Yesterday, thousands of Minnesotans joined the Governor Dayton at the State Capitol as he signed the Freedom to Marry bill. We gathered some of our favorite tweets from the day to share on our blog. Thank you to everyone who joined the Governor and legislators yesterday at the Capitol and on Twitter on this historic day! Follow Governor Dayton on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.
Today, Governor Mark Dayton, joined by Representative Karen Clark, Senator Scott Dibble, Senator Tom Bakk, Representative Paul Thissen, and thousands of supporters, signed HF 1054/SF 925 into law, granting all Minnesotans the freedom to marry.
Governor Dayton's Remarks as Prepared for Delivery:
What a difference a year and an election make in Minnesota! Last year, there were concerns that marriage equality would be banned forever. Now, my signature will make it legal in two and one-half months.
First and foremost, I want to thank the people of Minnesota, who voted last year to defeat a very destructive Constitutional Amendment, and also to elect courageous legislators, who would support this monumental social advance.
I want to thank the activists, all of you here tonight and the thousands more throughout our state, who worked so long and so hard to win this extraordinary victory.
At the risk of leaving out many deserving leaders, special recognition should go to Richard Carlbom, who brilliantly masterminded last year’s and this year’s campaigns.
Congratulations to the chief authors, Representative Karen Clark and Senator Scott Dibble, who shepherded this bill along an often difficult path – and who have now succeeded, to the amazement of some and the delight of many.
Thank you to the House and Senate leaders: Speaker Paul Thissen, Majority Leader Tom Bakk, Majority Leader Erin Murphy, and Asst. Majority Leader Katie Sieben for supporting and guiding this legislation.
And I want to express my utmost admiration to the Republican and Democratic legislators, who voted for this bill. Many of them are standing behind me, and they deserve to hear our gratitude.
Last week, I suggested that you legislators read John F. Kennedy’s book: Profiles in Courage. Instead, you wrote its latest chapter.
By your political courage, you join that pantheon of exceptional leaders, who did something extraordinary – you changed the course of history for our state and our nation.
Our country’s founding principle was stated 237 years ago in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
That principle was later embodied in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Unfortunately, our nation’s founding fathers had bold aspirations, but a bad implementation. They wrongly denied those equal rights and protections to women, African-Americans, and other racial minorities.
They also left out GLBT men and women, if you believe, as I do, that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness certainly include the right to marry the person you love.
Since then, our country’s most important progress has been to extend those equal rights and protections to everyone. That progress has often been difficult, controversial, and initially divisive. However, it has always been the next step ahead to fulfilling this country’s promise to every American.
It is now my honor to sign into law this next step for the State of Minnesota to fulfill its promise to every Minnesotan.
Today, May 14, 2013, marks the thirty-eighth anniversary of the fall of Long Cheng, a United Hmong air base in Laos during the Laotian Civil War. Many Hmong refugees and their families immigrated to the United States after the civil war, and today over 60,000 Hmong Americans are residents of Minnesota.
Like many immigrant groups before them, Hmong refugees resettled to the United States to escape war and persecution, to find opportunities, and to better their lives and the lives of their children.
Hmong Americans are helping build a vibrant and diverse Minnesota, contributing socially, politically, and economically to our state. In honor and recognition of the history, culture, and contributions of Hmong Americans in Minnesota, Governor Dayton has proclaimed today, May 2013, to be Hmong American Day in Minnesota.
VIDEO: KSTP – Inaugural Hmong American Day
PROCLAMATION: Hmong American Day in Minnesota
The 66th annual Governor’s Fishing Opener will kick off this weekend in the Park Rapids Lakes Area, a popular destination for outdoor recreation. This extended weekend in northwest Minnesota will be full of fun activities for the whole family, leading up to opening day across Minnesota on Saturday, May 11, 2013.
To celebrate the kick off of the fishing season across Minnesota, Governor Dayton has launched a “Best Minnesota Fishing Opener Photo” contest for his new Facebook Cover photo. To participate, all you need to do is submit a photo you have taken during fishing opener weekend in Minnesota. Please submit your entries to Dayton.email@example.com by Friday, May 17, 2013 (See details at the bottom of the blog).
The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. The event was designed to promote the development of Minnesota’s recreation industry, and in recent years, it has served as a kick-off celebration for the summer tourism season. Travel and tourism generate $11.3 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota annually.
Fishing in Minnesota is more than a pastime; it’s vital to the economy and offers so much more beyond its face-value. Help support a Minnesota tradition and get your fishing license today, either online or at any DNR supported location. See you at the lake!
Photo contest submissions:
Please include your name, a description of the photo, the location where the photo was taken, and the date that the photo was taken with your email submission to Dayton.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Governor will choose a photo that will be displayed on his Facebook cover on Friday, May 17, 2013.
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.
Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointment of a seven-member board responsible for managing and operating MNsure – a new health insurance marketplace where Minnesotans can choose quality, affordable health insurance. The board, which was established by law earlier this legislative session, was chosen through the state’s open appointments process from a pool of 112 candidates. Board members will serve staggered four-year terms. With the exception of the Commissioner of Human Services, all members are limited to two terms of service.
“The individuals chosen to serve on this board represent a broad diversity of experience and expertise,” said Governor Dayton. “Their collective breadth of knowledge, and each board member’s shared commitment to the successful development and delivery of this new health care marketplace, will serve the best interests of all Minnesotans.”
According to state law, membership on the board must include representation from outside the seven-county Metro area. One of the six members must have experience representing the needs of vulnerable populations and persons with disabilities. All appointed members of the board have demonstrated that they do not have any conflicts of interest. Board members appointed today by Governor Dayton include:
Thompson Aderinkomi , Founder and CEO, RetraceHealth. Mr. Aderinkomi has more than 14 years of experience helping health care organizations use their data effectively. Currently, he is the founder and CEO of RetraceHealth, which is an innovative technology provider that delivers primary care services to members. He began his career managing the finance department of CareMate Home Healthcare. From there, he performed program evaluations, created predictive models, and studied health insurance reimbursement for Ingenix (which is now Optum Health) and Medica Health Plans. In 2009, Aderinkomi co-founded Evidity, which is a health-care data analytics firm that serves the physician market. He is also serves as the board chair for WATCH MN, a domestic abuse monitoring agency, and as a board member of Youthprise, an education focused group working to increase the quality, accessibility, sustainability, and innovation of opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.
Pete Benner, Independent Consultant. Mr. Benner is a consultant on health care, labor relations, and public policy. Prior to consulting, he worked for many years with AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees). Benner is the former Executive Director of AFSCME Council 6, where he was the lead negotiator with the State of Minnesota in designing the insurance benefits for state employees and their families. He also sat on many boards and commissions relating to health care including: Minnesota Health Care Access Commission, Minnesota Health Care Commission, Minnesota Citizen’s Forum on Health Care Costs, Governor’s Health Care Transformation Task Force, Governor’s Health Care Reform Task Force, Minnesota Community Measurement, and the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement.
Brian Beutner, CEO, mPay Gateway. Mr. Beutner is a consultant working with start-ups and their founders as they try to expand their innovative concepts into viable businesses. Until April 2013, Mr. Beutner was the CEO of mPay Gateway, a venture-banked healthcare software company that has developed financial products and services to support healthcare payments. In the past, Mr. Beutner spent seven years with UnitedHealth Group working in various capacities, including General Counsel of UnitedHealthcare. At UnitedHealth Group, he helped found its financial services business and chartered Exante Bank, now Optum Health Bank, which is the first successful bank built by a healthcare company. Mr. Beutner previously served as General Counsel of Jostens and practiced law with Oppenheimer Wolff and Donnelly. Beutner served as an adjunct professor at Hamline University Law School, where he created and taught courses on business and healthcare. He currently serves on the Hamline University School of Law Health Law Institute Advisory Board. Mr. Beutner previously served on the board of directors of the Courage Center Foundation; the foundation is a supporting organization to the Courage Center.
Kathryn Duevel, OBGYN, Affiliated Community Medical Care (retired). Dr. Duevel is an OBGYN physician. She worked at Affiliated Community Medical Centers in Willmar, Minnesota for more than 20 years until June 2012. In addition to her MD degree from the University of MN, she has a Master of Health Care Delivery Science from Dartmouth College. Dr. Duevel was previously a member of the executive board of the MN ACOG(American College of OBGYN) and Rice Memorial Hospital's Medical Staff Executive Committee while also serving as Vice Chief of Staff and Credentials Chair. She currently leads Rice Memorial Hospital’s OB Patient Safety Committee and was a founding board member for the Kandiyohi Area Family YMCA. She has served as a volunteer physician with the Remote Area Medical Women’s Health Program in Guyana, South America and African Medical Mission in South Africa.
Tom Forsythe, Vice President of Global Communications, General Mills. Mr. Forsythe has worked for General Mills for the past 22 years, where he is currently Vice President of Global Communications. He has served as a board member of Twin Cities Public Television, Twin West Chamber of Commerce, the Minnesota State University Board, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, where he also served for a year as Chairman of the Board. In 1991, Forsythe worked on behalf of the business community advancing health care reform, including the legislation that created Minnesota Care. Forsythe was later appointed by Governor Arne Carlson to the Minnesota Health Care Commission, and by Governor Tim Pawlenty to the Minnesota Health Care Transformation Task Force, where he advocated for market-based, consumer-oriented health care.