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Are You Prepared for Minnesota's Extreme Weather?

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 PM
Categories: Public Safety

Weather_Aware_2014

A storm cloud looms over Minnesota water. Photo credit to Flickr user JCK.

 

When severe weather is forecasted, are you prepared? Governor Dayton declared this week to be “Severe Weather Awareness Week” to ensure that Minnesotans know how to protect themselves and their property during severe weather events.

 

Severe weather such as tornadoes, hail, winds, floods, and heat waves take physical, emotional and financial tolls on Minnesotans each year. In 2010, Minnesota set a state record with 104 tornadoes across the state, many of which left behind disastrous wreckage. Understanding the threat of severe weather and knowing how to react is essential and can even save lives.

 

In alignment with the goals of the “Unsession,” Governor Dayton supports legislation that would eliminate unnecessary special sessions during times of disaster. The Disaster Relief Reform initiative would avoid costly special legislative sessions and shift the focus to a swift distribution of aid where disaster strikes.


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Jobs Proposal Will Create Over 27,000 Minnesota Jobs

Posted on January 15, 2014 at 11:23 AM
Categories: Bonding, Public Safety, Transportation, Greater Minnesota, Jobs

Governor Mark Dayton today introduced a bonding proposal that would invest $986 million in infrastructure projects statewide, creating more than 27,000 Minnesota jobs. This new jobs bill would help addresses many of the state’s critical infrastructure needs, while strengthening Minnesota’s economy and getting people back to work.

$986 Million Bonding Bill Invests in Needed Infrastructure Improvements across Minnesota

ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today introduced a bonding proposal that would invest $986 million in infrastructure projects statewide, creating more than 27,000 Minnesota jobs1. This new jobs bill would help addresses many of the state’s critical infrastructure needs, while strengthening Minnesota’s economy and getting people back to work.

“My proposals will put thousands of Minnesotans to work throughout our state,” said Governor Dayton. “This bill gives priority to projects that are ready to go. Many of them have been delayed for years and are crucial to revitalizing downtown business centers, modernizing MnSCU and U of M buildings and classrooms, and improving parks, roads, and local infrastructure.”

Regional Civic Centers and Downtown Improvements
The Governor’s bonding proposal invests over $104 million in downtown areas and regional centers statewide – projects that will create jobs, attract additional private investment, and support economic development in communities across Minnesota. Some of those downtown investments include:

  • $37 million for the Rochester Mayo Civic Center expansion
  • $20 million for revitalization of Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis
  • $14.5 million for a new addition to the Mankato Civic Center (Minnesota State Arena)
  • $14 million to expand and renovate the Children’s Museum in downtown St. Paul
  • $11.6 million for an expansion of the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center
  • $6.9 million for renovation of the historic NorShor Theatre in Duluth
Higher Education
Governor Dayton’s bonding proposal also invests $233 million in our state’s higher education systems to ensure that Minnesota students have access to world-class labs, classrooms, and training for the jobs of the future. Highlights of education projects included in the Governor’s bill include:
  • $80 million for asset preservation and replacement at MnSCU and University of Minnesota campuses statewide ($40 million in HEAPR funds for each system)
  • $74 million for additional infrastructure improvements at 17 MnSCU campuses statewide
  • $56.7 million for renovation of the University of Minnesota’s Tate Science and Teaching building
  • $12 million for the University of Minnesota’s Research and Laboratory Improvement Fund

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Commonsense Reforms for Minnesota Veterans

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Veterans, Jobs, Public Safety, Military Servicemembers

Nearly 400,000 military veterans call Minnesota home. We are proud to have them. Our veterans have bravely answered the call to service. From the Battle of Gettysburg to Iraq and Afghanistan, Minnesotans have fought to protect our country and our freedoms. Many of Minnesota’s veterans don’t stop serving when they leave the military either.

In 2013, Governor Mark Dayton signed new legislation to help our veterans make the transition. The new reform makes it easier for active duty service members to transition into jobs on the police force. The bill allows military service members to take a police officer reciprocity exam while they are on active duty. Previously, service members were only allowed to take the reciprocity exam after they were honorably discharged. This change allows men and women in the Armed Forces to move into civilian service without a long delay in employment.


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New License Plate Unveiled At Pheasant Opener

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Categories: Outdoors, Public Safety, Commerce

The new license plate unveiled at Pheasant Opener

The new license plate unveiled at the Pheasant Opener.


On Friday Governor Mark Dayton announced that a new ring-necked pheasant critical habitat license plate will be available later this fall. Governor Dayton made the announcement during the Governor’s Banquet at the Pheasant Hunting Opener, hosted by the City of Madelia. 

The first critical habitat plate was created in 1995 as a way for Minnesota citizens to voluntarily contribute to conservation and show that commitment with a special outdoor-themed vehicle license plate. More than 100,000 Minnesota vehicles have critical habitat license plates, with the 2002 loon plate being the most popular. These plates generate about $3.5 million per year. They have generated more than $44 million for habitat conservation since the program began. 

Motorists who have purchased habitat plates have helped wildlife in every corner of the state. They have funded Wildlife Management Area acquisitions, trout stream easements and helped support loons, eagles, rare plants and many other species. The new pheasant plate will help us preserve some of our rapidly disappearing grasslands – which are critical to the future of pheasants.


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Back to School Safety

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Categories: Public Safety

School buses ready for students 
Photo Credit: Flickr user Larry Darling

ST. PAUL — For parents and students, the start of a new school year brings anticipation and excitement. But there are also safety issues to consider. 

Whether students are starting kindergarten, finishing high school, or are away at college, parents are encouraged to make themselves aware of potential dangers and teach their children how to stay safe.
                                                                                                                          
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has compiled a list of issues and tips to help parents. From walking to school to surfing the Internet, kids will be safer if they and their parents abide by a few common-sense principles.

“If you’re providing transportation, access to technology, or any type of guidance to a student of any age, you have the ability to help assure they get safely through the school year,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman. “We’re providing this information because we want to be sure our students learn safety lessons the easy way — from adults who model safe behavior and give them good advice.”

Stay safe online — Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
As children become reacquainted with their peers, they’ll continue classroom conversations online. Sometimes, that includes teasing, humiliating or harassing others. Stop your child from cyberbullying or being a victim by learning the signs and stepping in to deal with the issue. Talk with your child about limiting what they share, including photos, and take steps to help your child be safe online. 
  • Take charge – establish use guidelines for electronic devices and understand the technology you’re bringing into your home.
  • Monitor – use monitoring software to supplement your attention to your child’s Internet use.
  • Communicate – talk with your children about protecting themselves and respecting others online.
  • Go to bca.dps.mn.gov to learn more about cyberbullying and steps you can take to prevent it. Report instances of inappropriate online contact to: www.missingkids.com/cybertipline.


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Budget for a Better Minnesota: Keeping Minnesotans Safe

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Categories: Budget, Education, Public Safety

Photo Credit: Flickr user David Lipscomb

Keeping our Kids Safe and Healthy

The health an safety of our youngest Minnesotans is at the center of Governor Dayton’s Budget for a Better Minnesota. His budget proposal includes new funding to help prepare Minnesota schools for emergencies, provide expanded mental health services to our students, and prevents child abuse by expanding proven outreach strategies to at-risk families.  

Every parent deserves the peace of mind that comes with knowing their child is safe at school. That’s why one of Governor Dayton’s budget priorities is the reestablishment of the Minnesota School Safety Center. The Center will provide training and education in the areas of emergency preparedness, response and recovery to schools, law enforcement, and outreach to community partners. 

Governor Dayton’s budget expands access to mental health services for children with complex, high-cost conditions through increased funding to schools. This proposal doubles the percentage of Minnesota schools providing these services, ensuring that more Minnesota students have the resources they need to be healthy in the classroom. Finally, Governor Dayton’s budget also invests in the prevention and early detection of child abuse. The proposal expands proven outreach programs to at-risk families.

Governor Dayton is committed to investing in all aspects of public safety. For more information about Governor Dayton’s budget, visit http://mn.gov/governor/budget or follow the conversation on Twitter at #BetterMN.


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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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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.


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Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon Visits 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth

Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Public Safety, Greater Minnesota, Jobs, Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon, Military Servicemembers

Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon Visits 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth

Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon recently visited the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minnesota and experienced the full-workings of the facility, including a tour, safety and survival skills training. The visit culminated in a ride in an F-16 Fighter Jet. The Lieutenant Governor donned an anti-gravity suit, or G suit, and rode in the F16, experiencing complex aerial maneuvers – even taking the wheel at one point.

The Lieutenant Governor said she was impressed with “the precision, expertise and professional capabilities of both ground and air personnel” and that she feels “confident that Minnesota has a superior National Guard”.


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Minnesota Responds to Hurricane Sandy

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

DSCN3565
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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