Skip to:

Office of the Governor Blog

RSS Feed


Showing posts tagged with Commerce. Show all posts

Dayton, Branstad: Don't mess with the RFS

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Transportation, Greater Minnesota, Commerce, Agriculture

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad

Governor Mark Dayton Governor Terry BranstadWe are governors from neighboring states and different political parties. We don't agree on everything, but we stand united in our belief that our nation needs a robust Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and together in our opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to weaken the RFS.

Since Congress enacted the RFS in 2005 by huge bipartisan margins, it has provided the secure policy foundation that rural America needs to continue investments in renewable fuels. Those investments yield excellent returns. They diversify our nation's energy portfolio, clean the air, grow opportunities for businesses, create good paying jobs in rural America, add value to farm products, and give consumers lower-cost choices at the pump.

Big Oil dislikes renewable fuels, and has used its clout in Washington D.C. and at state capitals to thwart their progress. When Minnesota became the first state to require all gasoline sold to contain at least 10 percent ethanol (E10), Big Oil predicted fearsome disasters. They warned that ethanol would clog cars' carburetors and explode their engines, disrupt supply lines causing gasoline shortages, and increase the price at the pump for consumers. None of that happened.

The petroleum industry also claimed that the RFS causes higher fuel prices. In fact, the opposite has proven true. On February 4, 2014, regular gasoline in Cresco, Iowa, a town about 15 minutes from the Iowa-Minnesota border, was selling for $3.44 per gallon. E10 was selling at $3.13 per gallon. E85 fuel, which is 85 percent ethanol, was selling for $2.60 per gallon at the same station - 84 cents per gallon cheaper than regular gasoline.

A recent study at Iowa State University found that, "Feasible increases in the ethanol mandate in 2014 will cause a small decline in the price of E10. Our results should reassure those in Congress and the Administration who are worried that following the RFS commitment to expanding the use of renewable fuels will result in sharply higher fuel prices for consumers."

The Environmental Protection Agency previously estimated that by 2022, renewable fuels would replace 13.6 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel consumption and save motorists nearly $12 billion each year. The EPA also predicted that this displacement of gasoline and diesel would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 138 million metric tons, equivalent to removing 27 million vehicles from our nation's highways. Ethanol can increase competition and save consumers money, provide real choice at the pump, and drive innovations and efficiencies that are good for the economy.


Read more >>


Highway Construction Projects Receive $300 Million from State

Posted on January 06, 2014 at 1:36 PM
Categories: Budget, Transportation, Commerce

Photo content: Flickr User Doug Kerr; US Highway 10 – Minnesota

Photo content: Flickr User Doug Kerr; US Highway 10 – Minnesota

Minnesotans depend on their roads, bridges, and highways every day. Minnesota businesses also require access to good roads as they move goods and services to market.  Recently, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that ten highway construction projects will receive funding through the state’s new $300 million Corridors of Commerce program. These new projects will reduce travel times and improve safety for Minnesota citizens and help businesses transport their products more efficiently.


Read more >>


New License Plate Unveiled At Pheasant Opener

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Categories: Outdoors, Public Safety, Commerce

The new license plate unveiled at Pheasant Opener

The new license plate unveiled at the Pheasant Opener.


On Friday Governor Mark Dayton announced that a new ring-necked pheasant critical habitat license plate will be available later this fall. Governor Dayton made the announcement during the Governor’s Banquet at the Pheasant Hunting Opener, hosted by the City of Madelia. 

The first critical habitat plate was created in 1995 as a way for Minnesota citizens to voluntarily contribute to conservation and show that commitment with a special outdoor-themed vehicle license plate. More than 100,000 Minnesota vehicles have critical habitat license plates, with the 2002 loon plate being the most popular. These plates generate about $3.5 million per year. They have generated more than $44 million for habitat conservation since the program began. 

Motorists who have purchased habitat plates have helped wildlife in every corner of the state. They have funded Wildlife Management Area acquisitions, trout stream easements and helped support loons, eagles, rare plants and many other species. The new pheasant plate will help us preserve some of our rapidly disappearing grasslands – which are critical to the future of pheasants.


Read more >>


Minnesota Eighth on Forbes List of Best States for Business

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Categories: Jobs, Commerce, Economy

Minnesota ranked eighth in the “Forbes 2013 List of the Best States for Business,” jumping 12 spots from a year earlier on the strength of an improving economy, according to the publication.
 
Minnesota’s overall 2013 ranking was the biggest improvement of any state in the eighth-annual study, which looks at six key metrics: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
 
Virginia ranked No. 1 in the study, followed by North Dakota, Utah, North Carolina, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas.

Read more >>


Minnesota Businesses Looking to the Future

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM
Categories: Economy, Jobs, Commerce

During the past year, Minnesota’s economy has largely outperformed most of the United States. A recent survey finds Minnesota firms that provide business services are even more optimistic about next year.

The survey is just another indication that Minnesota employers believe our economy is headed in the right direction. Increased business confidence means new hiring and more investments – fueling further economic growth. In the future, Minnesotans can expect new and better job opportunities.

Here are some key findings from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development survey:
  • 77 percent of Minnesota firms anticipate their sales revenue to grow or remain stable in the coming year.
  • 75 percent of business services firms expect their profits to increase or remain stable in the next four quarters, compared with 62 percent last year.
  • 53 percent of firms plan to increase the wages of employees during the next four quarters.
  • 50 percent said their costs remained steady during the past year.
  • 44 percent of firms expect employment to increase during the next year compared with only 36 percent last year. 

Read more >>


The Minnesota Investment Fund Supports Job Growth, Leverages Private Investment

Posted on June 21, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Commerce, Economy, Jobs


Polaris Industries' new R&D facility, supported in part by the Minnesota Investment Fund, will be completed this summer.
A new Polaris R&D facility, supported in part by the Minnesota Investment Fund, is set to open this summer. Photo courtesy of Polaris Industries. 

Last fall, Polaris Industries began a 144,000 sq. ft. expansion of their research and development facility in Wyoming, MN. The addition relieves overcrowding at the facility and keeps the company growing right here in Minnesota.

Currently, the research facility provides 375 good jobs for Minnesotans. After construction is completed later this summer, the Polaris facility will be twice as large and capable of employing an additional 350 people.
 
The Minnesota Investment Fund, which supports companies creating good jobs, is helping Polaris with the expansion. The state of Minnesota is providing them with a $400,000 loan. In return, Polaris has agreed to create at least 115 permanent jobs during the next two years. 

The fund has helped other companies create new jobs for Minnesotans too. During 2012 alone, the Minnesota Investment Fund helped Gerdau Long Steel in St. Paul, Stream Global Services in Eagan, and AAR Aircraft Services in Duluth expand: creating hundreds of good-paying jobs across the state.
 

Read more >>


New Minnesota Trade Office Helps Business, Creates Jobs, and Improves Our Economic Competitiveness

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM
Categories: Commerce, Economy, Trade Mission

Increasing exports and attracting new foreign investment are critical to creating jobs and growing Minnesota’s economy. One proven strategy for improving Minnesota’s economic competitiveness is opening international trade offices. In 2005, when Minnesota opened its first office in Shanghai office, our exports to China increased 71 percent during the first year!

Today, Gov. Mark Dayton announced that Minnesota will be opening a trade office in the Dusseldorf-Cologne region of Germany. Like the trade office in Shanghai, the European office will promote Minnesota exports and encourage foreign investment into our state. 

Germany’s central location in Europe and its strong economy make it an excellent location for the new office. Last year, Germany was Minnesota’s fifth-largest trade partner with $728 million in sales, while the European Union accounted for 20 percent of state exports in 2012 ($4 billion). 


Read more >>


Governor Dayton Departs On Trade Mission To Europe

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Categories: Trade Mission, Commerce

Stortinget: Parliamentary building in Oslo, Norway
Photo of Stortinget, the parliamentary building in Oslo, Norway. Photo Credit: Flicker user, Chris Brown.

Governor Dayton along with a delegation of 35 business executives, government officials and higher education leaders landed in Europe this morning, kicking-off their nine-day trade mission to Germany, Sweden and Norway from June 12 to 21.

The goal is to build relationships on this mission that will attract new export opportunities for Minnesota businesses and encourage companies in those countries to expand their operations in the state.

Delegates sign up for the trade mission because it offers them a unique opportunity to:
  • Explore new trade opportunities;
  • Gather market insights;
  • Acquire business contacts and potential partners and distributors; and
  • Work to attract investment to Minnesota.
The group will visit key business centers in Berlin, Dusseldorf/Cologne, Oslo and Stockholm, meet with business leaders and government officials, and participate in networking events and other activities.

Past trade missions have proved highly successful. During the governor’s last trade mission to China in June, several Minnesota companies and their Chinese partners closed deals. For example, Carlson Rezidor signed a deal for three new Radisson Hotels in Chinese cities; Nova-Tech Engineering, an agricultural robotics developer and manufacturer, closed a collaborative deal with a major poultry company.

Read more >>


Minnesota Ranked Among Best States to Own a Small Business

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Categories: Commerce, Jobs

"When it comes to how business-friendly an area is, smaller companies care about much more than just taxes." - Governing Magazine

This month, Governing Magazine (one of the most credible sources of nonpartisan news and policy analysis covering state and local governments) reported the results of a new survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation ranking the Most (and Least) Small Business-Friendly States in the country. 
 
According to the survey, Minnesota ranked 11th in the nation for overall business friendliness, confirming our state remains one of the best places in the United States to start, own, and expand a small business.
 
According to Governing Magazine:
 
“When it comes to how business-friendly an area is, smaller companies care about much more than just taxes...Training and networking programs were found to be the best predictor of overall scores, followed by a state’s economy and licensing requirements.
 
“In fact, the majority of businesses surveyed didn’t think their taxes were unfairly high. The larger the business, though, the more negatively it perceived its taxes.
 
“When a small business owner decides where to set up shop, they’re most likely to choose where they already reside. For this reason, taxes typically aren’t their chief concern initially, said Katie McConnell, a senior associate with the National League of Cities’ Center for Research and Innovation.”
 
Neighboring Wisconsin ranked 17th for overall business friendliness, and Iowa ranked 21st. In addition to being ranked the 11th best state to own a small business, Minnesota received an A- grade for overall business friendliness, which was a marked improvement from the B grade Minnesota received in 2012.
 
You can read more about the survey, and how Minnesota’s small business environment compares to other states, on the Governing.com website. 

Governor Dayton’s Budget Would Make Minnesota’s Economy Stronger

Minnesotans need a strong economy we can depend on for good jobs, living wages, and a strong middle class. That is why Governor Dayton’s budget invests in measures to create jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and make Minnesota a more competitive place to do business. These investments will yield new jobs, vibrant communities, and additional state and local tax revenues that will far exceed these initial investments.
 
Investing an Additional $86.5 million in Economic Development
Creating thousands of jobs by leveraging $1.475 billion in private investment.

  • $30 Million for the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF). The Governor’s budget provides loans to bring new businesses to Minnesota, and help existing businesses expand. This will increase MIF tenfold, create thousands of new jobs, and leverage $800 million in additional investment.
  • $25 Million for the Minnesota Job Creation Fund. The Governor’s budget invests in a new statewide performance-based incentive program for businesses that will create thousands of jobs and leverage $450 million in additional private investment. 
  • $20 Million for the Transportation Economic Development (TED) Program. The Governor’s budget invests in road and bridge improvements that promote economic development. This measure will create thousands of jobs and leverage $35 million in local and private investment.
  • $10 Million for the Housing and Job Growth Initiative. The Governor’s budget invests in affordable housing to support business expansion in Greater Minnesota communities.
  • $1.5 Million for the Global Competitiveness Initiative. The Governor’s budget invests $1.5 million to: 1) establish three new trade offices in foreign markets; 2) help small businesses participate in trade activities; and 3) communicate the benefits of doing business in Minnesota.
  • $4 Million for Forestry. The Governor’s budget increases funding for the forestry program at the Department of Natural Resources.  This will allow the department to harvest more wood, increasing the supply and lowering the price of wood available to companies that produce forest products. 
  • $346.5 million Unemployment Insurance Tax Cut. The Governor’s budget cuts UI taxes by $346.5 million, saving Minnesota employers more money to invest in their businesses and our economy.
  • E-Fairness. The Governor’s budget collects sales tax for online transactions, totaling around $5 million per year, which will level the playing field for businesses that compete with online retailers.

Read more >>


Results Minnesota: Reforming State Government

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 8:30 AM
Categories: Reform, Commerce, Economy, Technology

Governor Dayton, Commissioner Cassellius, and Melissa Schaller, Special Education Director for Intermediate School District #917 compare original TSES and reduced TSES packets.

Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton remains committed to building a better Government for a Better Minnesota.

One important aspect of continuing this progress is improving the value, efficiency, and accountability of state government. Building a better government for Minnesota requires new thinking, and changing the way the state conducts its business. Governor Dayton is focused on using every tax dollar wisely to deliver valuable services that improve the lives of Minnesotans. This includes using new technology to improve efficiency and reduce waste, controlling cost increases, and eliminating programs that don’t work.

In the Spotlight

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has significantly reduced time-consuming, burdensome paperwork for special education teachers and administrators. MDE reduced a 279 page special education manual to just 16 pages – a 94 percent reduction in paperwork.

The manual used to take several teachers and administrators more than 40 hours to complete. But Melissa Schaller, a special education administrator from Rosemount, completed the new manual by herself in less than three hours.

Reducing unnecessary piles of paperwork means administrators and teachers can direct more of their time and attention to students with disabilities.

Read more >>


Pages 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 Next

Categories



    view as list

    Archive