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Governor Dayton's 2014 State of the State Remarks

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM
Categories: Jobs, Transportation, Reform, Public Safety, Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon, Greater Minnesota, Education, Economy

Governor Dayton addresses a joint convention of the Minnesota legislature at his 2014 State of the State Address

Governor Dayton addresses a joint convention of the Minnesota legislature at his 2014 State of the State Address

Remarks of Governor Mark Dayton – As prepared for delivery
State of the State Address
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

When I ran for Governor four years ago, I promised “A Better Minnesota.”  Tonight, I can report that the state of our State is better – much better -- than before.  It’s better for us, and it’s better for those who will inherit it from us.  But the economic growth and social progress we have achieved, also reminds us of the work we still have left to do.
Becoming a parent introduces a longer-term perspective.  We begin to consider the effects of our actions not only on our own lives, but also on lives that will extend beyond ours.
Becoming a grandparent, as I did a year-ago, thanks to my terrific son and wonderful daughter-in-law, Eric and Cory Dayton, who are in the gallery tonight, adds another generation to that timeline.  It also raises the stakes.
Somewhere down the road, my grandson and his generation will assess the state of the state we have left to them.  They will decide whether we, through our actions or inactions, made their lives better.  Let’s keep them in mind, as we choose our state’s path.  
In my first State of the State, three years ago, I said, “I know what we must do to create that better future for all of us. To progress, we have to invest.
“We have to invest in more jobs. Invest in better education.  In improved transportation.  In the health of our citizens, our communities, and our environment.  In the transformation of government services.”
In other words, we have to invest in growth, quality, and effectiveness.
Well, we invested in jobs.  Minnesota’s private sector and public sector both invested in jobs.  We are blessed with so many outstanding businesses, located everywhere in our state, operating everywhere in the world – and who, during the past three years, rediscovered that they can be successful and profitable here in Minnesota.  As a result, we have the 5th fastest growing economy in the country.
There are more than 2.8 million jobs in Minnesota today.  More jobs than ever before in our state’s history. 150,000 more jobs than when I became Governor three years ago.
This economic growth is happening all over our state.  A recent newspaper story was entitled, “Lots of jobs find a home on the prairie in southwestern Minnesota.”  It said that, for example, Jackson County reported a 5 percent increase in jobs during 2013.  The City of Jackson’s economic development coordinator is quoted saying that, “Everybody who is able to work, and willing, is probably employed.”
Jackson’s largest employer, AGCO, has doubled its workforce to more than 1,300.  Nearby, HitchDoc, which manufactures automotive and farm equipment for 300 customers, has grown from a dozen employees to 140.  “And I’m looking for another 30,” said the company’s owner, Brad Mohns. “I’m turning down work, because I can’t find enough employees.”
Some people believe there is no role for government in private sector expansion and job creation.  To see that they’re mistaken, just look around Minnesota.
There would not be a new stadium under construction in Minneapolis without the financial support of the City and the State of Minnesota.  7500 construction workers will have jobs building that stadium over the next couple years.  Over one-third of them will be people of color.
Located right next to the stadium will be a $400 million private sector development, the largest in a generation.  It will provide office space for 5000 Wells Fargo employees, residential apartments, stores and shops, a hotel, and a new, two-block public park.  Its construction will employ another 1000 Minnesotans.  And that is just the beginning of the area’s revitalization.


Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon Announces She Will Not Seek Reelection

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon


After more than 25 years of dedicated service to the people of Minnesota, Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon has announced she will not seek reelection in 2014. During her time as Lt. Governor, Prettner Solon has distinguished herself as a passionate advocate for Minnesota seniors and Greater Minnesota – and she plans to continue that important work throughout the coming year. local government has laid the foundation for a Better Minnesota; the impact of her accomplishments will be felt for years to come.

Prettner Solon leaves mark on State of Minnesota after more than 25 years in public service

After more than 25 years of dedicated service to the people of Minnesota and the City of Duluth, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon today announced she will not seek reelection in 2014. Prettner Solon will not seek a second term as Lt. Governor – a role in which she has led landmark efforts to improve the lives of children, senior citizens, veterans, and Minnesotans with disabilities. During her time as Lt. Governor, Prettner Solon has distinguished herself as a passionate, relentless advocate for Minnesota seniors and Greater Minnesota – and she plans to continue that important work throughout the coming year.

“It has been a great privilege, and my distinct honor, to serve the people of Minnesota as Lt. Governor,” said Prettner Solon. “I am proud of the many important achievements we have made over the last three years to build a better Minnesota, and I have no plans to slow down or scale back that work in the year ahead.

“Above all, my work on behalf of Minnesota’s aging population has been rewarding and productive,” said Prettner Solon. “When our elder population stays engaged, and active in their communities, they live longer, healthier, and happier lives. That creates a win-win-win situation for our seniors, our communities, and our state’s health care system. This administration has done nation-leading, transformative work to empower and improve the quality of life enjoyed by Minnesota seniors. I look forward to building on that important progress in 2014.”

Governor Mark Dayton today thanked Lt. Governor Prettner Solon for her distinguished service, and congratulated her on the many policy initiatives and administrative accomplishments she has championed that have improved the lives of Minnesotans, and set our state on course for a better future.

“Throughout her 25 years of devoted public service – as Duluth City Council Member and Council President, State Senator, and Lieutenant Governor – Yvonne Prettner Solon has been a courageous champion for the people of Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “Lieutenant Governor Prettner Solon’s tireless leadership on behalf of Minnesota's senior citizens and people with disabilities has greatly improved many lives.  She has been key to achieving our administration’s primary mission: building a better Minnesota for all our citizens.

"I thank Yvonne for her invaluable service to our state, and I pledge my continuing support for the important initiatives she has championed as Minnesota's Lieutenant Governor,” Dayton said.


Minnesota Breakfast Challenge

Posted on October 09, 2013 at 1:45 PM
Categories: Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon, Health, Education

Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon talks with students at Pillsbury Elementary School

Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon talks with kids at Pillsbury Elementary School in Minneapolis

Today, Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon served breakfast at Pillsbury Elementary in Minneapolis to raise awareness of child hunger and its impact on education.  She explained that more than 200,000 Minnesota children experience hunger every year. And research shows, that poor nutrition among school age children directly relates to poorer class performance, more days of missed school, and declining academic achievement.

To increase access to free and reduced price breakfast, the State of Minnesota is partnering with Hunger Free Minnesota, the Midwest Dairy Council, and the Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota to create the first-ever Minnesota School Breakfast Challenge. The challenge will reward the top 30 Minnesota schools with $0.10 for every new breakfast served beyond what was served last year.


Lt. Governor's Visit Highlights New Efforts to Protect Our Natural Resources

Posted on August 12, 2013 at 1:41 PM
Categories: Environment, Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon

Lt. Governor Prettner Solon and Senior Policy Advisor Will Seuffert

Lt. Governor Prettner Solon and senior policy advisor, Will Seuffert, spent time on Isle Royale reviewing efforts to address aquatic invasive species.

Last week, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon visited Isle Royale, Michigan. The island is located in the northwestern corner of Lake Superior – a two-hour ferry ride from Grand Portage, Minnesota. 
The 850 square-mile island’s isolated location provides one of the most unique ecosystems in North America. Isle Royale is home to only 18 mammal species, unlike the nearest mainland, which hosts more than 40 species. The island also houses the longest running large mammal predator-prey study on earth.
Unfortunately, this otherwise pristine wilderness is now grappling with aquatic invasive species such as spiny water fleas, sea lamprey, and zebra mussels. These water-based invaders can disrupt the natural ecosystem – pushing out native plants, fish, and animals.
During her visit, the Lieutenant Governor traveled aboard the Ranger III, a National Park Service lake boat, to review efforts to address invasive species on the island and in the waters surrounding it. Here in Minnesota, we also have made new efforts to address aquatic invasive species.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) first began addressing aquatic invasive species in 1987. Since then, the DNR has developed a comprehensive program with more than 160 permanent and seasonal staff dedicated to quelling aquatic invasive species.


Minnesota to Germany: Renewable Energy Leaders Exchange Ideas

Posted on July 24, 2013 at 3:58 PM
Categories: Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon

Berlin, Germany

Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon and a delegation of Minnesota energy industry officials are in Berlin, Germany for a week to exchange renewable energy ideas.

This week, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon is leading a delegation of Minnesota’s energy industry officials and supporters to Berlin, Germany for a week-long renewable energy conference. The group will meet with their German counterparts to exchange renewable energy ideas with each other. 

Both Minnesota and Germany are front-runners when it comes to alternative sources of energy – including solar and wind power. 

Currently, Minnesota is third in the nation when it comes to wind power generation. Powering Minnesota’s renewable energy push is the Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard, which sets a goal of producing 25 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by the year 2025. Right now, Minnesota is on track to reach to this great goal.

Renewable energy is good for both Minnesota’s environment and its economy. A recent survey from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development shows our state has roughly 37,000 green jobs – resulting in more than $3.8 billion in annual economic activity.

To build on past success, new provisions passed by the legislature will help expand solar power use – supporting more than 100 Minnesota-based solar energy businesses.  

During the exchange with Germany, the Lieutenant Governor, representatives from state government, industry, academia, and non-profits will meet with the German Ministry of Economics and Technology, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Transportation, and the Foreign Office.

Our partnership with Germany is a great way to share ideas and to innovate. Using clean, renewable energy will help us protect our planet and create new jobs for Minnesotans.


Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon Leads Effort to Improve the Lives of Minnesotans with Disabilities

Posted on June 04, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon, Health

photo_yvonne_prettner_solon.jpgSpeaking at the Department of Human Services Tuesday, Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon outlined Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan, which will help improve the quality of life enjoyed by Minnesotans with disabilities.

The plan lays out the state’s goals to ensure that Minnesotans with disabilities have the freedom and opportunity to live independently, to contribute to the workforce, and to become fully integrated into their communities.

“Those who can live independently should own the choice to live on their own,” the Lt. Governor said. “As a state, we should be doing everything we can to make that possible.”
The Olmstead Plan takes its name from the 1999 United States Supreme Court decision Olmstead v. L.C. The decision ruled that unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes discrimination in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In January 2013, Governor Dayton created an Olmstead Sub-Cabinet to oversee the implementation of a plan to better meet the needs of persons with disabilities living in Minnesota.

On Tuesday, Lt. Governor Prettner Solon, chair of the Olmstead Sub-Cabinet, said that once implemented the plan will have a profound impact on the lives of Minnesotans.

“More and more Minnesotans with disabilities will have the courage, skills, and support to step forthrightly into their communities, work with purpose and dignity in our local businesses, and reach with confidence for their highest aspirations,” she said.

Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon Visits 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth

Posted on November 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Public Safety, Greater Minnesota, Jobs, Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon, Military Servicemembers

Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon Visits 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth

Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon recently visited the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minnesota and experienced the full-workings of the facility, including a tour, safety and survival skills training. The visit culminated in a ride in an F-16 Fighter Jet. The Lieutenant Governor donned an anti-gravity suit, or G suit, and rode in the F16, experiencing complex aerial maneuvers – even taking the wheel at one point.

The Lieutenant Governor said she was impressed with “the precision, expertise and professional capabilities of both ground and air personnel” and that she feels “confident that Minnesota has a superior National Guard”.


Lt. Governor Prettner Solon Tandem Skydives in Support of Our Troops

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM
Categories: Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon

On Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at the state Capitol, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon joined the U.S. Army Parachute Team, nicknamed the "Golden Knights," in a tandem skydive exercise in St. Paul. In a show of support for the men and women who serve our nation in uniform, Lt. Governor Prettner Solon jumped from an altitude of 12,500 feet and fell at a rate of 120 miles per hour before making a safe landing on the lower mall of the Minnesota State Capitol grounds.

Following the jump, Prettner Solon joined Governor Mark Dayton and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie for a Community Covenant signing ceremony, collectively demonstrating their support for military service members and their families. Community Covenant is an initiative that began in 2008, inviting communities across America to show their support for military families in a time of war. The ceremony included a brief moment of silence for the Minnesotans who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.


Lieutenant Governor Leads Group to Germany

Posted on July 12, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Categories: Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon, Environment


-Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon during her trip to Germany 

This week, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Pretter Solon is leading a 16-member delegation in Germany, joined by Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds.  The delegation is made up of experts from Minnesota and Iowa that will study Germany’s energy and power systems, in the search for finding more energy efficient methods that could aid in creating and maintaining a more sustainable Minnesota.  
What is it About?

A group of experts from Minnesota and Iowa are in Germany this week learning about energy solutions that could help Minnesota. The trip is organized by the University of Minnesota’s Center for German and European Studies together with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Germany’s Foreign office. The group will hear from both Germany’s economics and environment ministries in hopes to learn more about their renewable energy projects.


Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon has "Lunch on the Avenue"

Posted on June 15, 2012 at 2:15 PM
Categories: Commerce, Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon, Economy, Transportation


This past Tuesday, June 12, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon showed her support for University Avenue’s locally-owned businesses when she attended “Lunch on the Avenue” at Ngon’s Bistro. Lieutenant Governor Solon met with business leaders from the Midway area including Midway Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Paul McGinley and representatives from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the Met Council. Others who attended include Robert McPherson, an insurance risk consultant with Western Insurance Agency in St. Paul and Chris Ferguson, President and CEO of Bywater Business Solutions in Minneapolis.


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