Majority Leader Tom Bakk, House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, Mayor Ardell Brede, local legislators, and other community leaders in announcing a historic Destination Medical Center (DMC) initiative. This 20-year public-private partnership is aimed at securing Minnesota’s competitive position as an international hub for health care and medical advancement, and making the Rochester region an economic center for job growth and business development. The state’s $455 million investment in the project over the next two decades will leverage an estimated $5.6 billion in local and private investment, and create tens of thousands of new jobs in Minnesota.

“This initiative will secure Minnesota’s position as one of the world’s premiere destinations to receive medical treatment; it will create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for Minnesotans and make Rochester an even better place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Governor Dayton. “Those who said that state government should play no role in a project like this are just flat out wrong. This project demonstrates the value state government can bring to the table. By partnering with the private sector, we can accomplish great things together for the people of Minnesota.”

Over the last 150 years, Mayo Clinic has earned an international reputation for excellence in health care and medical advancement, treating more than half a million patients in its Rochester facilities every year. Today, Mayo Clinic is Minnesota’s largest employer, providing good-paying jobs for more than 40,600 Minnesotans, including over 33,000 in Rochester, and generating a $9.6 billion annual economic impact to the State of Minnesota – roughly 4 percent of the state’s total GDP. And each year, Mayo Clinic contributes approximately $1.5 billion in tax revenue to the State of Minnesota and local governments.


Governor Dayton signs Historic Education Funding Bill into Law

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Categories: Budget, Education

E12_Bill_Signing.jpgGovernor Mark Dayton signed the K-12 Omnibus budget bill as Representative Erin Murphy, Speaker Paul Thissen, Representative Kathy Brynaert, and Representative Paul Marquart watched.

Today, Governor Mark Dayton was joined by legislative leaders as he signed the K-12 Omnibus budget bill – the capstone of a historic session for education in Minnesota. 

“This year, the DFL legislature has made the investments necessary to give our kids the quality education they deserve—and the quality education our future depends on.  All-day Kindergarten should have happened years ago; we’re catching up and we’re moving ahead.  This is money well spent, and I think Minnesotans will know that and believe it,” said Governor Dayton. 

This legislative session was highlighted by once in a generation investments in our schools, including our state’s first commitment to all-day kindergarten for every child.  Minnesota schools will see over $240 million in new funding thanks to the budget agreed to by the Governor and DFL leaders, including millions for early learning, testing reform and special education.  


Budget for a Better Minnesota: Investing in the Middle Class

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Categories: Budget, Health, Jobs, Education

Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders at a post-session press conference

On Tuesday, Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders held a press conference to talk about middle class investments made in the Minnesota state budget

The budget passed by Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature puts fairness back in the system.  It strengthens Minnesota’s middle class and our economy by lowering property taxes and making investments in education and job creation to move Minnesota forward.

The budget closes the deficit for the long term and makes spending cuts and reforms.  It pays for new investments in education and job creation by asking the richest 2% of Minnesotans to pay their fair share and closing corporate tax loopholes. 

  • A Historic Investment in Education:  For the first time in its history, Minnesota will offer All-Day Kindergarten to every child in Minnesota.  We are giving thousands of children access to high-quality preschool and child care.  And we are freezing tuition for the next two years at the University of Minnesota and all MnSCU campuses and increasing student financial aid to make higher education more affordable for middle class families. With nearly a billion dollars in new money for education, this budget invests in every learner in Minnesota – from early education through higher education.  This new funding will help give our kids access to a world-class education and train the best-educated workforce in the world. This budget will also eliminate the school shift by the end of the next biennium. [ Read more ]
  • A Growing Economy that Creates Middle Class Jobs – Minnesotans need a strong economy for good jobs, living wages, and a strong middle class. That is why the Governor and the DFL legislature took bold action this session to create jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and make our state a more competitive place to do business. The budget enacted this session invests in job creation efforts that will leverage billions of dollars in private sector investment in Minnesota’s economy, make our state a more competitive place to do business, and get tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work.  [ Read more ]
  • Property Tax Relief for Minnesotans – Property taxes have increased by 86% statewide over the past decade, with increases falling hardest on the middle class, seniors, and small businesses. This session, we invested over $441 million in property tax relief for Minnesotans by restoring the state’s commitment to cities, counties, and school districts, and providing direct relief to homeowners and renters. [ Read more ]
  • A Fair Tax System – According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, low-and middle-income Minnesotans pay 20% more of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest Minnesotans. In order to honestly resolve our state’s budget deficit, make new investments to strengthen the middle class, and invest over $441 million in property tax relief for Minnesotans, the budget enacted this session asks the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans to pay 2% more in income taxes. With an average income of over $617,000, the richest 2% are the only Minnesotans who are asked to pay more in income taxes. [ Read more ]
  • A Fair and Balanced Budget – A decade of deep cuts, games and gimmicks have caused Minnesota to lurch from one budget crisis to the next; limiting our ability to fund education and job creation. This session, the Governor and DFL legislature put an end to roller-coaster deficits with a fair and balanced budget that puts Minnesota on sound fiscal footing and delivers investments to strengthen the middle class. [ Read more ]

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Your Tweets: Governor Dayton Signs Marriage Equality Bill

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Categories: Human Rights

Yesterday, thousands of Minnesotans joined the Governor Dayton at the State Capitol as he signed the Freedom to Marry bill. We gathered some of our favorite tweets from the day to share on our blog. Thank you to everyone who joined the Governor and legislators yesterday at the Capitol and on Twitter on this historic day! Follow Governor Dayton on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.

Governor Dayton signs the Freedom to Marry bill in Minnesota

Via @MeaganNelson_

"What a day for Minnesota," says #mDayton

Via @Stribbrooks

"Last wk suggested legislators read JFK's Profiles in Courage. Instead, you wrote it's latest chapter"

Via @mlahammer


Governor Dayton Signs Historic Freedom to Marry Law in Minnesota

Posted on May 14, 2013 at 9:00 PM
Categories: Human Rights

Today, Governor Mark Dayton, joined by Representative Karen Clark, Senator Scott Dibble, Senator Tom Bakk, Representative Paul Thissen, and thousands of supporters, signed HF 1054/SF 925 into law, granting all Minnesotans the freedom to marry.

Governor Dayton's Remarks as Prepared for Delivery:

What a difference a year and an election make in Minnesota! Last year, there were concerns that marriage equality would be banned forever. Now, my signature will make it legal in two and one-half months.

First and foremost, I want to thank the people of Minnesota, who voted last year to defeat a very destructive Constitutional Amendment, and also to elect courageous legislators, who would support this monumental social advance.

I want to thank the activists, all of you here tonight and the thousands more throughout our state, who worked so long and so hard to win this extraordinary victory.  

At the risk of leaving out many deserving leaders, special recognition should go to Richard Carlbom, who brilliantly masterminded last year’s and this year’s campaigns.

Congratulations to the chief authors, Representative Karen Clark and Senator Scott Dibble, who shepherded this bill along an often difficult path – and who have now succeeded, to the amazement of some and the delight of many.  

Thank you to the House and Senate leaders: Speaker Paul Thissen, Majority Leader Tom Bakk, Majority Leader Erin Murphy, and Asst. Majority Leader Katie Sieben for supporting and guiding this legislation.  

And I want to express my utmost admiration to the Republican and Democratic legislators, who voted for this bill. Many of them are standing behind me, and they deserve to hear our gratitude.  

Last week, I suggested that you legislators read John F. Kennedy’s book: Profiles in Courage. Instead, you wrote its latest chapter.  

By your political courage, you join that pantheon of exceptional leaders, who did something extraordinary – you changed the course of history for our state and our nation.

Our country’s founding principle was stated 237 years ago in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

That principle was later embodied in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Unfortunately, our nation’s founding fathers had bold aspirations, but a bad implementation. They wrongly denied those equal rights and protections to women, African-Americans, and other racial minorities.  

They also left out GLBT men and women, if you believe, as I do, that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness certainly include the right to marry the person you love.

Since then, our country’s most important progress has been to extend those equal rights and protections to everyone. That progress has often been difficult, controversial, and initially divisive. However, it has always been the next step ahead to fulfilling this country’s promise to every American.

It is now my honor to sign into law this next step for the State of Minnesota to fulfill its promise to every Minnesotan.


Hmong American Day in Minnesota

Posted on May 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM

State of Minnesota Proclamation

Today, May 14, 2013, marks the thirty-eighth anniversary of the fall of Long Cheng, a United Hmong air base in Laos during the Laotian Civil War. Many Hmong refugees and their families immigrated to the United States after the civil war, and today over 60,000 Hmong Americans are residents of Minnesota.

Like many immigrant groups before them, Hmong refugees resettled to the United States to escape war and persecution, to find opportunities, and to better their lives and the lives of their children.  

Hmong Americans are helping build a vibrant and diverse Minnesota, contributing socially, politically, and economically to our state. In honor and recognition of the history, culture, and contributions of Hmong Americans in Minnesota, Governor Dayton has proclaimed today, May 2013, to be Hmong American Day in Minnesota.

VIDEO: KSTP – Inaugural Hmong American Day
PROCLAMATION: Hmong American Day in Minnesota


Minnesota is Among Top 10 Best Educated States

Posted on May 09, 2013 at 2:43 PM
Categories: Education


This week, the New York Times published an article that declared Minnesota one of the top ten best educated states in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is one of ten states with the greatest share of bachelor’s degree holders. In fact, as of 2009, 31.5 percent of Minnesotans held a bachelor’s degree and 91.5 percent were high school graduates.


Governor Dayton's Fishing Opener Photo Contest

Posted on May 08, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Outdoors, Economy, Greater Minnesota

Celebrate the fishing season in Minnesota by submitting your fishing opener photo

The 66th annual Governor’s Fishing Opener will kick off this weekend in the Park Rapids Lakes Area, a popular destination for outdoor recreation. This extended weekend in northwest Minnesota will be full of fun activities for the whole family, leading up to opening day across Minnesota on Saturday, May 11, 2013. 

To celebrate the kick off of the fishing season across Minnesota, Governor Dayton has launched a “Best Minnesota Fishing Opener Photo” contest for his new Facebook Cover photo. To participate, all you need to do is submit a photo you have taken during fishing opener weekend in Minnesota. Please submit your entries to by Friday, May 17, 2013 (See details at the bottom of the blog).

The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. The event was designed to promote the development of Minnesota’s recreation industry, and in recent years, it has served as a kick-off celebration for the summer tourism season. Travel and tourism generate $11.3 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota annually.

Fishing in Minnesota is more than a pastime; it’s vital to the economy and offers so much more beyond its face-value. Help support a Minnesota tradition and get your fishing license today, either online or at any DNR supported location.  See you at the lake!

Photo contest submissions:

Please include your name, a description of the photo, the location where the photo was taken, and the date that the photo was taken with your email submission to

The Governor will choose a photo that will be displayed on his Facebook cover on Friday, May 17, 2013.

Learn More


Department of Human Services Introduces Simplified SNAP Application

Posted on May 03, 2013 at 12:53 PM

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has a new, simpler application for seniors who qualify for SNAP

No one should ever have to choose to go hungry, but it is a sad reality for so many across the country and across the state. Fortunately, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program or SNAP exists; providing access to food for countless economically disadvantaged Minnesotans. 

Championed by Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon through her Nutritious Food Coalition, and MDHS Commissioner Jesson, SNAP now has a simplified form for seniors aged 60 and up. 

In 2012, 500,000 seniors were utilizing the program, which accounted for only 50.5 per cent of those eligible. The new one-page form streamlines the process and comes with comprehensive instructions and resource information. The old form and process was formidable and arduous, an unfortunate reality when having adequate and proper nutrition is so vital in many ways for seniors. 

High participation in the program among seniors would not only relieve many from making some tough financial decisions, it would also improve the overall health of the aging population.

Adequate nutrition alone is essential for health and can improve energy, but when coupled with medication, it can also play a major role in the medicine’s effectiveness. 

The MDHS is working with counties, community groups and outreach organizations, including the Nutritious Food Coalition, to get the word out about the new application. Endorsed by Minnesota AARP State Director Michele Kimball, the new simplified SNAP Application for Seniors will hopefully encourage more to apply and improve the lives of the most deserving among us. Seniors interested in applying for SNAP should contact their county social service agency.


DEED Debuts New Blog for Minnesota Small Businesses

Posted on May 02, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Categories: Jobs, Economy


Continuing its mission to promote Minnesota small business, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) launched a new blog today aimed at providing practical guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs and new business owners in Minnesota. 

Dubbed Minnesota Business 101, the weekly blog touches on topics ranging from how to organize and register a business to licensing, regulations and financing. It will focus primarily on helping new business owners navigate through DEED’s Guide to Starting a New Business in Minnesota.

“Small businesses re the driving force of the economy and account for half of our private sector jobs in Minnesota,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “This new blog is just one tool we are using to connect those hoping to start a small business with the expertise and resources we offer at DEED.”

Minnesota Business 101 will also include videos offering expert guidance from DEED consultants, advice from real Minnesota small-business owners, and profiles of small businesses. The blog launches today and will appear on Mondays in the future. Check it out at:

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit DEED at You can also follow DEED on Twitter at


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