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Budget for a Better Minnesota: Investing in the Middle Class

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Categories: Budget, Health, Jobs, Education

Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders at a post-session press conference

On Tuesday, Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders held a press conference to talk about middle class investments made in the Minnesota state budget

The budget passed by Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature puts fairness back in the system.  It strengthens Minnesota’s middle class and our economy by lowering property taxes and making investments in education and job creation to move Minnesota forward.

The budget closes the deficit for the long term and makes spending cuts and reforms.  It pays for new investments in education and job creation by asking the richest 2% of Minnesotans to pay their fair share and closing corporate tax loopholes. 

  • A Historic Investment in Education:  For the first time in its history, Minnesota will offer All-Day Kindergarten to every child in Minnesota.  We are giving thousands of children access to high-quality preschool and child care.  And we are freezing tuition for the next two years at the University of Minnesota and all MnSCU campuses and increasing student financial aid to make higher education more affordable for middle class families. With nearly a billion dollars in new money for education, this budget invests in every learner in Minnesota – from early education through higher education.  This new funding will help give our kids access to a world-class education and train the best-educated workforce in the world. This budget will also eliminate the school shift by the end of the next biennium. [ Read more ]
  • A Growing Economy that Creates Middle Class Jobs – Minnesotans need a strong economy for good jobs, living wages, and a strong middle class. That is why the Governor and the DFL legislature took bold action this session to create jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and make our state a more competitive place to do business. The budget enacted this session invests in job creation efforts that will leverage billions of dollars in private sector investment in Minnesota’s economy, make our state a more competitive place to do business, and get tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work.  [ Read more ]
  • Property Tax Relief for Minnesotans – Property taxes have increased by 86% statewide over the past decade, with increases falling hardest on the middle class, seniors, and small businesses. This session, we invested over $441 million in property tax relief for Minnesotans by restoring the state’s commitment to cities, counties, and school districts, and providing direct relief to homeowners and renters. [ Read more ]
  • A Fair Tax System – According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, low-and middle-income Minnesotans pay 20% more of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest Minnesotans. In order to honestly resolve our state’s budget deficit, make new investments to strengthen the middle class, and invest over $441 million in property tax relief for Minnesotans, the budget enacted this session asks the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans to pay 2% more in income taxes. With an average income of over $617,000, the richest 2% are the only Minnesotans who are asked to pay more in income taxes. [ Read more ]
  • A Fair and Balanced Budget – A decade of deep cuts, games and gimmicks have caused Minnesota to lurch from one budget crisis to the next; limiting our ability to fund education and job creation. This session, the Governor and DFL legislature put an end to roller-coaster deficits with a fair and balanced budget that puts Minnesota on sound fiscal footing and delivers investments to strengthen the middle class. [ Read more ]

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DEED Debuts New Blog for Minnesota Small Businesses

Posted on May 02, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Categories: Jobs, Economy

blog_deed_sm_biz_blog

Continuing its mission to promote Minnesota small business, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) launched a new blog today aimed at providing practical guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs and new business owners in Minnesota. 

Dubbed Minnesota Business 101, the weekly blog touches on topics ranging from how to organize and register a business to licensing, regulations and financing. It will focus primarily on helping new business owners navigate through DEED’s Guide to Starting a New Business in Minnesota.

“Small businesses re the driving force of the economy and account for half of our private sector jobs in Minnesota,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “This new blog is just one tool we are using to connect those hoping to start a small business with the expertise and resources we offer at DEED.”

Minnesota Business 101 will also include videos offering expert guidance from DEED consultants, advice from real Minnesota small-business owners, and profiles of small businesses. The blog launches today and will appear on Mondays in the future. Check it out at: http://mnbusiness101.wordpress.com/.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit DEED at www.PositivelyMinnesota.com. You can also follow DEED on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PositivelyMN.


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Building a Better Minnesota: Regional Civic Centers and Downtown Improvements

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM
Categories: Bonding, Economy, Jobs, Greater Minnesota

Convention_Center_2013
Governor Dayton's bonding proposal invests $98.5 million in Minnesota's downtowns

Governor Dayton’s commitment to building a better Minnesota starts with jobs that help build communities. The governor’s bonding proposal invests $98.5 million in the downtowns of regional centers; projects that will create jobs, attract additional private investment, and support economic development in communities across Minnesota. Those investments include: 
  • $35 million for the Rochester Civic Center expansion
  • $20 million for reconstruction of Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis
  • $14.5 million for a new addition to the Mankato Civic Center
  • $14 million to double the size of the Children’s Museum in downtown St. Paul
  • $10.1 million for an expansion of the St. Cloud Civic Center

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Minnesota Ranked Among Best States to Own a Small Business

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Categories: Commerce, Jobs

"When it comes to how business-friendly an area is, smaller companies care about much more than just taxes." - Governing Magazine

This month, Governing Magazine (one of the most credible sources of nonpartisan news and policy analysis covering state and local governments) reported the results of a new survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation ranking the Most (and Least) Small Business-Friendly States in the country. 
 
According to the survey, Minnesota ranked 11th in the nation for overall business friendliness, confirming our state remains one of the best places in the United States to start, own, and expand a small business.
 
According to Governing Magazine:
 
“When it comes to how business-friendly an area is, smaller companies care about much more than just taxes...Training and networking programs were found to be the best predictor of overall scores, followed by a state’s economy and licensing requirements.
 
“In fact, the majority of businesses surveyed didn’t think their taxes were unfairly high. The larger the business, though, the more negatively it perceived its taxes.
 
“When a small business owner decides where to set up shop, they’re most likely to choose where they already reside. For this reason, taxes typically aren’t their chief concern initially, said Katie McConnell, a senior associate with the National League of Cities’ Center for Research and Innovation.”
 
Neighboring Wisconsin ranked 17th for overall business friendliness, and Iowa ranked 21st. In addition to being ranked the 11th best state to own a small business, Minnesota received an A- grade for overall business friendliness, which was a marked improvement from the B grade Minnesota received in 2012.
 
You can read more about the survey, and how Minnesota’s small business environment compares to other states, on the Governing.com website. 

Governor Dayton’s Budget Would Make Minnesota’s Economy Stronger

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 in measures to create jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and make Minnesota a more competitive place to do business. These investments will yield new jobs, vibrant communities, and additional state and local tax revenues that will far exceed these initial investments.
 
Investing an Additional $86.5 million in Economic Development
Creating thousands of jobs by leveraging $1.475 billion in private investment.

  • $30 Million for the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF). The Governor’s budget provides loans to bring new businesses to Minnesota, and help existing businesses expand. This will increase MIF tenfold, create thousands of new jobs, and leverage $800 million in additional investment.
  • $25 Million for the Minnesota Job Creation Fund. The Governor’s budget invests in a new statewide performance-based incentive program for businesses that will create thousands of jobs and leverage $450 million in additional private investment. 
  • $20 Million for the Transportation Economic Development (TED) Program. The Governor’s budget invests in road and bridge improvements that promote economic development. This measure will create thousands of jobs and leverage $35 million in local and private investment.
  • $10 Million for the Housing and Job Growth Initiative. The Governor’s budget invests in affordable housing to support business expansion in Greater Minnesota communities.
  • $1.5 Million for the Global Competitiveness Initiative. The Governor’s budget invests $1.5 million to: 1) establish three new trade offices in foreign markets; 2) help small businesses participate in trade activities; and 3) communicate the benefits of doing business in Minnesota.
  • $4 Million for Forestry. The Governor’s budget increases funding for the forestry program at the Department of Natural Resources.  This will allow the department to harvest more wood, increasing the supply and lowering the price of wood available to companies that produce forest products. 
  • $346.5 million Unemployment Insurance Tax Cut. The Governor’s budget cuts UI taxes by $346.5 million, saving Minnesota employers more money to invest in their businesses and our economy.
  • E-Fairness. The Governor’s budget collects sales tax for online transactions, totaling around $5 million per year, which will level the playing field for businesses that compete with online retailers.

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Minnesota Responds: Governor’s Bonding Proposal

Posted on April 08, 2013 at 2:44 PM
Categories: Jobs

Saint Paul – This morning, Governor Dayton released his bonding proposal which would put 21,000 Minnesotans back to work on critical projects to improve Minnesota’s infrastructure.  Leaders representing working families from around the state welcomed the Governor’s proposal and lauded him for his commitment to creating good jobs in Minnesota. 

“Governor Dayton recognizes that despite strong job growth over the last year, we cannot simply rest on our laurels and hope that growth continues. Governor Dayton’s jobs and infrastructure bill is a proactive plan that will create 21,000 new private sector jobs. This is especially good news for workers in the building and construction trades, a sector that has not experienced the same post-recession rebound that other industries have. Minnesota will only maintain our economic leadership if we make investments in our future. Governor Dayton recognizes that improving our aging infrastructure is part of that future. We are confident that Legislators also recognize the need to create jobs and improve our infrastructure and will send a bill to the Governor’s desk this session.”

-    Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson

“I applaud Governor Dayton for proposing investments in Minnesota’s infrastructure.  This proposal will put construction workers to work in every corner of Minnesota repairing, rebuilding, and expanding public structures and facilities that will benefit us all.”

-    John Raines, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters

“With today’s announcement, Governor Dayton demonstrated his continued commitment to creating good jobs here in Minnesota.  Investments in our infrastructure will put thousands of Minnesotans back to work on projects that will position our state for success in the future.”

-    Harry Melander, President, Saint Paul Building & Construction Trades Council             


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Bonding Bill Invests in Needed Infrastructure Improvements Across Minnesota

Posted on April 08, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Categories: Bonding, Jobs

Bonding Projects Map

Today, Governor Mark Dayton introduced a bonding proposal that would invest $750 million in infrastructure projects statewide, creating an estimated 21,000 Minnesota jobs. The plan – which builds on the Governor’s proposed budget measures to get Minnesotans back to work – would address many of the state’s needed infrastructure improvements and strengthen Minnesota’s economy.


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A Fair and Responsible Budget that Invests in the Middle Class

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Categories: Budget, Jobs, Education

Governor Dayton Budget Proposal

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.

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Minnesota Investment Fund: Why Supporting Job Creation Matters

Posted on March 05, 2013 at 1:32 PM
Categories: Jobs, Budget

Governor Dayton joins Gerdau employees and officials at a groundbreaking ceremony

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.


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Infographic: Minnesota Investment Fund

Posted on March 01, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Categories: Budget, Jobs, Economy

Governor Dayton's budget calls for $30 million in ongoing funding for MIF to provide crucial incentives to companies expanding in or relocating operations to Minnesota. In the past 8 years MIF has used $7 million in public funds to stimulate $587 million in private development. Funded at Governor Dayton's proposed level, MIF would attract an estimated $990 million in private investment.

How MIF works


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Environmental work drives economic growth, creates jobs

Posted on March 01, 2013 at 8:43 AM
Categories: Environment, Jobs

Rainwater garden at Maplewood Mall

One of the projects overseen by the MPCA was the construction of the Maplewood Mall stormwater system, which will contribute to the improvement in Kohlmann Lake’s water quality by preventing 50 pounds of phosphorus and five tons of sediment per year from entering the lake.

Some of the most innovative engineering projects undertaken in Minnesota in 2012 were set into motion as a result of environmental initiatives undertaken by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
                      
The American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota (ACEC/MN) recently announced the winners of its 2013 Engineering Excellence awards. Several of the 29 award-winning projects were set into motion as a result of environmental initiatives undertaken by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
 
The projects represent some of the most innovative engineering work undertaken in Minnesota in 2012. Some were directly funded or overseen by MPCA; others were initiated in response to the agency’s environmental work. Three of these environmental projects will compete for recognition at the national level.
 
One of the award-winning projects converted an Edina parking garage into a new drinking water treatment plant. When it was discovered that the city’s groundwater was contaminated with vinyl chloride, a new treatment system was needed to protect the quality of the water supply.
 
The MPCA provided financial support for the project’s design, while the city funded construction and ongoing operation of the facility. The unique project, designed by the engineering firm AECOM,  allowed the city to reuse an existing structure. This eliminated the need to use valuable green space for infrastructure improvements.
 
Another project recognized by ACEC/MN was an innovative stormwater management system at Maplewood Mall. The system, designed by Barr Engineering, will capture and treat 90% of the stormwater runoff at the site. It incorporates rain gardens, permeable pavement crosswalks, a cistern that captures roof runoff for irrigation, and some 200 trees.


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