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.
The Autism Help App assists individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other disabilities to communicate and regulate in emergency situations.
Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton is making important progress toward building a Better Minnesota by working to provide sustainable options to safely move people, goods, services, and information.
The success of Minnesota’s economy depends on a transportation system that safely and efficiently gets people and goods where they need to be. Our roadways, bridges, and rail systems are continuously improving thanks to Governor Dayton’s strong leadership. In addition to strong physical infrastructure, Minnesota citizens and businesses need affordable access to the high-tech infrastructure that drives our global economy, including high-speed internet in every corner of our state.
The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (DDC) at the Minnesota Department of Administration has developed a free award winning mobile device application that helps individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) communicate in emergency situations.
Using a proven 5-point, color-coded scale, the Application can be customized for an individual or family. In an emergency situation, a parent’s calming voice can explain what to do. For example, in the case of a fire, the App shows a picture of a safe meeting place and the parent’s voice instructs the individual to go there. The 5-Point Scale was created by Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Beth Curtis of Hamline University, which is a nationally known and accepted system, widely used in public schools.
This mobile tool is designed to be simple and user friendly. To date, more than 16,300 people have downloaded this App.
The Governor's residence will have decked halls from November 27th through December 18th.
The Minnesota Governor’s Residence, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, will be open to the public for Holiday tours beginning November 27th. Following tours will be held December 4, 11 and 18 from the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each day. No reservations are required; tours will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
The interior of the Beaux Arts Revival home, designed by Minneapolis architect William Channing Whitney, has been expertly decorated by seven local design studios. The holiday tour features signature looks for each of the public spaces at the Residence. The designers, from Digs Studio, Kate and Company, Linder’s, Pomegranate Design Ltd, Studio Emme, Ten Thousand Villages and Twiggs, have donated the design, materials and installation of the holiday decorations. In the Drawing Room, the live 8-foot tree was donated by Happyland Tree Farm of Sandstone, Minnesota.
On Nov. 27, the regional Citizen Forums on the Environment will begin with forums in Rochester and Bloomington.
The forums are an opportunity for Minnesotans to interact with state agency commissioners and staff, and learn more about Minnesota’s Environment & Energy Report Card. Those attending the forums will be asked to answer key questions and submit more in-depth ideas for consideration.
The State of Minnesota wants to hear what Minnesotans’ priorities and visions are for the environment. The input gathered at the forums will be compiled and presented to the Dayton Administration at a statewide Environmental Congress next March.
The Minnesota Environmental Congress and the Citizens Forums leading up to it are the result of Governor Dayton’s Executive Order 11-32. To assess Minnesota’s progress toward clean air, water and energy, the Environmental Quality Board is convening Citizen Forums around the state to engage citizens in constructive dialogue, identify environmental challenges, and define a vision for Minnesota’s environmental future.
Today, Governor Dayton, Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson, Minnesota’s Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), and Hunger Solutions Minnesota, kicked off Thanksgiving week in Minnesota at the Governor’s Office. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising an estimated 47 million turkeys in 2012. Governor Dayton, Minnesota’s turkey farmers, and Hunger Solutions Minnesota also addressed ending hunger across the state.
The event was a time-honored tradition, going back more than two decades.
President and turkey farmer Duane Jaenicke announced the donation of 11,150 pounds of turkey - a total of 1,180 whole birds - to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will be distributed to food shelves and food banks across the state.
Quinn Muhich congratulated on the big screen at a Twins game for hitting a homerun for financial literacy
As kids grow into a word of finances and start becoming consumers, it’s important that they learn the importance and of saving money early. That was the thinking that led Governor Mark Dayton, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and the Minnesota Twins to host the state’s first-ever “Hit a Homerun for Financial Literacy Contest.” The contest encouraged grade 3-5 students from across the state to describe three simple steps they could take to make smart decisions with their money.
This year’s winner was Eveleth fifth grader Quinn Muhich. The three steps described by Muhich in his essay are “wait, save, and give,” which highlight the benefits that smart financial planning can have not just for oneself, but for those in need, as well.
“This contest reminded me that it is always important to think before spending money,” said Quinn. “My family has taught me that
saving money is important so that I can buy something nice with my savings and I can give to those who don’t have as much.”
As many Minnesotans know, sometimes money can go missing due to a change of address, a death in the family, or a number of other reasons. Fortunately, that’s when the Minnesota Department of Commerce steps in to help Minnesota consumers find and claim what is rightfully theirs. This year alone the Commerce Department reunited 7,200 Minnesotans with $19 million in missing bank accounts, life insurance policies, safe deposit boxes, unclaimed paychecks, and other real property and financial assets – a 13 percent improvement over 2011.
“Since 2005, the Department has helped more than 84,000 Minnesotans find $163 million that may otherwise have gone missing indefinitely,” said Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, whose Department oversees the state’s Unclaimed Property Program. “We estimate that one out of every twenty Minnesotans has at least $100 currently being held by the State of Minnesota. Our message to Minnesota consumers is simple: this could be your money, come and claim it.”
Lakeville resident Rick Masloski represents one of the thousands of Minnesotans who benefitted from the state’s unclaimed property program this year. Masloski’s father passed away 19 years ago, and left him with more than $1,300 in unclaimed stock shares that Rick searched for but for years was unable to find. With the assistance of Commerce Department staff, Masloski was able to find, claim, and cash out the shares, which were duly his.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce returned to Farmfest this year, with more information relevant to Greater Minnesota economies than ever before. With an estimated 40,000 visitors over the three-day event, the Commerce Department took this incredible opportunity to host a booth and meet directly with people and businesses in the agriculture sector to discuss the varied services the Commerce Department provides to help support economic growth.
To give visitors a sense of the services provided by the Department to farming families and businesses, Commissioner Mike Rothman spent Wednesday speaking one-on-one with Minnesotans at the pancake breakfast, visiting Farmfest exhibits, and personally answering questions at the Commerce booth in the Agriculture Building on the following topics:
Photo credit: Flickr user Taber Andrew Bain
The Minnesota Department of Commerce is working with U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison to stop predatory lending. Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and Congressman Ellison are holding a special Town Hall Forum on Predatory Lending on August 8 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Neighborhood Hub in North Minneapolis. Commissioner Rothman and Congressman Ellison want to hear your stories about how predatory lending and foreclosure have affected your community so we can stop these destructive practices. All residents of North Minneapolis are invited to attend.
Predatory lending often targets low-income consumers, causing financial hardship in Minnesota neighborhoods. Scam artists and predatory lenders take advantage of consumers from all walks of life, causing foreclosures and financial hardship in our communities. In recent years, foreclosure and loan modification scams have severely harmed North Minneapolis neighborhoods.
According to the Department of Commerce, nearly 136,000 Minnesota homes have gone into foreclosure in the last seven years. That adds up to almost $13 billion in home equity lost in Minnesota alone since 2005. If your neighbor or someone down the street goes into foreclosure, the average loss in value to your home is roughly $8,500.