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Results Minnesota: Getting Back to Work

Posted on December 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM
Categories: Economy, Agriculture, Veterans, Reform

Employment Resource Team from MN National Guard meets with soldiers in Kuwait

Employment Resource Team from the National Guard, with the help of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), traveled to Kuwait in March 2012 in order to provide workshops and job search assistance for 1,080 soldiers from 10 different states

Two years into his administration, Governor Dayton continues to make crucial progress towards 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 over the last two years and considering the work ahead. 

One important measure of that progress is improving the condition of Minnesota’s economy. Governor Dayton is focused on getting Minnesotans back to work by creating opportunities for all Minnesotans. A successful economy requires strong business growth, a skilled workforce and employment opportunities for everyone.

In the Spotlight

Helping Minnesota veterans find employment opportunity has been a high priority for Governor Dayton. So when an employment survey of Minnesota National Guard soldiers serving in Kuwait showed that over 900 soldiers (28%) would not have a job when they returned from combat, the Dayton Administration took action. 

Following the survey, an Employment Resource Team from the National Guard, with the help of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), traveled to Kuwait in March 2012 in order to provide workshops and job search assistance for 1,080 soldiers from 10 different states. Those efforts delivered results for hundreds of military families who may otherwise have faced the prolonged challenges of unemployment.

Of the 2,700 Minnesota soldiers returning from Kuwait last spring, only 78 are still unemployed – a 90% improvement in only four months.


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New Online Permit System Gets Minnesota Building Faster

Posted on November 05, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Categories: Reform

As part of the Dayton administration’s continued efforts to Build a Better Government for a Better Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) announced today that eTRAKiT, the agency’s new online permit system, has dramatically improved the efficiency of issuing permits.

Since implementing the system a year ago, the staff time required to issue electrical permits has been cut in half and the time to process permits has been reduced by 90 percent.  Permits that used to take up to 6 weeks to process are now issued either instantly or within 3 days. 

With the proven success of using eTRAKiT to apply for electrical permits, DLI is now working to implement the online permit service for all construction codes and licensing disciplines, such as building, elevators, mechanical and plumbing.

To find out more, visit the DLI website.


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Minnesota Department of Education slashes paperwork for special education teachers

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 1:01 PM
Categories: Education, Reform

Today, Governor Dayton congratulated Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and the state Department of Education (MDE) for reducing excessive paperwork on Minnesota’s special education teachers. The reduction will enable educators to spend much less time filling out forms and much more time in the classroom teaching children with special needs.

Minnesota Department of Education Streamlines & Reduces TSES Paperwork


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Minnesota DHS Makes Accountability a Priority

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Health, Reform, Technology

DHS_Dashboard.jpg

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is built upon the idea of helping Minnesotans, and thanks to their online public dashboard tool, it’s become even easier for Minnesotans to help themselves to information on the progress of DHS.

The DHS Dashboard allows taxpayers to know what they’re getting from the programs they pay for, and was inspired by Governor Mark Dayton’s “Better Government for a Better Minnesota” reform effort. The dashboard debuted one year ago, and has now been updated to include the most recent data available for the majority of its 15 measures of progress, as well as introducing additional measurements. As DHS advances in its commitment to accountability, transparency, and continual performance improvement, more measures will continue to be added.


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A Dozen States Already Showing Leadership on Health Insurance Marketplaces

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Categories: Health, Reform

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

Because of the Supreme Court’s clear and final decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, middle class families and small businesses have greater security when it comes to health care – they can keep their current coverage or, if they need to or want to, search for new, affordable insurance options. In 2014, we can look forward to new state-based health insurance marketplaces, called Affordable Insurance Exchanges, where consumers can compare health care plans and choose a private health plan that meets their needs. Across the country, a dozen states have committed in recent weeks that they will lead efforts to create these Exchanges.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and each state has the opportunity to tailor its Exchange to meet its citizens’ needs. States have the flexibility to decide whether to build a state Exchange, work with other states, or partner with the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to flexibility in our support of the states’ progress in whatever route they choose, as well as providing planning and implementation funds to help the states to establish the marketplace that suits their residents’ needs.

We have already begun to hear from governors on their states’ commitment to establishing these one-stop-shop marketplaces.

As Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee noted in his letter, he signed an executive order in September 2011 to begin work on an Exchange, an effort he says “will provide Rhode Island families and small businesses with access to more affordable, high quality health insurance coverage.” Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley wrote that Maryland’s state-based Exchange is “well underway and we continue to make significant progress with strong support from the state’s political leadership and broad-based stakeholder community.”

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Women's Living Room Discussion on Health Care

Posted on June 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM
Categories: Economy, Reform, Health

On March 23, 2012, Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Seblius, U.S. Senator Al Franken, and Congresswoman Betty McCollum attended a roundtable discussion with women and mothers to discuss how the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, has put Americans back in charge of their health since it was signed into law two years ago.


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Online tax payments by credit card become cheaper and easier for Minnesotans

Posted on June 25, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Economy, Reform

Beginning July 1st, Minnesota residents paying their taxes online by either credit or debit card will find the process easier, thanks to a change being implemented by the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

This is thanks to a new vendor—and new website—being used by the department to handle these payments. The new site, www.payMNtax.com, is run through Value Payment Systems, and features a digital time stamp to guarantee accurate records, an email reminder option to schedule future reminders for upcoming tax payments, and, eventually, an automatic scheduling option to ensure that taxpayers never miss their payments.


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Reversed cuts a victory for Minnesota’s disabled

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Health, Reform, Jobs, Human Rights

In a recent editorial for Access Press, a Minnesota disability news outlet, Steve Larson, senior public policy director for The Arc Minnesota commended state leaders for their work to reverse a number of funding cuts to Minnesota Health and Human Services (HHS).

These reversals delayed cuts to the wages of personal care attendants and disability service providers until the next legislative session and reduced the cut to community services for 2,600 Minnesotans with disabilities by half. ” Disability advocates will need to fight again next session to make these reversals permanent,” says Larson.

The issues of funding to key Health and Human Services sectors were first highlighted by Governor Dayton in his 2012-2013 supplemental budget proposal, and were ultimately addressed with his signing of the HHS omnibus budget bill, a bipartisan effort which restored roughly $18 million in funding lost during the 2011 budget compromise. This new spending was offset by savings to the state from a 1 percent cap on health plan profits negotiated by the Dayton Administration which resulted in the return of $73 million to state and federal taxpayers .


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An Open Letter to all Minnesotans from State Health Care Leaders

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Health, Reform

In a matter of days, there will be a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that will have significant ramifications for health care in the United States and Minnesota. The Supreme Court will issue its ruling on the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health care reform law.  While the decision will likely generate further national debate, it’s important to acknowledge that the decision won’t change some basic facts about health care in Minnesota.

Minnesota has been a pioneer in health care for more than a century and, regardless of the Court’s decision, we will continue to be a national leader.  We have taken a local, commonsense approach to improving the health of our communities, lowering cost through high quality care and providing affordable coverage in our state.  No matter what the Court decides, Minnesotans already know how to collaborate to improve our health care system and move forward together, in the best interest of our state.

While Minnesota’s health care system does better overall compared to the rest of the country, we all still struggle with unsustainable health care costs and lack of access to care. More than 14 percent of our state economy is consumed by health care costs and even with this spending, nearly 490,000 Minnesotans are uninsured. The fear of unaffordable health care holds back entrepreneurs who want to set out on their own and keeps small businesses from new hiring or raising wages.  If we don’t take action to address these concerns, the problems will only grow as Minnesota’s demographics change and our population ages.


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New Online Tools - Online Permit System and Building Code Lookup

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Reform, Technology

The newest paperless initiatives on the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s website include a “Local Code Lookup” feature and an eTRAKit online electrical permit system for homeowners.  

These new tools will make it quicker and easier for homeowners and contractors to access local code information as well as obtain electrical permits online.  With these online tools, people can find the information they need without having to visit or make a call to their local building department.  

The Local Code Lookup – online at http://workplace.doli.state.mn.us/jurisdiction – gives homeowners and contractors online access to one site where they can find local code requirements and code inspectors. The Local Code Lookup will help users find out about which code authority and local jurisdiction for permits they fall under as well as have the ability to search other Minnesota construction codes and licensing disciplines.    

The Local Code Lookup gives users access to the jurisdiction directory, where they can find information regarding a specific city, township or county.  They also can view contact information for their local code official or code inspector.    

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