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Governor Dayton Announces $70 Million Investment in 13 New Corridors of Commerce Transportation Projects

Posted on October 07, 2014 at 2:48 PM
Categories: Outdoors, Greater Minnesota, Public Safety, Transportation

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Governor Dayton announces Corridors of Commerce transportation projects


Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the acceleration of 13 more transportation projects in addition to the 14 prior to date. In 2014, Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested in the Corridors of Commerce initiative, which will be funding twelve of these plans. The final project – the expansion of Highway 371 to four lanes from Nisswa to Jenkins – was funded in part by $45 million in cost savings at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

“These projects will reduce travel times, improve safety for Minnesota citizens, and help our businesses transport their products more efficiently,” said Governor Dayton, who working with the Legislature in 2013 and 2014 invested over $331 million in the new Corridors of Commerce initiative. “The number of projects from all over our state, which sought financing from this program, underscores the acute need for more transportation funding.”

State savings through efficiencies will accelerate the Highway 371 expansion project by two years, which means that MnDOT will begin construction in 2016, two years earlier than planned.  This was made possible with funding from new investments in the Corridors of Commerce initiative, as well as the cost savings. Altogether, 27 transportation projects have received Corridors of Commerce funding since November 2013.


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Minnesota leads Electronic Waste Recycling Initiative

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM
Categories: Environment, Earth Day, Technology, Public Safety, Outdoors

Governor Dayton today visited Richfield-based Best Buy to thank the company as it celebrates over one billion pounds of consumer electronic recycled since 2009. In honor of Best Buy’s progress and to highlight the continued importance of recycling, the Governor also declared it to be “Electronic Waste Recycling Recognition Day” in Minnesota.


“Best Buy is an industry leader in helping consumers to recycle their old electronics,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Their efforts are good for Minnesota's environment and consumers. I thank Best Buy for their outstanding leadership and for their continuing commitment to responsible environmental stewardship.”

Today’s celebration builds on Minnesota’s 2007 Electronic Recycling Act, which requires all computer and TV monitors to be recycled when discarded and placed specific requirements on electronic manufacturers' treatment of waste.

What is electronic waste?
E-waste, as it’s called, is what’s created when electronic materials are disposed. This can include cellphones, computers, printers, televisions, and digital cameras. As technology continues to advance and we continue to upgrade our devices, the amount of e-waste we produce continues to rise as well.

Unlike throwing away a piece of paper, however, disposing of electronics can have a huge impact on the environment and on our health; e-waste contains high levels of lead, cadmium, and other chemicals that can pollute the ground and water supply if they aren’t properly disposed of. Electronic waste should always be taken to certified recycling facilities that are trained to manage these hazardous chemicals.

To find electronic waste collectors in Minnesota and help ensure your e-waste is properly disposed of, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website. 

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Governor Dayton with Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly



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Governor Dayton Reconvenes Stakeholders for Discussion on Propane Supply and Demand

Posted on September 09, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Categories: Trade Mission, Environment, Public Safety, Outdoors

For more than 200,000 households in Minnesota, propane is the primary source of heat. With winter steadily approaching, Governor Mark Dayton is reconvening stakeholders today in Saint Paul to discuss the current propane supply and any factors that could impact demand for heating fuel this winter.
 
After an unprecedented propane shortage last winter, Governor Dayton is convening today’s propane summit in a proactive effort to help mitigate propane supply shortages in the winter months ahead. The Governor will be joined by representatives from the propane, agriculture and rail industries as well as his Commissioners of Agriculture, Commerce, Pollution Control, and Transportation for the discussion.
 
“During last winter’s propane shortage, this group worked to ensure the safety of all Minnesotans,” said Governor Dayton, who first convened propane stakeholders and state regulators last January. “Working together in the months ahead, they will do everything possible to prevent shortages, reduce drastic price increases, and provide all Minnesotans with fuel for the fall harvest and for their winter comfort and safety.”


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Governor Dayton's 2014 State of the State Remarks

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM
Categories: Jobs, Transportation, Reform, Public Safety, Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon, Greater Minnesota, Education, Economy

Governor Dayton addresses a joint convention of the Minnesota legislature at his 2014 State of the State Address

Governor Dayton addresses a joint convention of the Minnesota legislature at his 2014 State of the State Address

Remarks of Governor Mark Dayton – As prepared for delivery
State of the State Address
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

 
 
When I ran for Governor four years ago, I promised “A Better Minnesota.”  Tonight, I can report that the state of our State is better – much better -- than before.  It’s better for us, and it’s better for those who will inherit it from us.  But the economic growth and social progress we have achieved, also reminds us of the work we still have left to do.
 
Becoming a parent introduces a longer-term perspective.  We begin to consider the effects of our actions not only on our own lives, but also on lives that will extend beyond ours.
 
Becoming a grandparent, as I did a year-ago, thanks to my terrific son and wonderful daughter-in-law, Eric and Cory Dayton, who are in the gallery tonight, adds another generation to that timeline.  It also raises the stakes.
 
Somewhere down the road, my grandson and his generation will assess the state of the state we have left to them.  They will decide whether we, through our actions or inactions, made their lives better.  Let’s keep them in mind, as we choose our state’s path.  
 
In my first State of the State, three years ago, I said, “I know what we must do to create that better future for all of us. To progress, we have to invest.
 
“We have to invest in more jobs. Invest in better education.  In improved transportation.  In the health of our citizens, our communities, and our environment.  In the transformation of government services.”
 
In other words, we have to invest in growth, quality, and effectiveness.
 
 
JOBS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
 
Well, we invested in jobs.  Minnesota’s private sector and public sector both invested in jobs.  We are blessed with so many outstanding businesses, located everywhere in our state, operating everywhere in the world – and who, during the past three years, rediscovered that they can be successful and profitable here in Minnesota.  As a result, we have the 5th fastest growing economy in the country.
 
There are more than 2.8 million jobs in Minnesota today.  More jobs than ever before in our state’s history. 150,000 more jobs than when I became Governor three years ago.
 
This economic growth is happening all over our state.  A recent newspaper story was entitled, “Lots of jobs find a home on the prairie in southwestern Minnesota.”  It said that, for example, Jackson County reported a 5 percent increase in jobs during 2013.  The City of Jackson’s economic development coordinator is quoted saying that, “Everybody who is able to work, and willing, is probably employed.”
 
Jackson’s largest employer, AGCO, has doubled its workforce to more than 1,300.  Nearby, HitchDoc, which manufactures automotive and farm equipment for 300 customers, has grown from a dozen employees to 140.  “And I’m looking for another 30,” said the company’s owner, Brad Mohns. “I’m turning down work, because I can’t find enough employees.”
 
Some people believe there is no role for government in private sector expansion and job creation.  To see that they’re mistaken, just look around Minnesota.
 
There would not be a new stadium under construction in Minneapolis without the financial support of the City and the State of Minnesota.  7500 construction workers will have jobs building that stadium over the next couple years.  Over one-third of them will be people of color.
 
Located right next to the stadium will be a $400 million private sector development, the largest in a generation.  It will provide office space for 5000 Wells Fargo employees, residential apartments, stores and shops, a hotel, and a new, two-block public park.  Its construction will employ another 1000 Minnesotans.  And that is just the beginning of the area’s revitalization.
 


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Are You Prepared for Minnesota's Extreme Weather?

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 PM
Categories: Public Safety

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A storm cloud looms over Minnesota water. Photo credit to Flickr user JCK.

When severe weather is in the forecast, are you prepared? Governor Dayton declared this week to be “Severe Weather Awareness Week” to ensure that Minnesotans know how to protect themselves and their property during severe weather events.

Severe weather such as tornadoes, hail, winds, floods, and heat waves take physical, emotional and financial tolls on Minnesotans each year. In 2010, Minnesota set a state record with 104 tornadoes across the state, many of which left behind disastrous wreckage. Understanding the threat of severe weather and knowing how to react is essential and can even save lives.

In alignment with the goals of the “Unsession,” Governor Dayton supports legislation that would eliminate unnecessary special sessions during times of disaster. The Disaster Relief Reform initiative would avoid costly special legislative sessions and shift the focus to a swift distribution of aid where disaster strikes.


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Jobs Proposal Will Create Over 27,000 Minnesota Jobs

Posted on January 15, 2014 at 11:23 AM
Categories: Bonding, Public Safety, Transportation, Greater Minnesota, Jobs

Governor Mark Dayton today introduced a bonding proposal that would invest $986 million in infrastructure projects statewide, creating more than 27,000 Minnesota jobs. This new jobs bill would help addresses many of the state’s critical infrastructure needs, while strengthening Minnesota’s economy and getting people back to work.

$986 Million Bonding Bill Invests in Needed Infrastructure Improvements across Minnesota

ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today introduced a bonding proposal that would invest $986 million in infrastructure projects statewide, creating more than 27,000 Minnesota jobs1. This new jobs bill would help addresses many of the state’s critical infrastructure needs, while strengthening Minnesota’s economy and getting people back to work.

“My proposals will put thousands of Minnesotans to work throughout our state,” said Governor Dayton. “This bill gives priority to projects that are ready to go. Many of them have been delayed for years and are crucial to revitalizing downtown business centers, modernizing MnSCU and U of M buildings and classrooms, and improving parks, roads, and local infrastructure.”

Regional Civic Centers and Downtown Improvements
The Governor’s bonding proposal invests over $104 million in downtown areas and regional centers statewide – projects that will create jobs, attract additional private investment, and support economic development in communities across Minnesota. Some of those downtown investments include:

  • $37 million for the Rochester Mayo Civic Center expansion
  • $20 million for revitalization of Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis
  • $14.5 million for a new addition to the Mankato Civic Center (Minnesota State Arena)
  • $14 million to expand and renovate the Children’s Museum in downtown St. Paul
  • $11.6 million for an expansion of the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center
  • $6.9 million for renovation of the historic NorShor Theatre in Duluth
Higher Education
Governor Dayton’s bonding proposal also invests $233 million in our state’s higher education systems to ensure that Minnesota students have access to world-class labs, classrooms, and training for the jobs of the future. Highlights of education projects included in the Governor’s bill include:
  • $80 million for asset preservation and replacement at MnSCU and University of Minnesota campuses statewide ($40 million in HEAPR funds for each system)
  • $74 million for additional infrastructure improvements at 17 MnSCU campuses statewide
  • $56.7 million for renovation of the University of Minnesota’s Tate Science and Teaching building
  • $12 million for the University of Minnesota’s Research and Laboratory Improvement Fund

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Commonsense Reforms for Minnesota Veterans

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Veterans, Jobs, Public Safety, Military Servicemembers

Nearly 400,000 military veterans call Minnesota home. We are proud to have them. Our veterans have bravely answered the call to service. From the Battle of Gettysburg to Iraq and Afghanistan, Minnesotans have fought to protect our country and our freedoms. Many of Minnesota’s veterans don’t stop serving when they leave the military either.

In 2013, Governor Mark Dayton signed new legislation to help our veterans make the transition. The new reform makes it easier for active duty service members to transition into jobs on the police force. The bill allows military service members to take a police officer reciprocity exam while they are on active duty. Previously, service members were only allowed to take the reciprocity exam after they were honorably discharged. This change allows men and women in the Armed Forces to move into civilian service without a long delay in employment.


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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.


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Back to School Safety

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Categories: Public Safety

School buses ready for students 
Photo Credit: Flickr user Larry Darling

ST. PAUL — For parents and students, the start of a new school year brings anticipation and excitement. But there are also safety issues to consider. 

Whether students are starting kindergarten, finishing high school, or are away at college, parents are encouraged to make themselves aware of potential dangers and teach their children how to stay safe.
                                                                                                                          
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has compiled a list of issues and tips to help parents. From walking to school to surfing the Internet, kids will be safer if they and their parents abide by a few common-sense principles.

“If you’re providing transportation, access to technology, or any type of guidance to a student of any age, you have the ability to help assure they get safely through the school year,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman. “We’re providing this information because we want to be sure our students learn safety lessons the easy way — from adults who model safe behavior and give them good advice.”

Stay safe online — Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
As children become reacquainted with their peers, they’ll continue classroom conversations online. Sometimes, that includes teasing, humiliating or harassing others. Stop your child from cyberbullying or being a victim by learning the signs and stepping in to deal with the issue. Talk with your child about limiting what they share, including photos, and take steps to help your child be safe online. 
  • Take charge – establish use guidelines for electronic devices and understand the technology you’re bringing into your home.
  • Monitor – use monitoring software to supplement your attention to your child’s Internet use.
  • Communicate – talk with your children about protecting themselves and respecting others online.
  • Go to bca.dps.mn.gov to learn more about cyberbullying and steps you can take to prevent it. Report instances of inappropriate online contact to: www.missingkids.com/cybertipline.


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Budget for a Better Minnesota: Keeping Minnesotans Safe

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Categories: Budget, Education, Public Safety

Photo Credit: Flickr user David Lipscomb

Keeping our Kids Safe and Healthy

The health an safety of our youngest Minnesotans is at the center of Governor Dayton’s Budget for a Better Minnesota. His budget proposal includes new funding to help prepare Minnesota schools for emergencies, provide expanded mental health services to our students, and prevents child abuse by expanding proven outreach strategies to at-risk families.  

Every parent deserves the peace of mind that comes with knowing their child is safe at school. That’s why one of Governor Dayton’s budget priorities is the reestablishment of the Minnesota School Safety Center. The Center will provide training and education in the areas of emergency preparedness, response and recovery to schools, law enforcement, and outreach to community partners. 

Governor Dayton’s budget expands access to mental health services for children with complex, high-cost conditions through increased funding to schools. This proposal doubles the percentage of Minnesota schools providing these services, ensuring that more Minnesota students have the resources they need to be healthy in the classroom. Finally, Governor Dayton’s budget also invests in the prevention and early detection of child abuse. The proposal expands proven outreach programs to at-risk families.

Governor Dayton is committed to investing in all aspects of public safety. For more information about Governor Dayton’s budget, visit http://mn.gov/governor/budget or follow the conversation on Twitter at #BetterMN.


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