Blog Entries en-us Minnesota The Norman Family's Story: Tax-Free Adoption Assistance Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:00:00 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-126510 Each year, Minnesota families make the choice to adopt – bringing children into their homes and lives, providing love and care for young people who may not otherwise have a family. But adoptions can be expensive, sometimes costing tens of thousands of dollars from start to finish. That is why Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature enacted a new law this session, ensuring financial assistance Minnesotans receive from their employers during the adoption process is 100 percent tax free. MnDOT Safe Routes to School grants support 138 Minnesota schools Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:00:00 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-125794 The Minnesota Department of Transportation has announced the recipients of $4.8 million in federal grants for Safe Routes to School. The grants will support Safe Routes to School at 138 schools in 50 communities. The Lee Family's Story: Eliminating the “Marriage Penalty” Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:00:00 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-126502 The next time Minnesotans file their taxes, more than 650,000 married couples statewide will save an average $115 each, thanks to the elimination of the marriage penalty. Brenda's Story: Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:00:00 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-126493 In 2013, more than 11,800 Minnesota families lost their homes to foreclosure. Thousands more sold their homes at a loss in a short sale. But thanks to new tax cuts signed into law by Governor Dayton, Minnesotans who lose their home to foreclosure or sell their homes at a loss will not face the added burden of paying thousands of dollars in state taxes. The Unsession: Michelle's Story Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:00:42 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-126133 To make state government work better for the people it serves, Governor Dayton has implemented Minnesota's first-ever Plain Language policy. Watch this video to learn how the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs has made their website easier to use for Veterans like Michelle Ambrose. Governor Dayton Enacts First Minimum Wage Increase in a Decade Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:18:21 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-126316 More than 325,000 of Minnesota’s lowest-wage workers just got a raise. Joined in the Capitol Rotunda this afternoon by legislators, advocates, and hard-working Minnesotans from across the state, Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill into law raising Minnesota’s minimum wage for the first time since 2005. The bill increases the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour by 2016, and indexes it to inflation to help ensure Minnesotans’ wages keep up with the cost of living. Governor Mark Dayton Signs Safe and Supportive Schools Act Wed, 09 Apr 2014 17:24:07 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-125621 Surrounded by students, parents, teachers, and school administrators, Governor Mark Dayton today signed the Safe and Supportive Schools Act (HF826/SF783). The new law, authored by state Sen. Scott Dibble and state Rep. Jim Davnie, strengthens protections against the threat of bullying in Minnesota schools. The new measure provides local school districts the guidance, support, and flexibility to adopt clear and enforceable school policies to help protect all children from bullying, and to reinforce the principles of tolerance and respect in our schools. Governor Mark Dayton to Sign Safe and Supportive Schools Act Wed, 09 Apr 2014 07:01:33 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-125422 ST. PAUL, MN – Joined by legislators, parents, students, and teachers, Governor Mark Dayton plans to sign the Safe and Supportive Schools Act (HF826/SF783) into law at a public bill signing ceremony on Wednesday, April 9, at 4:00pm. The bill signing ceremony will take place on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol. Minnesota students, parents, teachers, and families are invited to attend the event. The Unsession: Ravi's Story Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:21:16 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-124901 Just two weeks ago, Governor Mark Dayton signed new tax cuts into law that are already saving Minnesotans time and money, and making filing taxes simpler for more than 1 million middle class Minnesotans and thousands of businesses. Watch this video to learn more about how Governor Dayton’s tax reforms are saving time, money, and hassle for small business owners like Ravi Norman of Thor Construction. New Rankings Help Families Choose Quality Child Care Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:53:59 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-120982 For Minnesota’s children, school begins in Kindergarten, but learning starts long before that. According to cognitive scientists, the first five years of brain development can make or break future learning outcomes. Minnesota Taxpayers: File Your Taxes Now Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:42:22 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-124268 Minnesota Department of Revenue officials today told all taxpayers to file their tax returns NOW. The news comes one day before the original target date. For over one million taxpayers who have not yet filed, they can file now with forms and software that include the new tax law changes passed on March 21. Streamlined FAFSA makes it easier for Minnesota students to access financial aid Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:59:49 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-124249 Governor Dayton knows that providing all of our students access to affordable post-secondary education is vital to preparing all Minnesotans for great jobs for generations to come. Last year, Governor Dayton worked with the Legislature to increase financial aid for our students and freeze tuition at public colleges and universities. Now, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education encourages students to take advantage of the recently improved Free Application for Federal Student form (FAFSA) to access additional student aid. Blogg[ed]MN: The Benefits of Investing Early Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:18:49 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-122478 This blog post originally appeared on the Minnesota Department of Education website Blogg[ed]MN. Since taking office, Governor Mark Dayton has made a number of critical investments in early education. One significant investment came in 2011 when Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested $5.45 million in the Minnesota Reading Corps to expand the program and help more students gain access to one-on-one tutoring. In fact, 30,000 students benefited from the Minnesota Reading Corps AmeriCorps individualized, one-on-one tutoring to kindergarten through third grade students and using proven literacy interventions last year. Unsession Update Tue, 01 Apr 2014 10:00:00 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-122509 Last summer, Governor Dayton asked Minnesotans to send him their “Unsession suggestions.” Thanks to your good ideas, Governor Dayton delivered over 1,000 Unsession proposals to the Legislature. Some of these proposals have already become law and the Governor hopes to sign hundreds more Unsession provisions into law in the coming weeks. This is the first video in a series focused on the Unsession. Check it out and stay tuned in the coming weeks to see how Governor Dayton is working to make better government for a better Minnesota. Governor Dayton Declares “MNsure Enrollment Day” in Minnesota Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:59:05 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-122253 With the March 31st deadline for enrollment approaching, Governor Mark Dayton today declared today “MNsure Enrollment Day,” urging Minnesotans to use MNsure in the coming days to find and enroll in a health plan that best fits their needs. Minnesota High School Graduates Making Big Gains in Postsecondary Education Thu, 27 Mar 2014 11:35:22 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-118832 New research shows the percentage of young Minnesotans enrolling in higher education has increased dramatically. Governor Dayton signs $508 million in tax cuts for middle class and businesses into law Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:23:23 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-121244 ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today signed legislation (HF1777) cutting taxes for middle class Minnesotans and businesses. The $508 million tax cut signed into law today will put more money in the pockets of middle class families, individuals, and thousands of businesses across Minnesota. Because the Legislature acted quickly to pass the bill, many Minnesotans will see immediate tax savings during the current tax filing season. The State Budget Forecast is Great News for Minnesota Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:40:05 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-121029 The latest State Budget Forecast is great news for Minnesota! For the first time in seven years, the Forecast is predicting budget surpluses for our state’s current biennium and the next one. When I took office three years ago, the 2011 Forecast predicted a deficit of $5 billion for the next two years. This year’s Forecast predicts a surplus of $2.6 billion. Governor Dayton Aids University of Minnesota’s Effort to Revive the Declining Bee Population Mon, 17 Mar 2014 14:18:33 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-119076 Bees are receiving their share of the spotlight during this year’s legislative session. Governor Dayton’s bonding proposal recommends investing $12 million in the University of Minnesota Bee research laboratory, which will foster the expansion of agriculture research and help revitalize Minnesota’s bee population. Governor Dayton’s Bonding Bill Invests in Iron Range Wed, 12 Mar 2014 10:28:00 -0500 Minnesota Governor's Office /governor/blog/the-office-of-the-governor-blog-entry-detail.jsp?id=102-117678 The jobs bill Governor Mark Dayton proposed last month will make critical investments in infrastructure projects statewide, including key projects across Minnesota’s Iron Range – investments that will add value to our communities, and build on the momentum of our state’s growing economy. In total, the Governor’s bonding proposal would invest $986 million in infrastructure improvements statewide, creating 27,000 jobs.