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Showing posts from June 2013. Show all posts

Happy Pride Month: MDHR Offers Toolkit on Minnesota's New Same Sex Marriage Law

Posted on June 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Human Rights

Happy Pride MonthOn May 14, 2013, Governor Dayton signed into law House File 1054/Senate File 925, granting all Minnesotans the freedom to marry.  This week, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights released a toolkit on how Minnesota’s new law legalizing same-sex marriage impacts people, communities, businesses and religious entities.
Beginning August 1, two individuals of the same gender can become lawfully wed in Minnesota. “This is a milestone for equal rights for all Minnesotans,” said Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey. “Minnesota’s same-sex marriage law seeks to strike a delicate balance in recognizing individual liberty while respecting the Nation’s long standing tradition of separating church and state.”

Governor Dayton issued a proclamation, officially declaring that June 2013 is Pride Month in the State of Minnesota. Residents and visitors are encouraged to participate in the numerous Pride Month activities across Minnesota, and support the ongoing efforts leading Minnesota toward full LGBT equality.


Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Outdoor Experiences

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM
Categories: Outdoors, Sports

Minnesota Outdoor Experiences
Minnesota is home to 72 beautiful state parks,  including Bear Head Lake State Park shown above.

Forget your Facebook. Ignore that Netflix cue. Quit Instagramming your lunch, and fry up a walleye caught fresh from the crystal clear waters of Minnesota’s beautiful lakes. 

It’s Friday, Minnesota – and that means it’s time to turn off your smartphones and discover all that the Minnesota outdoors have to offer (you won’t have service where you’re going anyway).The Minnesota outdoors simply has too much to miss out on.

Our great state is home to 72 state parks, 58 state forests, 24 biking and biking trails, 33 water trails, 16.3 million acres of forest land – and of course 10,000 lakes (Shh, it’s actually 11,842, but if you won’t tell, we won’t either.) Not to mention, we're the Best Trails State in America.


Minnesota Businesses Looking to the Future

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM
Categories: Economy, Jobs, Commerce

During the past year, Minnesota’s economy has largely outperformed most of the United States. A recent survey finds Minnesota firms that provide business services are even more optimistic about next year.

The survey is just another indication that Minnesota employers believe our economy is headed in the right direction. Increased business confidence means new hiring and more investments – fueling further economic growth. In the future, Minnesotans can expect new and better job opportunities.

Here are some key findings from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development survey:
  • 77 percent of Minnesota firms anticipate their sales revenue to grow or remain stable in the coming year.
  • 75 percent of business services firms expect their profits to increase or remain stable in the next four quarters, compared with 62 percent last year.
  • 53 percent of firms plan to increase the wages of employees during the next four quarters.
  • 50 percent said their costs remained steady during the past year.
  • 44 percent of firms expect employment to increase during the next year compared with only 36 percent last year. 


Minnesota’s Economy Takes Flight

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Categories: Jobs

Minnesota’s economy soared to new heights today. Endeavor Air (formerly Pinnacle Airlines) held a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the company’s move to Minnesota. Endeavor Air’s move is expected to create at least 200 new jobs in our state during the next two years. 

Currently, Endeavor Air employs about 1,100 in Minnesota, including pilots, flight attendants, and aircraft maintenance workers. The airline has a significant presence outside of Minnesota as well, operating 189 regional jets on 1,000 daily flights to 124 cities in the United States and Canada. The company also may move additional aircraft maintenance positions to Minnesota in the future.

Working the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Endeavor found a great new headquarters located in a previously vacant site at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. The location will house both the airline’s corporate offices and flight operations center, which handles aircraft and crew scheduling. 

Endeavor Air recognized that Minnesota’s highly skilled workforce and welcoming communities make our state a great place to do business. DEED also provided Endeavor Air a $550,000 forgivable loan from the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) to help them make the move north from its previous headquarters in Memphis, TN.

The success of the MIF initiative in bringing Endeavor Air to Minnesota demonstrates the program’s importance as an economic development and job creation tool for the state. This isn’t the only success for the program either. During the last 8 years, MIF has funded 53 projects, creating thousands of jobs and leveraging $587 million in private economic development. In 2012, MIF helped Gerdau Long Steel in St. Paul, Stream Global Services in Eagan, and AAR Aircraft Services in Duluth expand and create new jobs across Minnesota. 

This year, Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested an additional $30 million in the MIF initiative. This new investment is expected to attract $800 million in private business investment creating thousands of new jobs across Minnesota.


Guaranteeing a Great Start for Minnesota Kids

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Education, Reform

Governor Dayton reads to children.
Under the new budget passed by Gov. Dayton and the legislature all Minnesota’s kids will have access to all-day kindergarten education.

Minnesota kids were big winners at the legislature this spring. Gov. Mark Dayton and the DFL legislature emphasized education – funding high-impact programs like all-day kindergarten and early childhood education scholarships. These bold initiatives are part of the broader $485 million education bill that ensures our state’s learners get the support they need to be successful

Programs like all-day, every-day kindergarten are proven to make a big impact in a child’s life and critical to closing Minnesota’s growing achievement gap. Unfortunately, some parents have to pay thousands of dollars for it, and some schools don’t offer it all. Currently, only 54 percent of Minnesota children are able to all-day kindergarten. A child’s access to quality education shouldn’t be limited by their parent’s income. Under the new budget passed by Gov. Dayton and the legislature all Minnesota’s kids will have access to all-day kindergarten education!

Early childhood learning also received a major boost this year with new funding for a scholarship program. This program targets Minnesota’s achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality pre-school and child care services. The $40 million influx means that 8,000 low-income children will be able to attend high-quality pre-school programs starting this fall. 


Governor Dayton and Delegates Return after Successful Trade Mission

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 3:01 PM
Categories: Trade Mission

Governor Dayton with Daniel Johansson, of the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications
Governor Dayton with Daniel Johansson, of the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications

Gov. Mark Dayton and a 35-member Minnesota delegation of business, education and government officials are returning to Minnesota after a highly successful trade mission to Norway, Sweden and Germany. The governor and delegation ended the trade mission yesterday, with Minnesota hosting a reception to encourage trade and investment in our state. Numerous German companies attended this event that was held at the U.S. Embassy.

The trade mission showcased Minnesota as a superior place to do business, raised the profile of Minnesota companies and provided important networking opportunities to the delegates. Several events that were especially noteworthy took place during the 10-day trip.

Minnesota officials announced that a new office to promote Minnesota exports will open in Germany. The new office will be located in the Dusseldorf-Cologne area of Germany and is the first of three that will be opened internationally as a part of the governor’s Global Competitiveness Initiative. The two other sites will be announced at a later date. For more details, click here.


Investing in Minnesota's Middle Class: Education, Jobs, and Tax Relief

Posted on June 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM
Categories: Jobs, Greater Minnesota, Budget

Governor Dayton Greets Constituent
Governor Dayton Greets Constituent  

Growing the middle class is essential to Minnesota’s economy. This past legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton delivered on his promise to create a Better Minnesota for the middle class. Working with the DFL legislature, the governor made new high-impact investments in the following areas:
  • Education
  • Jobs and the economy
  • Property tax relief
These investments help Minnesota families with the basic by helping their kids get a world-class education, helping parents find good paying jobs and by providing needed property tax reductions.

Every child deserves top quality education that’s why, from early childhood programs to high schools, Minnesota schools will receive a $485 million funding increase during the next two years. This means more funding for every learner in every school – including $134 million to ensure that all Minnesota children have access free all-day kindergarten. It also includes $40 million in scholarships to help 8,000 more children attend high quality childcare and preschool, ensuring they are prepared for kindergarten and beyond!

Higher Education
More and more jobs require education beyond high school. During the next two years, Minnesotans will reap the benefits of a $250 million investment in higher education. This includes $46 million in financial aid for students and a tuition freeze to curb costs at all public colleges and universities in Minnesota. 


The Minnesota Investment Fund Supports Job Growth, Leverages Private Investment

Posted on June 21, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Commerce, Economy, Jobs

Polaris Industries' new R&D facility, supported in part by the Minnesota Investment Fund, will be completed this summer.
A new Polaris R&D facility, supported in part by the Minnesota Investment Fund, is set to open this summer. Photo courtesy of Polaris Industries. 

Last fall, Polaris Industries began a 144,000 sq. ft. expansion of their research and development facility in Wyoming, MN. The addition relieves overcrowding at the facility and keeps the company growing right here in Minnesota.

Currently, the research facility provides 375 good jobs for Minnesotans. After construction is completed later this summer, the Polaris facility will be twice as large and capable of employing an additional 350 people.
The Minnesota Investment Fund, which supports companies creating good jobs, is helping Polaris with the expansion. The state of Minnesota is providing them with a $400,000 loan. In return, Polaris has agreed to create at least 115 permanent jobs during the next two years. 

The fund has helped other companies create new jobs for Minnesotans too. During 2012 alone, the Minnesota Investment Fund helped Gerdau Long Steel in St. Paul, Stream Global Services in Eagan, and AAR Aircraft Services in Duluth expand: creating hundreds of good-paying jobs across the state.


A Fair Tax System for Minnesota’s Middle Class

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Reform, Economy, Budget

Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature invested $400 million in middle class property tax relief in the recently passed budget to help Minnesotans and restore tax fairness.
Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature invested $400 million in middle class property tax relief in the recently passed budget to help Minnesotans and restore tax fairness.

Middle class Minnesotans have endured a decade of property tax increases. Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature invested $400 million in middle class property tax relief in the recently passed budget to help Minnesotans and restore tax fairness. The investment provides new resources for the following:

  • Homestead Credit Refund
  • Renter’s Property Tax Refund Credit
  • Local Government Aid
  • City and County Sales Tax Exemption

Homestead Credit Refund

A new $120 million investment in the Homestead Credit Refund will provide significant direct property tax relief to middle-class homeowners. Under the new budget, more than 150,000 additional homeowners will be eligible for the refund. Current refund recipients will benefit as well, the new law is expected to increase the refund for 300,000 homeowners who already receive it. 


New Minnesota Trade Office Helps Business, Creates Jobs, and Improves Our Economic Competitiveness

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM
Categories: Commerce, Economy, Trade Mission

Increasing exports and attracting new foreign investment are critical to creating jobs and growing Minnesota’s economy. One proven strategy for improving Minnesota’s economic competitiveness is opening international trade offices. In 2005, when Minnesota opened its first office in Shanghai office, our exports to China increased 71 percent during the first year!

Today, Gov. Mark Dayton announced that Minnesota will be opening a trade office in the Dusseldorf-Cologne region of Germany. Like the trade office in Shanghai, the European office will promote Minnesota exports and encourage foreign investment into our state. 

Germany’s central location in Europe and its strong economy make it an excellent location for the new office. Last year, Germany was Minnesota’s fifth-largest trade partner with $728 million in sales, while the European Union accounted for 20 percent of state exports in 2012 ($4 billion). 


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