He was joined by Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, Public Safety Commissioner Mona Doman, Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey, Rep. Jim Davnie, Sen. Scott Dibble and anti-bullying advocate Tammy Aaberg.
“Bullying causes severe suffering and harm to the children, who are its victims; and we must do more to stop it. Children and parents in Minnesota should have confidence that their schools are safe places for learning and are free of harm or intimidation. The work of this Task Force is critical to ensuring that a healthy and nurturing school environment exists for every child in our state," said Governor Dayton.
The task force will be made up of no more than 15 members, to be appointed by Governor Dayton through the open appointments process. Members of the taskforce will include the Commissioners of the Department of Education, the Department of Human Rights, the Department of Public Safety and members of the legislature. The Governor will also appoint additional members with experience or expertise in psychology, education, pediatrics and anti-bullying advocacy.
The Opportunity Index ranked all 50 states using indicators such as the unemployment rate, poverty rate, on-time graduation rate, and others to assign a first of its kind Opportunity Score. Minnesota earned an Opportunity Score of 81.2 out of 100.
According to the announcement, Minnesota earned high marks:
Minnesota outperformed almost every other state in the union, earning an Opportunity Score of 81.2 out of 100. A few of the highlights that helped set Minnesota apart include:
- Weathering the Economic Downturn: During a time when a majority of the country is struggling to make ends meet, Minnesota’s residents earn a slightly higher on average income than most Americans ($57,007 vs. $51,425). In addition, their statewide poverty rate is just over 10% compared to the national average of 13.47% and their unemployment rate is significantly lower than the national unemployment rate (7.4% vs. 9.1%, respectfully).
The Office of Governor Dayton sent out its latest newsletter today: Supporting Minnesota's Veterans.
The newsletter highlights Governor Dayton's proposed expansion of the Minnesota GI Bill and the first Better Government for a Better Minnesota awards, including a detailed look at the award winners (see Spotlight on Reform).
It also covers the Governor's latest move to simplify Minnesota's environmental review process and provides an update on the work the Administration is doing with permitting reform to "move at the speed of commerce" so businesses can grow and retain jobs.
If you haven't signed up for the newsletter yet, click here.
Small businesses are crucial to creating jobs, boosting local economies and preserving neighborhoods in Minnesota.
According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are currently 28 million small businesses in the United States. Small businesses have created 65% of net new jobs over the last two decades and are the backbone of the economy and the glue that holds communities together.
Ninety-nine percent of U.S. consumers agree it is important to support small businesses in their communities, and 90% are willing to pledge support for a "Buy Local" initiative such as Small Business Saturday.
One of the greatest gifts a person can give is opening their heart and home to adopt a child or sibling group from the foster care system. There are thousands of children in foster care in Minnesota, waiting to be adopted by families who can provide safe, permanent homes.
Adopted children have a positive impact on families and bring great happiness and all children deserve to grow up in a nurturing environment where they feel loved, safe, and stable.
Family businesses are crucial to the continued success and vibrancy of Minnesota’s economy. They enhance our communities by providing stable and trustworthy services.
A large portion of the national economy is dependent on family businesses; 90% of businesses in the United States are family businesses, and 86% of new jobs in the country are created by family businesses.
Family businesses also generate 49% of our gross domestic product and employ 80% of the U.S. workforce. Cargill, which is headquartered in Minnesota, is the largest family business in the United States.
The continued strength of family businesses is essential to the future prosperity of our state.
He was joined by Senator Amy Klobuchar, Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association President Jeff Lindell, and four Future Farmers of America (FFA) students from Willmar High School.
Lindell, also a turkey farmer from Cannon Falls, Minnesota, announced the donation of $11,200 to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will be used to buy Minnesota grown turkey products for distribution to food shelves across the state. This is enough turkey to feed over 13,000 people.
Check out the photo below and the Star Tribune's photo gallery for a behind the scenes look.
Technology has been a driving and innovative force in Minnesota’s economy. The state's deep and diverse technology base, which crosses many sectors and fuels Minnesota's economic engine, helps provide the tax base and economic support for Minnesota's high quality of life.
Minnesota is committed to promoting the success, sustainability, and global competitiveness of its technology industries. It has become a powerhouse of technological innovation, fostering groundbreaking collaborations across educational and industrial spheres.
The continued health of Minnesota’s technology sector is crucial to the future prosperity of our state.
To read the proclamation, click here.
All Minnesota high schools can participate in College Application Week, and seventeen Minnesota high schools have indicated they are planning to pilot a program, with the assistance of trained school staff and volunteers, that aims to assist all their seniors in completing a college application. Irondale High School in New Brighton is one of 17 Minnesota high schools piloting a program this year to increase the number of college applicants.
Caption: Irondale High School students meet with Commissioner Cassellius (second from right) during her visit to to Irondale High School for College Application Week. State Representative Kate Knuth, an Irondale alumna, also visited with students.
"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.