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Showing posts from October 2012. Show all posts

Met Council Bond Refinancing Saves Tens of Millions of Dollars

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 2:22 PM

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Photo by Gamma Man, Flickr

For the third time in 2012, the Metropolitan Council has taken advantage of rock-bottom interest rates to refinance previously issued general obligation bonds. 

In total, this year’s bond refinancing represents a net savings to future taxpayers and wastewater ratepayers of $42 million in present value over the life of the bonds. The savings for the October refinancing of transit capital and wastewater bonds alone is $15.9 million in today’s dollars.

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Minnesota Responds to Hurricane Sandy

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 4:36 PM
Categories: Public Safety

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management response team

In a cooperative effort between states, Minnesotans are helping manage emergency response efforts on the east coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. 

The state of Massachusetts contacted the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and requested a team of professionals to assist with logistics and planning in that state’s emergency operations center. Five people - from HSEM, the City of Excelsior, Allina Medical and Hennepin County - arrived this weekend.

Massachusetts is transitioning from response to recovery so the team is moving to the state emergency operations center in New York. The Minnesota team will assist New York with planning efforts that include helping to analyze the state's needs for the next hour, next day and beyond.  

Minnesota has a long history of assisting other states during times of emergency. Teams have assisted with several hurricanes - Irene, Rita, Katrina - floods and other natural disasters. Minnesota’s emergency management community has a nationwide reputation as one of the top emergency management systems in the country. Many states specifically request teams from Minnesota when they need assistance.

The deployments are coordinated through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC),  a mutual aid agreement and partnership between states.

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Governor Dayton: Working for Minnesota Jobs

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Categories: Jobs

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A MinnWest employee shows off innovations to Governor Dayton and Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson

Governor Mark Dayton wrapped up his “Working for Minnesota Jobs” tour last week, after a month of traveling around the state to find out directly from Minnesotans how state government can help their communities get back to work.

“As Minnesota’s economy continues to recover from one of the worst recessions in our nation’s history, we need to do more to ensure that our state is well positioned to compete in a global economy,” Dayton said. “That means investing in our people, ensuring a viable workforce, and fostering the natural resources that have been the foundation of our economy.”

On Sept. 28, Governor Dayton visited MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar, a local center for development of agricultural technology. The Governor hosted a roundtable discussion with area business and education leaders about the future of Minnesota’s agriculture technology industry. The state’s agriculture and food production industry is responsible for 4,800 jobs and $250 million in wages.

Dayton visited the Iron Range on Oct. 3 where he and IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich toured Magnetation Inc., an iron ore producer, and hold held a roundtable discussion with mining industry leaders in at NRRI Colerain Minerals Research Laboratory. Mining is a crucial part of Minnesota’s economy. In 2011, the industry contributed over 5,800 jobs in the state paying $474 million in annual wages.


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“Working for Minnesota Jobs” in Brooklyn Park

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 4:37 PM
Categories: Economy, Greater Minnesota, Jobs, Technology

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Gov. Dayton talking to a student following the roundtable discussion.

Governor Mark Dayton continued his commitment to job creation and economic prosperity in Minnesota today, as his “Working for Minnesota Jobs” tour visited Brooklyn Park. The Governor hosted a roundtable discussion with information technology leaders in Minnesota’s retail sector. The Governor was joined by industry leaders and top CIOs from major Minnesota retailers, including Best Buy, Gander Mountain and Supervalu. The roundtable was held at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park.

The discussion focused on new strategies to connect Minnesota workers with the skills and training they need to keep good-paying IT jobs here in the state. Minnesota retailers discussed the challenge of finding qualified IT workers located within the state. Often, businesses rely on advanced enterprise information technologies, such as Oracle Retail. Without local training programs for specific software, many retail companies must import workers or employ workers from outside of Minnesota.

In response to this shortfall, a group of private companies based in and around Minnesota, including Gander Mountain, Mills Fleet Farm, Maurice's, Orscheln Farm and Home, Scheels Sports, and others, have established the Oracle Retail User Group. This group, representing more than $2 billion a year in revenue, has launched an initiative to improve the skills of the Minnesota workforce in this key area of Minnesota’s economy. The Oracle Retail User Group is forming a public-private partnership with North Hennepin Technical College to establish an Oracle Retail Center of Excellence that will train Minnesota workers and keep good-paying jobs here in our state.


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A Tribute to Paul Wellstone

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Governor Mark Dayton remembers Paul Wellstone and his legacy on the 10th anniversary of his death. Download Governor Dayton's full remarks here.


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Commissioner Ehlinger pitches horseshoes and policy in Greater Minnesota

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 2:59 PM
Categories: Health

Pitch the Commissioner

Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger meets with local officials in Cannon Falls

State Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger will make the final leg of his “Pitch the Commissioner” campaign next week in Bemidji as he seeks ideas to keep the state healthy.

The Commissioner has already visited several Minnesota communities, meeting with local officials to enjoy a game of horseshoes and talk public health.

“Pitching horseshoes is a fun and easy way for people to be physically active and engage in conversation at the same time,” Ehlinger said. “I want to hear what Minnesotans have to say about what their communities need to be healthy.”

The tour has emphasized prevention and public health as the Commissioner has sought to find out what kind of infrastructure Minnesota communities need to help residents stay active.


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Minnesota Manufacturing's Contribution to Minnesota

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Fast facts about manufacturing in Minnesota: http://goo.gl/zSU2a Manufacturing is the backbone of MN’s economy, providing 1 in 7 jobs.

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Minnesota Supports Cyber Security Awareness Month

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Categories: Public Safety, Technology

Cyber Security Summit      

National cyber security experts and technology business leaders gathered Oct. 9 and 10 at the Minneapolis Convention Center for the second annual Cyber Security Summit.

Earlier this month, Governor Dayton joined governors from across the country when he declared October as Cyber Security Awareness Month to highlight the importance of empowering citizens, businesses, government and schools to improve their cyber security preparedness.

To help kick off the month, the State of Minnesota took part in the 2012 Cyber Security Summit, which brings together leaders from the government, business, and non-profit sectors to collaborate on improving digital security. The event featured speakers from all over the world sharing their insights on cyber topics – from the industry’s enormous growth potential (it’s expected to increase by nearly 80% over the next few years) to the growing pervasiveness of cyber threats (approximately $3 trillion of innovation lost by cyber-attacks each year).


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DPS Commissioner Dohman — On the Road Toward Zero Deaths

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 2:24 PM

DPS Commissioner Mona Dohman Speaks

DPS Commissioner Dohman — On the Road Toward Zero Deaths

Department of Public Safety (DPS) Commissioner Mona Dohman toured Minnesota this week to announce new traffic safety enforcement and education grants that have supported a 44 percent decrease in traffic deaths since a decade ago.

Commissioner Dohman visited Duluth, Moorhead, Rochester and Mankato this week to announce the year-long grants and highlight the work of local law enforcement, engineers, EMS and community advocates who are working to prevent traffic deaths and injuries. Last year, there were 368 traffic deaths in Minnesota— the lowest annual death number since 1944 — yet, 2012 road deaths are up to-date.

“The hundreds of traffic deaths and injuries that occur on our roads reinforces the need for us to invest in traffic safety,” says Dohman. “These grants are working to drive our deaths toward our goal of zero, and we need every motorist to take the task of driving seriously to ensure safer travels for all of us.”

Commissioner Dohman stresses for everyone to be cooperative, not competitive in traffic and to keep four key steps in mind to prevent future crashes, deaths and injuries: Buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and never drive impaired.


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Justice Wright Takes Oath

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Justice Wright Takes the Oath

Minnesota’s newest Supreme Court justice joined the Court on Tuesday, Oct. 16th as an Associate Justice.

Judge Wilhelmina Wright took her oath as Associate Justice to the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 16 in a swearing-in ceremony with Governor Dayton, fellow Supreme Court justices, and elected officials at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul.

Wright was appointed to the Court earlier this year by Governor Dayton. She was selected as the best of thirty-four applicants for the Supreme Court spot, which had been left open when former Justice Helen Meyer announced her retirement earlier in May. 


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