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Governor Dayton Announces $70 Million Investment in 13 New Corridors of Commerce Transportation Projects

Posted on October 07, 2014 at 2:48 PM
Categories: Outdoors, Greater Minnesota, Public Safety, Transportation

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Governor Dayton announces Corridors of Commerce transportation projects


Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the acceleration of 13 more transportation projects in addition to the 14 prior to date. In 2014, Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested in the Corridors of Commerce initiative, which will be funding twelve of these plans. The final project – the expansion of Highway 371 to four lanes from Nisswa to Jenkins – was funded in part by $45 million in cost savings at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

“These projects will reduce travel times, improve safety for Minnesota citizens, and help our businesses transport their products more efficiently,” said Governor Dayton, who working with the Legislature in 2013 and 2014 invested over $331 million in the new Corridors of Commerce initiative. “The number of projects from all over our state, which sought financing from this program, underscores the acute need for more transportation funding.”

State savings through efficiencies will accelerate the Highway 371 expansion project by two years, which means that MnDOT will begin construction in 2016, two years earlier than planned.  This was made possible with funding from new investments in the Corridors of Commerce initiative, as well as the cost savings. Altogether, 27 transportation projects have received Corridors of Commerce funding since November 2013.


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MnDOT encourages schools, communities to participate in International Walk to School Day, Oct. 8

Posted on October 07, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Education, Transportation, Environment

ST. PAUL, MN — More than 40 schools statewide are participating in International Walk to School Day Wednesday, Oct. 8, to encourage students, parents, teachers, community members and organizations to get out on sidewalks and trails. The event is anticipated to draw participation from more than 4,000 schools from all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, as well as 40 countries around the world.
 
This event is an opportunity for families with children who typically ride a school bus, and who live in areas with bike friendly paths to school, to walk and bike to school. Many schools participate by arranging for school buses to drop off students at a nearby park or other safe locations to finish the trip on foot. The drop-off option also can be used for students who are usually driven to school in private vehicles.
 
“Participating with school children emphasizes the importance of increasing physical activity, teaching pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion and building connections between families, schools and communities,” -Nicole Campbell, Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School coordinator. 

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Last year's International Walk to School Day at Lyndale Community School in Minneapolis


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Governor Dayton Meets with Students and Teachers at Congdon Park Elementary in Duluth

Posted on October 06, 2014 at 2:25 PM
Categories: Greater Minnesota, Education

ST. PAUL, MN – With the first month behind them, thousands of students across the state are settling into their classrooms for the 2014-15 school year. Governor Dayton visited Duluth today, meeting with kindergarten students and teachers at Congdon Park Elementary.
 
Since 2011, the Governor and the Minnesota Legislature have invested $895 million in schools. This year, more than 55,000 of Minnesota’s youngest learners will benefit from free all-day kindergarten, while others will benefit from high-impact initiatives designed to increase literacy and close the achievement gap.

“As Minnesota’s students and teachers return to the classroom, I wish them all a successful school year,” said Governor Dayton. “During the past four years, the Legislature and I have worked to make high-impact investments that will improve academic achievement and prepare our students for future success.” 

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Governor Dayton visits with all-day kindergarten students at Congdon Park Elementary School in Duluth


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Governor Dayton Proclaims “Domestic Violence Awareness Month”

Posted on October 02, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Categories: Human Rights

Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed October to be “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” to honor victims, celebrate survivors, and support efforts to end the violence. Despite increasing awareness of domestic violence, it remains a problem in Minnesota and across the United States. Last year, more than 63,000 Minnesotans sought assistance from domestic violence programs. But, that number reflects just a small fraction of victims – with only one-in-five victims seeking help. Overall, one-in-three Minnesota women has been a victim of domestic violence.


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Worthington to host Pheasant Opener in October

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 4:19 PM
Categories: Outdoors

Governor Dayton at last year's opener

Worthington is proudly known for its annual “King Turkey Day,” but this southwestern Minnesota town will now be rolling out the red carpet for another tasty bird. Next month, the 2014 Governor’s Pheasant Opener will be held in Worthington, which offers hunters several thousand acres of prime public land.

This year’s Worthington Opener is expected to be a productive one for Minnesota hunters. The 2014 Pheasant hunting survey shows that southwestern Minnesota is expected to have some of the best conditions across the state this fall. 

However, hunting is hardly the only fun activity available to visitors. The Worthington area is home to great fishing, biking, and hiking opportunities as well, and for those looking for a less rigorous vacation, Worthington and surrounding communities offer great restaurants, golf courses, and museums.


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Governor Takes Executive Actions to Protect Children from Abuse

Posted on September 23, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Categories: Health


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Governor Mark Dayton today took a series of executive actions to protect children in Minnesota from the threat of abuse and neglect. These efforts include both immediate changes to the child protection system, and the establishment of a new Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children. The Task Force, appointed by the Governor, will make specific recommendations for comprehensive improvements to the child protection system in the upcoming 2015 Legislative Session.

“The abuse of any child in Minnesota is one child too many,” said Governor Dayton. “No child should have to suffer from the violence or neglect of a family member or other adult. I look forward to the recommendations of this new Task Force, and I urge the Legislature to act on them in January.”

Minnesota ranks among the top five states in child well-being. Still, in recent years some children have fallen through the cracks of the child protection system, suffering maltreatment and even death from violent abuse. The executive actions taken by Governor Dayton today will strengthen protections for children, and enhance the accountability and vigilance of state and local child protection systems.


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Reading Well Early Drives Future School Success

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 2:35 PM
Categories: Education

Governor reading to Kindergartners

Students who master the fundamentals of reading at an early age are better prepared for future academic success. As our kids are exposed to more advanced concepts their ability to learn becomes increasingly linked to their literacy. In math classes, students may be asked to do word problems, while in a science or history class they may be assigned a reading out of a textbook – all of which require strong language skills.

To help our students develop the strong reading skills they need, we launched the bipartisan “Read Well by Third Grade” in 2011. Since then, we have invested $150 million in high-impact literacy programs that helping ensure all Minnesota students are developing the reading skills they need for academic success and bright futures.


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New Investments Improving Access to Healthy School Meals

Posted on September 17, 2014 at 2:12 PM
Categories: Budget, Education

Governor Dayton serves breakfast to students alongside Coon Rapids staff.

Governor Dayton serves lunch to students alongside Coon Rapids staff.

Ensuring that Minnesota students are ready to learn when they enter the classroom is critical to improving academic progress and preparing kids for bright futures. To help guarantee that our students have access to healthy meals, we invested $4 million in school breakfast and lunch programs this year. In addition to ensuring no Minnesota student is denied access to a healthy meal at lunchtime, the funding also will provide all 64,000 Minnesota Kindergarten students breakfast.

“No child in Minnesota should be denied a healthy lunch,” said Governor Dayton. “We cannot expect our students to succeed on an empty stomach."


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Making College More Affordable

Posted on September 10, 2014 at 2:55 PM
Categories: Education, Budget

Access to higher education is crucial to ensure that Minnesota has a competitive workforce that is prepared to fill the jobs of the future. That is why the budget enacted by Governor Dayton and the legislature makes a significant investment in college affordability and improving our state colleges and universities. By investing $250 million in higher education, with $46 million going to direct financial aid for students, the budget brings the dream of a higher education within reach for even more Minnesotans.


Governor Dayton with Minnesota Youth

Governor Dayton Mingles with Minnesota Youth


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Governor Dayton Reconvenes Stakeholders for Discussion on Propane Supply and Demand

Posted on September 09, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Categories: Trade Mission, Environment, Public Safety, Outdoors

For more than 200,000 households in Minnesota, propane is the primary source of heat. With winter steadily approaching, Governor Mark Dayton is reconvening stakeholders today in Saint Paul to discuss the current propane supply and any factors that could impact demand for heating fuel this winter.
 
After an unprecedented propane shortage last winter, Governor Dayton is convening today’s propane summit in a proactive effort to help mitigate propane supply shortages in the winter months ahead. The Governor will be joined by representatives from the propane, agriculture and rail industries as well as his Commissioners of Agriculture, Commerce, Pollution Control, and Transportation for the discussion.
 
“During last winter’s propane shortage, this group worked to ensure the safety of all Minnesotans,” said Governor Dayton, who first convened propane stakeholders and state regulators last January. “Working together in the months ahead, they will do everything possible to prevent shortages, reduce drastic price increases, and provide all Minnesotans with fuel for the fall harvest and for their winter comfort and safety.”


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