‘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.”
In 2012, Gerdau Long Steel broke ground on a renovation project at its St. Paul plant. The renovation, made possible in part by a $249,000 MIF loan, will create a state-of-the-art facility for casting steel. This project helped create 40 new jobs.
The Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) helps Minnesota compete with other states and nations for new high-tech and manufacturing jobs. MIF helps encourage local firms that have options outside the state to expand here, and provides incentives for firms outside Minnesota to locate in our state. Over the last 8 years alone, the program has funded 53 projects, creating thousands of jobs and leveraging $587 million in private economic development.
Governor Dayton has proposed investing $30 million in MIF to enhance Minnesota’s competitiveness, create thousands of new jobs, and leverage an estimated $990 million in private investment in Minnesota’s economy.
Polaris Industries in Wyoming, MN
MIF Loan: $400,000 Est. New Jobs: 115-350
Polaris Industries, the Medina-based maker of all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and motorcycles, broke ground in September 2012 on a 144,000 square foot expansion project at its research and development facility in Wyoming, Minnesota. The project, made possible in part by a $400,000 MIF loan, will double the size of the facility and create capacity for up to 350 more jobs. Polaris has committed to creating 115 permanent jobs within two years.
Gerdau Long Steel in St. Paul, MN
MIF Loan: $249,000 Est. New Jobs: 40
In 2012, Gerdau Long Steel broke ground on a renovation project at its St. Paul plant. The renovation, made possible in part
by a $249,000 MIF loan, will create a state-of-the-art facility for casting steel. This project helped create 40 new jobs.
Minnesota state agencies are eliminating the use of a harmful chemical in their offices found in several household cleaning products. Through Executive Order by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton in April, 2011, all state agencies will no longer purchase hand soaps and dish and laundry cleaning products that contain triclosan by June of this year. State agencies are required to implement plans to reduce pollution and toxics, increase energy efficiency, and conserve resources.
The Interagency Pollution Prevention Advisory Team (IPPAT) has the ability make changes to the Model Sustainability Plan within Governor Dayton’s Executive Order 11-13. The state recently developed contracts for hand soap and dish and laundry cleaning products that are triclosan-free. In some situations, uses of triclosan-containing products may be allowed in medical or other specific settings.
Triclosan is antibiotic resistant and causes health and environmental problems. It is an ingredient in products such as hand soap, toothpaste, cleaning products, fabric, toys, kitchenware and industrial pesticides. There is no evidence that triclosan provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water. Triclosan-free products are readily available in many stores.
“By purchasing items without triclosan, state agencies are doing their part to keep this harmful chemical out of Minnesota waters,” said Cathy Moeger, sustainability manager at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Governor Dayton understands that in order to achieve a world-class economy, we must prioritize investments in our metro area transit system.
That is why the governor’s budget includes a commitment to a multi-modal transit system that will give Minnesota a competitive edge for growing business and jobs, drawing new talent, and serving the transit needs of a growing and aging population. In support of Governor Dayton’s increased transit funding is Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke.
I write to express the support of the Shakopee City Council for your proposal to increase the sales tax for transit purposes by 1/4 cent in the seven-county Metropolitan Area. On Tuesday, February 19, the City Council and I voted to support this proposal. We share your belief that the development of a complete and competitive transit system in the Region is key to its long-term economic competitiveness and vitality. The development of a complete and multi-modal transit system in the Twin Cities Region will also be of great benefit to the Region’s workers and residents. The $200 million per year your proposal is expected to generate is essential to completing important rail, LRT, and BRT projects in the Region, as well as assuring that areas like Scott County can continue to expand local and express bus service that will help to best utilize the investments in regional roadways. In Shakopee, we have been committed to the beneficial expansion of transit options that serve our residents and businesses. Most recently, this has been expressed in the partnership between the cities of Shakopee and Prior Lake, and Scott County. This partnership led to the creation of the BlueXpress in July of 2007, a commuter service which has continued to experience among the greatest rates of growth of any regional bus service provider (9% increase in 2012). We look forward to working with you, your office, and the Legislature on the implementation of this important proposal.
Brad Tabke Mayor, City of Shakopee