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      Today in the Budget

      Posted on February 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      MSU Logo photo credit: Flickr user xavierla

      Today, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman submitted a commentary to the Star Tribune, strongly supporting Governor Dayton’s proposed investments in aid to local governments and $1.4 billion in direct property tax relief to homeowners. Mayor Coleman’s commentary is provided in the attached document. The governor has proposed a $120 million increase in aid to cities and counties, and a $500 property tax rebate for every Minnesota homeowner. More details on the governor’s property tax relief plan are detailed below.

      Yesterday, Minnesota Office of Higher Education Director Larry Pogemiller met with college students in Mankato to discuss student debt, and Governor Dayton’s proposed investments in higher education. The governor has proposed an additional $240 million for higher education, including $120 million for MnSCU and the University of Minnesota, and an $80 million increase to the State Grant Program – the largest single increase in student aid in more than 25 years. Director Pogemiller wrote about the impact of those proposed investments in a commentary printed today in the Winona Daily News. His commentary is provided in the attached document. More details on the governor’s proposed investments in higher education are detailed below.

      This afternoon, Chief of Staff Tina Flint Smith, Department of Administration Commissioner Spencer Cronk, and MN.IT Services Commissioner Carolyn Parnell will hold a conference call with reporters, discussing the governor’s proposed investments in state government reform. Governor Dayton has proposed additional investments in the Enterprise Lean program, the SmART initiative, and additional IT improvements across the administration. More details on these investments are detailed below, and a one page document describing real successes of the Enterprise Lean program.

      More information about the governor’s plan for early learning is outlined below. For additional details about the Governor’s budget, visit and follow the conversation on Twitter at #BetterMN.

      In the News

      Stillwater Gazette
      Mayors support governor’s local-aid plan

      Five mayors of Minnesota’s metro cities on Wednesday (Feb. 20) at the State Capitol spoke in support of Gov. Mark Dayton’s plan to put more money into Local Government Aid (LGA).

      The mayors are part of a task force of about 25 appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton. The initiative to review and discuss policy issues related to LGA was announced three weeks ago by Department of Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans.

      Mayor Debbie Goettel of Richfield was one of five metro area mayors speaking in favor of Gov. Mark Dayton’s plan to reform Local Government Aid. Goettel said the task force is looking at the first and second ring suburbs and realizing that they have aged and, in some areas, must be redeveloped. This redevelopment comes with its challenges and stresses the infrastructure, Mayor Goettel said.

      KEYC – Mankato
      College Students Welcome Dayton Higher Education Funding

      Governor Dayton's higher education proposals get a warm reception from area college students.

      Larry Pogemiller, the Director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education made a stop in Mankato to speak with college students of area schools, and find out what they think of the governor's proposed budget that would add an additional $240 million to the state's higher education funding.
      Pogemiller says, "Is the balance right? Some investment in internships and apprenticeships, some financial aid investment. And then some institutional investment to maintain quality faculty. Just feedback from students directly."

      Officials and students from MSU, SCC, Bethany, and Gustavus talked with Pogemiller about their experiences.

      Minnesota Public Radio
      Revenue Department pushes back against criticism of Dayton tax plan

      The Minnesota Department of Revenue released a study today saying Gov. Dayton's tax plan would be fairer to low and middle income Minnesotans than the current system.

      "The bottom line is that the fourth tier tax increase and the homeowner property tax rebates are both very progressive and large enough to more than offset the impact of the more regressive portions of the full proposal," the department said in the bulletin.

      The department's findings are based on the so-called SUITS Index that measures for progressivity.