"These investments are a big boost to struggling families and for the struggling construction industry," said Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal. "With rental vacancy rates at just 2.3% in the Twin Cities area, and stagnant or falling wages among lower income households across the state, we see the demand for affordable housing continuing to grow."
The funding marks the first investments for the agency’s $658 million budget for 2012. The 59 awards were selected through the agency’s annual consolidated request for proposals, which provides financing for affordable housing through deferred and below-market loans, housing tax credits, and operating subsidies.
A recent report on the economic impact of agency investments estimates that $1 million in funding from Minnesota Housing supports an estimated 11.8 construction jobs, which will mean more than 600 construction jobs supported with this funding round.
Dayton said the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued more than 1,300 new permits within his goal of 150 days.
MPCA Commissioner Paul Aasen said that's a 80 percent success rate for all permit requests and a 96 percent success rate for new permits. He said the findings should end a stigma that environmental permitting takes too long in Minnesota.
"Environment and business can coexist very nicely," Aasen said. "We've always believed that and we're doing out best to make sure that we are not a piece of that perceived issue."
Dayton said his order instructs the Environmental Quality Board to look at more ways to speed up the environmental review process.
According to MinnPost:
The reason: He was clear and deliberate in spelling out what changes he could order and where he'd be relegated to the role of cheerleader.
Regarding the former, he appointed specific staffers to keep tabs on his administration's commitments. And those staffers answer the phone.
Regarding the latter, well, it's been a l
ong time since such a highly placed cheerleader has kept the community's priorities on the front burner.
'Pretty authentic in his approach'
"The governor has been pretty authentic in his approach to this and has only pushed what he has the ability and the authority to get done," said Sen. Jeff Hayden, the former state representative from South Minneapolis who was recently elected to fill Linda Berglin's seat.
"He has been more visible and more accessible," Hayden continued. "He has more people of color around him and as his commissioners."
By MARK DAYTON
When I'm asked what I mean by a "people's stadium" that could host the Minnesota Vikings and other events, I say it should be a facility owned by the people of Minnesota and operated for their economic and social benefit.
At a time when more than 200,000 people are out of work in our state, we have the chance to create several thousand jobs to clear a blighted site, build the stadium and other commercial facilities, and then operate them.
In the owners of the Vikings, we have partners willing to make an investment that may approach $500 million.
We have the opportunity either to clean up a contaminated 430-acre site in Arden Hills and fill it with jobs-producing enterprises, or to rehabilitate an underutilized section of Minneapolis, with similar jobs-creating benefits.
I wish we had the reasons and the means to develop both sites for their resulting economic and environmental benefits.
And we have the ability to structure the public financing so that not one general tax dollar would be used to pay for the project. Revenues could be generated by taxes on stadium items like tickets and souvenirs, and by adding electronic pulltabs to already existing charitable gambling.
So why aren't we seizing this opportunity to put several thousand unemployed Minnesotans to work?
Governor Dayton told hundreds of veterans that the best way to show thanks to returning solders and veterans is to give them a job, according to Minnesota Public Radio .
Gov. Dayton said Americans owe a great debt to these men and women who sacrificed so much for their country.
But he said a lot of soldiers are coming back from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to find a dearth of jobs at home.
"Here in Minnesota, the unemployment among Minnesota veterans is by some counts more than double the state average," said Dayton. "There's something terribly wrong when women and men who have served their country have returned home and find their only opening for them is the unemployment line."
Dayton said the best anti-poverty program for a veteran is a job.
In a highly-competitive job market, Veterans often need additional education and skills training to reenter the workforce. This need for continued educational development is not limited to recent Veterans and by expanding the Minnesota GI Bill; Governor Dayton will make sure all Veterans have access to the job skills they need to be successful in today’s economy.
Every year, thousands of Minnesotans dutifully and nobly serve their state and nation as members of the armed forces. Governor Mark Dayton believes it is our state’s duty to ensure these men and women have the support they need to succeed when they return home. In the next legislative session, Governor Dayton and the Legislature have an opportunity to work together on behalf of these Veterans and all Minnesotans.
Governor Dayton has outlined two initiatives that he will ask the Legislature to support:
• Expand the GI Bill: Currently the MN GI Bill applies only to Veterans who served after 9/11 and the families of deceased or qualifying disabled Veterans. Governor Dayton’s proposal would expand the qualifications so that all Minnesota Veterans can access the training they need to get good jobs.
Two weeks upon returning from a trade mission to China, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon is still feeling good about the progress made, the discussions had, and the relationships built during the weeklong trip that took place in October.
In a discussion with Politics in Minnesota published yesterday, the Lieutenant Governor shared her thoughts on important outcomes that came out of the China visit.
Last week, Governor Dayton concluded his economic development tour with a statewide Jobs Summit. The event was a huge success and hosted more than 800 business, academic and government leaders. During the day, discussions were held on the role of government in job creation, access to capital for small businesses and how we can continue to improve and align our state’s workforce. Governor Dayton has developed a list of next steps we need to take to approach job creation moving forward. Those steps are:
Improve access to capital for small businesses, and expanding medium sized businesses
Align our educational system – particularly higher education, technical training, and workforce retaining for displaced workers – with the jobs available now and most likely available in the future
Continue streamlining the permitting process and reducing permitting timetables
Improve both physical and communications infrastructure by increasing our investment in highways, bridge repairs and improvements, and achieving the goal of creating border to border broadband and cell phone access for all Minnesotans regardless of where they live
Continue reform efforts under Better Government for Better Minnesota, bringing better state services to Minnesotans at a lower cost
Increase exports as well as reverse investment by encouraging foreign companies to make investments here in Minnesota and expanding opportunities for Minnesota companies to export goods and services
Close achievement and employment gaps among both minority groups and non-minority groups in Minnesota
Approximately $100 million to $200 million will be deposited in Minnesota's community banks for lending to their customers - principally small businesses throughout the state.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Governor's Jobs Summit, where over 800 business, government and academic leaders came together to discuss how to create jobs and build a better Minnesota.
“Entrepreneurs need to know that we are going to work aggressively to give them the tools they need to create jobs,” Dayton said, according to the Star Tribune . “Today, I am taking action to spur investment in the small businesses that fuel Minnesota’s economy.”
Check out other coverage of the announcement below: