Last night in Duluth, nearly 200 Minnesotans gathered at a town hall meeting hosted by Governor Mark Dayton. It was the first in a series of the Governor’s ‘Meetings with Mark’ – an effort to engage Minnesotans in personal conversations about his proposed investments in education, job creation, and improving the lives of middle-class families. Two more Meetings with Mark have been scheduled for next week in Moorhead and St. Cloud at the following times and locations:
‘Meetings with Mark’ will give Minnesotans the opportunity to weigh-in on the state’s ongoing budget conversation – offering their ideas, questions, and concerns about the state’s education system, our economy, and our shared future. Governor Dayton welcomes all viewpoints and invites all Minnesotans to join him in conversation about the budget challenges facing our state and the investments we need to make in order to build a Better Minnesota. All ‘Meetings with Mark’ are free and open to the public and press.
Last week, Governor Dayton provided the details of his Budget for a Better Minnesota, delivering a fair and balanced budget that will responsibly resolve the state’s deficit and make crucial investments in Minnesota’s future. The Governor’s proposal focuses on improving the lives of Minnesotans by making major investments in education, job creation, and a stronger middle class. Those investments include $640 million in new funding for education, $86.5 million for job creation and economic development, and $120 million in aid to local governments that will help provide property tax relief to Minnesota homeowners, renters, and businesses.
Additional information about future ‘Meetings with Mark’ will be provided in the coming days. More information about the governor’s Budget for a Better Minnesota is available online at http://mn.gov/governor/budget. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #BetterMN.
WHO: Governor Mark Dayton
WHAT: ‘Meeting with Mark’ to discuss the state budget
WHEN: Wednesday, March 20 6:00pm
WHERE: Duluth Public Safety Building, 2030 North Arlington Avenue, Duluth, MN 55811
A Fair and Responsible Budget that Invests in the Middle Class
Today, Governor Dayton released a revised budget plan today that responsibly resolves the state’s budget deficit and makes crucial investments in Minnesota’s future. The Governor’s proposal focuses on improving the lives of Minnesotans by making major investments in education, job creation, and a stronger middle class.
First, Governor Dayton’s budget makes $640 million of long-overdue investments in education. The Governor’s budget would provide access to high-quality early education for 10,000 young children, fund all-day Kindergarten for 46,000 kids, and increase school funding for every district in the state. His budget would also deliver the largest increase in direct student aid in 25 years, along with needed investments in the MnSCU system and the University of Minnesota to train our workforce for the jobs of the future.
The Governor’s budget also makes needed investments in job creation. Minnesotans need a strong economy we can depend on for good jobs, living wages, and a strong middle class. That is why Governor Dayton’s budget invests $86.5 million in proven economic development initiatives that will create thousands of jobs and leverage nearly $1.5 billion in additional private investment in Minnesota’s economy.
Governor Dayton’s budget plan would also provide property tax relief to Minnesota families and businesses. His budget would increase funding for the renter’s credit, fully-fund the homeowner’s property tax refund program, and increase aid to local governments by $120 million.
These new investments are made possible by asking the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans to pay their fair share in taxes and closing unfair corporate tax loopholes enjoyed by just a handful of corporations.
According to the Department of Revenue’s most recent tax incidence study, most low- and middle-income earners in Minnesota pay about 20 percent more as a share of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest Minnesotans. In order to address that disparity, honestly resolve our state’s budget deficit, and make long overdue investments in education and job creation, the governor’s budget asks the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans to pay their fair share of income taxes.
Finally, the governor’s budget delivers on his commitment to a Better Government for a Better Minnesota – ensuring Minnesotans get better public services for a better price. His budget delivers $5.1 billion in cost savings and reductions over four years through reform and responsible fiscal management.
For more information about Governor Dayton’s Budget for a Better Minnesota, visit http://mn.gov/governor/budget and follow the conversation on Twitter at #BetterMN.
Commissioner Cassellius stood with educators and education advocates to discuss how strategic investments in Governor Dayton’s budget will advance current efforts to close Minnesota's achievement gaps. Despite strong test scores, Minnesota is widely recognized as having one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation. Governor Dayton took a comprehensive look at education from early childhood through postsecondary and proposed $640 million in new investments in K-12 and Higher Education.
“If we’re going to address Minnesota’s significant achievement gaps, we need bold vision and leadership, which is exactly what we see in Governor Dayton’s budget,” said Commissioner Cassellius on Monday. “The investments take a strategic approach to meeting the needs of every student, especially those who come to us needing more, and position Minnesota to aggressively close the gaps that are some of the worst in the nation.
“I’m mystified why we are ranked as low as we are because I think we do things in the education realm better than most other states and it doesn’t obviously show in this case. We’re determined to close the achievement gap,” Governor Dayton stated in an interview on MPR in early March. “It’s going to be critical that all our citizens 10, 20, 30 years from now be productive and successful if we’re going to have a vibrant economy.”