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Destination Medical Center Will Create Tens of Thousands of New Jobs

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM
Categories: Health, Budget, Jobs


In Rochester earlier this week, Governor Mark Dayton was joined by Speaker Paul Thissen, Majority Leader Tom Bakk, House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, Mayor Ardell Brede, local legislators, and other community leaders in announcing a historic Destination Medical Center (DMC) initiative. This 20-year public-private partnership is aimed at securing Minnesota’s competitive position as an international hub for health care and medical advancement, and making the Rochester region an economic center for job growth and business development. The state’s $455 million investment in the project over the next two decades will leverage an estimated $5.6 billion in local and private investment, and create tens of thousands of new jobs in Minnesota.

“This initiative will secure Minnesota’s position as one of the world’s premiere destinations to receive medical treatment; it will create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for Minnesotans and make Rochester an even better place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Governor Dayton. “Those who said that state government should play no role in a project like this are just flat out wrong. This project demonstrates the value state government can bring to the table. By partnering with the private sector, we can accomplish great things together for the people of Minnesota.”

Over the last 150 years, Mayo Clinic has earned an international reputation for excellence in health care and medical advancement, treating more than half a million patients in its Rochester facilities every year. Today, Mayo Clinic is Minnesota’s largest employer, providing good-paying jobs for more than 40,600 Minnesotans, including over 33,000 in Rochester, and generating a $9.6 billion annual economic impact to the State of Minnesota – roughly 4 percent of the state’s total GDP. And each year, Mayo Clinic contributes approximately $1.5 billion in tax revenue to the State of Minnesota and local governments.


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Governor Dayton signs Historic Education Funding Bill into Law

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Categories: Budget, Education

E12_Bill_Signing.jpgGovernor Mark Dayton signed the K-12 Omnibus budget bill as Representative Erin Murphy, Speaker Paul Thissen, Representative Kathy Brynaert, and Representative Paul Marquart watched.

Today, Governor Mark Dayton was joined by legislative leaders as he signed the K-12 Omnibus budget bill – the capstone of a historic session for education in Minnesota. 

“This year, the DFL legislature has made the investments necessary to give our kids the quality education they deserve—and the quality education our future depends on.  All-day Kindergarten should have happened years ago; we’re catching up and we’re moving ahead.  This is money well spent, and I think Minnesotans will know that and believe it,” said Governor Dayton. 

This legislative session was highlighted by once in a generation investments in our schools, including our state’s first commitment to all-day kindergarten for every child.  Minnesota schools will see over $240 million in new funding thanks to the budget agreed to by the Governor and DFL leaders, including millions for early learning, testing reform and special education.  


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Budget for a Better Minnesota: Investing in the Middle Class

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Categories: Budget, Health, Jobs, Education

Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders at a post-session press conference

On Tuesday, Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders held a press conference to talk about middle class investments made in the Minnesota state budget

The budget passed by Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature puts fairness back in the system.  It strengthens Minnesota’s middle class and our economy by lowering property taxes and making investments in education and job creation to move Minnesota forward.

The budget closes the deficit for the long term and makes spending cuts and reforms.  It pays for new investments in education and job creation by asking the richest 2% of Minnesotans to pay their fair share and closing corporate tax loopholes. 

  • A Historic Investment in Education:  For the first time in its history, Minnesota will offer All-Day Kindergarten to every child in Minnesota.  We are giving thousands of children access to high-quality preschool and child care.  And we are freezing tuition for the next two years at the University of Minnesota and all MnSCU campuses and increasing student financial aid to make higher education more affordable for middle class families. With nearly a billion dollars in new money for education, this budget invests in every learner in Minnesota – from early education through higher education.  This new funding will help give our kids access to a world-class education and train the best-educated workforce in the world. This budget will also eliminate the school shift by the end of the next biennium. [ Read more ]
  • A Growing Economy that Creates Middle Class Jobs – Minnesotans need a strong economy for good jobs, living wages, and a strong middle class. That is why the Governor and the DFL legislature took bold action this session to create jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and make our state a more competitive place to do business. The budget enacted this session invests in job creation efforts that will leverage billions of dollars in private sector investment in Minnesota’s economy, make our state a more competitive place to do business, and get tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work.  [ Read more ]
  • Property Tax Relief for Minnesotans – Property taxes have increased by 86% statewide over the past decade, with increases falling hardest on the middle class, seniors, and small businesses. This session, we invested over $441 million in property tax relief for Minnesotans by restoring the state’s commitment to cities, counties, and school districts, and providing direct relief to homeowners and renters. [ Read more ]
  • A Fair Tax System – According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, low-and middle-income Minnesotans pay 20% more of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest Minnesotans. In order to honestly resolve our state’s budget deficit, make new investments to strengthen the middle class, and invest over $441 million in property tax relief for Minnesotans, the budget enacted this session asks the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans to pay 2% more in income taxes. With an average income of over $617,000, the richest 2% are the only Minnesotans who are asked to pay more in income taxes. [ Read more ]
  • A Fair and Balanced Budget – A decade of deep cuts, games and gimmicks have caused Minnesota to lurch from one budget crisis to the next; limiting our ability to fund education and job creation. This session, the Governor and DFL legislature put an end to roller-coaster deficits with a fair and balanced budget that puts Minnesota on sound fiscal footing and delivers investments to strengthen the middle class. [ Read more ]

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Putting Minnesota’s Kids on the Path to Success

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Budget, Education

Blog-Rally_for_MN-future Minnesotans came out to the "Pep Rally for Minnesota's Future."

This weekend, Governor Dayton joined House Speaker Paul Thissen, House Majority Leader Erin Murphy and education advocates to rally for Minnesota’s future. The cafeteria at St. Paul Central High Schools was filled with Minnesotans who came out to show their support for investing in education at all levels.

Jason Bolt, a father of five daughters, spoke about the importance of providing funding for All Day Kindergarten. His youngest daughter is currently in all-day Kindergarten, his oldest a freshman in college. He sees providing funding for all-day Kindergarten as a way to close the achievement gap, noting that he can see a night and day difference between his two youngest daughters who have benefited from all-day Kindergarten to his oldest daughters who only attended half-day Kindergarten.

“I believe that every single child in Minnesota deserves the right to go to Kindergarten all day to get that educational experience that they need.” Said Bolt, adding that middle class parents should not have to pay $3,500-$4,000 a year to have their kids go to school.


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Governor Dayton to hold town hall meetings in Moorhead, St. Cloud

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM
Categories: Education, Budget

blog_duluth_mtg.jpg

Last night in Duluth, nearly 200 Minnesotans gathered at a town hall meeting hosted by Governor Mark Dayton. It was the first in a series of the Governor’s ‘Meetings with Mark’ – an effort to engage Minnesotans in personal conversations about his proposed investments in education, job creation, and improving the lives of middle-class families. Two more Meetings with Mark have been scheduled for next week in Moorhead and St. Cloud at the following times and locations:


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Governor Dayton Hits the Road to Make the Case for Budget for Better Minnesota

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Categories: Budget, Greater Minnesota


ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Dayton is bringing his proposed ‘Budget for a Better Minnesota’ to the people of Minnesota. In an effort to engage Minnesotans in personal conversations about his proposed investments in education, job creation, and improving the lives of middle-class families, the governor will be hosting ‘Meetings with Mark’ in communities around the state, starting with a town hall meeting in Duluth on Wednesday, March 20th, at the Public Safety Building, 2030 North Arlington Avenue.

‘Meetings with Mark’ will give Minnesotans the opportunity to weigh-in on the state’s ongoing budget conversation – offering their ideas, questions, and concerns about the state’s education system, our economy, and our shared future. Governor Dayton welcomes all viewpoints and invites all Minnesotans to join him in conversation about the budget challenges facing our state and the investments we need to make in order to build a Better Minnesota. All ‘Meetings with Mark’ are free and open to the public and press.

Last week, Governor Dayton provided the details of his Budget for a Better Minnesota, delivering a fair and balanced budget that will responsibly resolve the state’s deficit and make crucial investments in Minnesota’s future. The Governor’s proposal focuses on improving the lives of Minnesotans by making major investments in education, job creation, and a stronger middle class. Those investments include $640 million in new funding for education, $86.5 million for job creation and economic development, and $120 million in aid to local governments that will help provide property tax relief to Minnesota homeowners, renters, and businesses.

Additional information about future ‘Meetings with Mark’ will be provided in the coming days. More information about the governor’s Budget for a Better Minnesota is available online at http://mn.gov/governor/budget. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #BetterMN.

WHO: Governor Mark Dayton

WHAT: ‘Meeting with Mark’ to discuss the state budget

WHEN: Wednesday, March 20 6:00pm

WHERE: Duluth Public Safety Building, 2030 North Arlington Avenue, Duluth, MN 55811


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A Fair and Responsible Budget that Invests in the Middle Class

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Categories: Budget, Jobs, Education

Governor Dayton Budget Proposal

A Fair and Responsible Budget that Invests in the Middle Class

Today, Governor Dayton released a revised budget plan today that responsibly resolves the state’s budget deficit and makes crucial investments in Minnesota’s future. The Governor’s proposal focuses on improving the lives of Minnesotans by making major investments in education, job creation, and a stronger middle class.

First, Governor Dayton’s budget makes $640 million of long-overdue investments in education. The Governor’s budget would provide access to high-quality early education for 10,000 young children, fund all-day Kindergarten for 46,000 kids, and increase school funding for every district in the state. His budget would also deliver the largest increase in direct student aid in 25 years, along with needed investments in the MnSCU system and the University of Minnesota to train our workforce for the jobs of the future.

The Governor’s budget also makes needed investments in job creation. 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 $86.5 million in proven economic development initiatives that will create thousands of jobs and leverage nearly $1.5 billion in additional private investment in Minnesota’s economy.

Governor Dayton’s budget plan would also provide property tax relief to Minnesota families and businesses. His budget would increase funding for the renter’s credit, fully-fund the homeowner’s property tax refund program, and increase aid to local governments by $120 million.

These new investments are made possible by asking the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans to pay their fair share in taxes and closing unfair corporate tax loopholes enjoyed by just a handful of corporations.

According to the Department of Revenue’s most recent tax incidence study, most low- and middle-income earners in Minnesota pay about 20 percent more as a share of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest Minnesotans.  In order to address that disparity, honestly resolve our state’s budget deficit, and make long overdue investments in education and job creation, the governor’s budget asks the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans to pay their fair share of income taxes.

Finally, the governor’s budget delivers on his commitment to a Better Government for a Better Minnesota – ensuring Minnesotans get better public services for a better price. His budget delivers $5.1 billion in cost savings and reductions over four years through reform and responsible fiscal management.

For more information about Governor Dayton’s Budget for a Better Minnesota, visit http://mn.gov/governor/budget and follow the conversation on Twitter at #BetterMN.

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A letter from Commissioner Lucinda Jesson: Why MinnesotaCare Matters

Posted on March 07, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Categories: Health, Budget

Commissioner JessonAlmost 100 years ago, a nun of the Order of St. Benedict began selling tickets to lumberjacks in the camps of northern Minnesota. Those tickets entitled the holder to full care for a year at any of the five St. Mary’s hospitals. This person of faith began one of our country’s first hospital prepayment plans, and, together with the Mayo brothers, launched Minnesota on the path to become the nation’s most innovative state for health care.

In more recent history, Democrats and Republicans worked together to start MinnesotaCare, which made health insurance available to low-income, working families. MinnesotaCare’s bipartisan creation became a model for other states, and ultimately for the federal government.

Now, 20 years after its creation, MinnesotaCare needs improvement, to make it more streamlined and affordable. But, unexpectedly, we first must ensure that this nation-leading program continues to exist.

Federal health reform means that changes are coming. The new federal model expands Medicaid for the very poor. But absent action taken at the state level to provide for something better, people making more than $15,000 a year will now largely be given a federal subsidy to buy coverage through a health insurance exchange. This would include many people currently on MinnesotaCare.

For most states, this new model is a major step forward. And while the Medicaid expansion will bring progress for Minnesota, too, a wholesale switch from MinnesotaCare would be a step backward for vulnerable, low-income people. MinnesotaCare provides more-affordable care than the high-deductible health plans that many working families would access through the federal model.

That is why we again have Minnesota Republicans and Democrats coming together to fight for the future of MinnesotaCare. Last week, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken joined U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, Collin Peterson, Erik Paulsen, Rick Nolan and John Kline to send a letter to the Obama administration requesting federal partnership to preserve and improve MinnesotaCare. A similar bipartisan letter from state legislative leadership was issued in late January.



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Skip’s Story: Why Special Education Matters

Posted on March 06, 2013 at 9:11 AM
Categories: Education, Budget

Skip's StorySkip Bruber is young man with multiple disabilities, including cerebral palsy and visual impairments. Growing up, Skip received special education services from St. Paul Public Schools starting when he was two years old and continued receiving support throughout his high school career.

The special education interventions and support services Skip received allowed him to graduate from high school. He went on to attend Augsburg College, where he recently received his bachelor’s degree and graduated with a 3.0 GPA.

Skip is currently receiving additional job skills training in order to find a position in which he can put his education and advanced skills in writing to use. According to his mother Elizabeth, Skip’s access to special education services means that rather than being defined by his disabilities, he faces a bright future that is allowing him to meet his full potential and live a rich and productive life.

Helping Thousands of Minnesotans Like Skip

Every child deserves the opportunities and support to succeed in school, regardless of his or her abilities. That is why Governor Dayton’s budget would invest $125 million in special education, making significant reforms and taking important steps to fix the state’s broken special education funding formula.

Increased funding proposed in the governor’s budget plan would provide an additional $180 per student, per year, for every school district in the state. This 13%increase in special education funding would be directed to the districts that need help the most. This new investment would finally begin to address the state’s long-underfunded commitment to special education.

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Minnesota Investment Fund: Why Supporting Job Creation Matters

Posted on March 05, 2013 at 1:32 PM
Categories: Jobs, Budget

Governor Dayton joins Gerdau employees and officials at a groundbreaking ceremony

In 2012, Gerdau Long Steel broke ground on a renovation project at its St. Paul plant. The renovation, made possible in part by a $249,000 MIF loan, will create a state-of-the-art facility for casting steel. This project helped create 40 new jobs.

The Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) helps Minnesota compete with other states and nations for new high-tech and manufacturing jobs. MIF helps encourage local firms that have options outside the state to expand here, and provides incentives for firms outside Minnesota to locate in our state. Over the last 8 years alone, the program has funded 53 projects, creating thousands of jobs and leveraging $587 million in private economic development.

Governor Dayton has proposed investing $30 million in MIF to enhance Minnesota’s competitiveness, create thousands of new jobs, and leverage an estimated $990 million in private investment in Minnesota’s economy.

Polaris Industries in Wyoming, MN
MIF Loan: $400,000 Est. New Jobs: 115-350

Polaris Industries, the Medina-based maker of all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and motorcycles, broke ground in September 2012 on a 144,000 square foot expansion project at its research and development facility in Wyoming, Minnesota. The project, made possible in part by a $400,000 MIF loan, will double the size of the facility and create capacity for up to 350 more jobs. Polaris has committed to creating 115 permanent jobs within two years.

Gerdau Long Steel in St. Paul, MN
MIF Loan: $249,000 Est. New Jobs: 40

In 2012, Gerdau Long Steel broke ground on a renovation project at its St. Paul plant. The renovation, made possible in part
by a $249,000 MIF loan, will create a state-of-the-art facility for casting steel. This project helped create 40 new jobs.


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