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Showing posts from December 2011. Show all posts

Building a Better Minnesota

Posted on December 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM
Categories: Economy, Jobs, Health, Education, Transportation

A year into Governor Mark Dayton’s first term, Minnesotans are seeing the value of a Governor who is committed to putting people back to work, protecting middle-class taxpayers and changing the way government does business.  Governor Dayton has made significant progress towards these goals by engaging the ideas of legislators from both parties, our state’s businesses, and most importantly, the people of Minnesota.
When he was inaugurated, Governor Dayton said that the way to get Minnesota working again was by working together.  His first year in office has proven that to be true.  Our state is recovering from tough times, but with Governor Dayton’s direction our state agencies continue to do more with less.  The Governor has been relentlessly committed to creating more jobs here in our state, and creating the kind of environment where private businesses can thrive.

“Let us dedicate ourselves to rebuilding a successful state, one that again is the envy of the nation, a leader of the world. Let it be written that we were Minnesotans who led the way to something better than before, who created something greater than ourselves, who achieved together what none of us could have accomplished on our own.”
- Governor Mark Dayton, January 3, 2011

Getting Minnesota Back to Work

- Under the Governor’s leadership Minnesota continues to outpace the national economic recovery.  Minnesota’s unemployment rate is 5.9 percent, compared to 8.6 percent for the rest of the country.  There are 53,000 more Minnesotans at work now, compared to the bottom of the recession. 

- Governor Dayton worked to pass a $500 million bonding bill, putting thousands of Minnesotans back to work improving bridges, roads and infrastructure.


Minnesota receives $45 million Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant

Posted on December 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM
Categories: Education

The White House announced Friday that Minnesota had been selected to receive a $45 million education grant from Race to the Top.

The Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant will focus on efforts to improve and boost early childhood education. Minnesota was one of nine states selected to receive a grant.

"Today’s announcement fulfills Governor Mark Dayton’s promise to utilize a collaborative, community based approach in applying for the grant and furthers the Administration’s commitment toward positioning Minnesota as a national leader in early education reform," the Park Rapids Enterprise reports.

After the announcement, Governor Dayton held a news conference at the Capitol.

Minnesota Public Radio reports:

At a Capitol news conference, Gov. Mark Dayton described Minnesota's award as great news in several ways.

"It's a great day for everyone who cares about the future of our children," said Dayton. "And it's a great day for Minnesota, because it's a day that Minnesota has been recognized nationally, where we should be, as one of the preeminent leaders in the nation when it comes to such important areas as early childhood education."


Governor Dayton proclaims Learn a Snow Sport Month in Minnesota

Posted on December 19, 2011 at 10:18 AM
Categories: Outdoors

On Friday, Governor Dayton held a press conference at Welch Village and proclaimed January, 2012 to be Learn a Snow Sport Month in Minnesota.

Each year, thousands of Minnesotans embrace winter by trekking to one of the many ski and snowboard areas across the state in an effort to take advantage of snow sports. The proclamation notes that "learning a winter sport such as skiing or snowboarding provides an excellent way to make the most of our winter weather by using the great outdoors as a healthy alternative for cabin fever."
Governor Dayton was joined by John Edman, Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism; Leigh Nelson, Owner, Welch Village; Chris Walch, CFO, Welch Village; Perry Eisert, VP and Hill Manager; Stephanie Prink, Public Relations Manager, Welch Village; and Peter Zotalis, Ski and Snowboard Services Director, Welch Village.

Ski-Photo2.jpg Ski-Photo1.jpg


Rothman: Thousands of low-income households now warmer, more energy efficient

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 7:50 AM
Categories: Economy, Environment

By Mike Rothman, Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Commerce
As winter settles over Minnesota, more than 18,200 low-income households across our state are a little warmer, and a lot more energy efficient. That’s thanks to an effective partnership between the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources (DER), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and our local partners across Minnesota.
More than $132 million in federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) gave Minnesota’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) a big boost in 2009. Working together, we used that limited one-time funding to produce permanent energy savings for thousands of senior citizens (7,490), disabled Minnesotans (5,770), and low-income families with children (22,200).
Initially, Minnesota set a goal of weatherizing 17,000 low-income households by March 2012. We were one of the first states in the nation to meet our goal; in fact exceeding that goal several months ago. Now, with $7 million and less than 4 months left, the State of Minnesota is well its way to serving a total of 19,000 to 20,000 households by this spring, stretching every dollar to provide the maximum benefit to Minnesota families, our environment, and our economy.
Yesterday, Governor Mark Dayton and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu highlighted the nation-leading work Minnesota has been doing to make money- and energy-saving investments in the homes and lives of low-income families. Governor Dayton pointed out in particular how important this program has been at a time when Minnesota families are struggling – not only to pay their utility bills, but to find jobs in a difficult economy.


Governor Dayton and Energy Secretary Chu: 18,000 Homes Weatherized in Minnesota

Posted on December 15, 2011 at 2:19 PM
Categories: Environment, Economy, Jobs

Today Governor Dayton joined U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on a conference call to announce that Minnesota has weatherized 18,000 homes, exceeding its goal under the Recovery Act by more than 400.

Under the Recovery Act, Minnesota was awarded $138 million to deliver energy efficient upgrades such as insulation, air-sealing, and more efficient heating and cooling systems in homes across the state.

Read the full announcement below:

Governor Dayton and Energy Secretary Chu Announce Major Recovery Act Milestone: 18,000 Homes Weatherized in Minnesota, 600,000 Nationwide
Recovery Act Program has Reduced Energy Bills for 18,000 Minnesota Households

Washington, DC -- U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu hosted a conference call today with Governor Mark Dayton to announce that states and territories across the nation have reached the goal of weatherizing more than 600,000 low-income homes– including more than 125,000 multi-family homes like apartment buildings – more than three months ahead of schedule. Under the Recovery Act, Minnesota was awarded $138 million to deliver energy efficient upgrades such as insulation, air-sealing, and more efficient heating and cooling systems in homes across the state. Through October, Minnesota has upgraded more than 18,000 homes, exceeding its goal under the Recovery Act by more than 400, and will continue weatherizing homes for the next few months with Recovery Act funds. The state reached this major milestone as part of its efforts with the Department to save energy and reduce home utility bills for families, while creating jobs in communities throughout the country.


Governor Dayton attends Yellow Ribbon ceremony in Duluth

Posted on December 15, 2011 at 10:39 AM
Categories: Veterans

Governor Dayton attended a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Proclamation Ceremony in Duluth yesterday to recognize four cities, a company and a network as the newest Yellow Ribbon entities.

The Yellow Ribbon cities proclaimed were Pine City, Hibbing, Chisholm and Grand Rapids. The Yellow Ribbon Network proclaimed was the Hibbing/Chisholm area and the Yellow Ribbon Company proclaimed was Cliffs Natural Resources.


The Yellow Ribbon Recognition Program pays tribute to communities with an exceptional record of caring, commitment and compassion for their military members and families through various programs and public works.

These communities have gone above and beyond. They have built an enduring network throughout key areas in support of Service Members and families that will be in place long after the yellow ribbons are untied. This commitment brings great pride to the people of Minnesota and the United States.


Star Tribune: Gov. Dayton and his team hit the road

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM
Categories: Education, Commerce, Economy

This weekend the Star Tribune highlighted the travels of Governor Dayton and his Administration across the state of Minnesota. Check out the article, "Gov. Dayton and his team hit the road," below:

Gov. Mark Dayton and his commissioners are fanning out across Minnesota.

Education, revenue, pollution control and agency heads are following their boss' lead by hitting the road to take the pulse of the people.

"I think it makes a better relationship between Minnesota citizens and their government," Dayton said. It is essential, he said, for administration officials to "get out from behind the desk and the office and really see firsthand what's going on there in the real world and get the dialogue going. I really encourage commissioners to do that. I am very proud of them for doing so."

As a candidate, Dayton toured Minnesota's 87 counties in 87 days, covering 9,000 miles in less than three months. At the tour's conclusion, he bragged that he'd probably been to more counties more often, "than all the other candidates combined."


Governor Dayton visits Neill Elementary School in Crystal

Posted on December 08, 2011 at 2:50 PM
Categories: Education

Today, Governor Dayton visited Edward D. Neill Elementary School in Crystal and stopped by a 4th grade classroom to view their robotics projects.

The Governor also attended the school's PRIDE Assembly, which celebrates school and student successes. At the assembly, Governor Dayton answered questions from the Student Council and announced the names of the students who received December's Student of the Month award. 




Governor Dayton proclaims TB-Free Day in Minnesota

Posted on December 07, 2011 at 2:00 PM
Categories: Agriculture, Health

Governor Dayton proclaimed today, December 7, 2011, as TB-Free Day in Minnesota, at a press conference honoring the dedication and perseverance of everyone involved in eliminating bovine TB from Minnesota.

For the past six years, Minnesota has worked to eradicate bovine TB and regain its statewide TB-Free Status. With the help of nearly 500 veterinarians, Minnesota producers have tested more than 800,000 head of cattle and Minnesota deer hunters and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have tested nearly 14,000 wild deer for TB.

Minnesota's efforts have raised the bar in disease eradication by showcasing how producers and local, state, and federal agencies should work together, work quickly, and work effectively to eliminate a disease. To read the proclamation, click here.


Education Department Announces Series of Statewide Meetings

Posted on December 06, 2011 at 1:09 PM
Categories: Education, Commerce, Environment

Today the Minnesota Department of Education announced a series of statewide public meetings to provide information about Minnesota’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver request.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and MDE staff will embark on a statewide tour to present information about Minnesota’s waiver request and plans for a new accountability system that will more accurately and fairly measure schools progress.

“While the goals of NCLB are noble and some aspects of the law have been effective, it’s clear Minnesota can, and must do better,” said Commissioner Cassellius. “That’s why Governor Dayton has taken the lead in making Minnesota one of the first states to create an accountability system that is more responsive to the needs of our students, our schools and our state. These meetings will provide the public an opportunity to hear about Minnesota's waiver request, ask questions and offer feedback.”

The first meetings will be held in Rochester on December 7 and in St. Cloud on December 14. To read the full announcement and for more information about the waiver request, click here.


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