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Governor Mark Dayton's 2014 State of the State Address

Posted on April 29, 2014 at 12:03 PM

State of the State - #MNSOTS

On Wednesday, April 30, Governor Mark Dayton will deliver his State of the State Address before a joint session of the Minnesota Legislature. Governor Dayton will deliver his speech in the Chamber of the Minnesota House of Representatives beginning at 7:00pm.
 
Minnesotans can watch or listen to Governor Dayton’s State of the State Address on the following outlets:

House Public Information Services
House Public Information Services will be live-streaming video of the Governor’s remarks online at this link. After the speech, video of the speech will be posted online here.
 
PBS Stations
The Governor’s remarks will be broadcast live on PBS television stations statewide on the Minnesota Channel.
 
MPR Stations
Minnesota Public Radio will broadcast the Governor’s remarks live on affiliated radio stations statewide. The speech will also be re-broadcast at noon on Thursday, May 1, 2014.
 
Minnesota News Network Stations

The Minnesota News Network will offer a live broadcast of the Governor’s remarks for its affiliated radio stations statewide.
 
WCCO Radio
The Governor’s remarks will be broadcast live on WCCO Radio AM830.
 
StarTribune.com
The Star Tribune will be live-streaming video of the Governor’s remarks on their website.
 
Pioneer Press (TwinCities.com)
The Pioneer Press will be live-streaming video of the Governor’s remarks on their website.

Minnesotans can also follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #MNSOTS.


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Are You Prepared for Minnesota's Extreme Weather?

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

Weather_Aware_2014

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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Investing in Jobs for the Future

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM
Categories: Bonding, Greater Minnesota, Jobs, Education

Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of DEED, and Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of the Office of Higher Education, visited the Moorhead campus to highlight the governor’s support for expanding and improving the college’s Transportation Center.

Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of DEED, and Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of the Office of Higher Education, visited the Moorhead campus to highlight the governor’s support for expanding and improving the college’s Transportation Center. 

Commissioners from two Minnesota state agencies visited Moorhead to show their support for $6.54 million in bonding that Gov. Mark Dayton is recommending for Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State). M State is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of DEED, and Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of the Office of Higher Education, visited the Moorhead campus to highlight the governor’s support for expanding and improving the college’s Transportation Center. Plans call for new and larger diesel technology labs that will accommodate modern diesel agriculture, construction and transportation equipment.

The upgraded and expanded center will enable automotive students to work on vehicles in groups of two instead of in groups of four, providing more hands-on training opportunity. Programs space focused on alternative fuels and hybrid power sources will also be created.

“The proposed improvements to the Transportation Center at M State will provide students with the up-to-date knowledge and hands-on experience they need to be successful in a rapidly changing job market,” Pogemiller said.

The Transportation Center upgrades are part of $233 million in bonding that Gov. Dayton is proposing in this legislative session for improvements at higher education institutions in Minnesota. The proposal includes funding for world-class labs and expanded classroom space at campuses around the state, including Lake Superior College in Duluth, Southeast Technical in Red Wing and Bemidji State University.

“The governor’s proposals are a wise investment that will help ensure that Minnesota keeps its competitive edge when it comes to preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow,” Commissioner Sieben said.


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Go Wild! Day in Minnesota

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Governor Dayton & Commissioner Cassellius sport their MN Wild jerseys in support of the Minnesota Wild advancing in the NHL Playoffs

Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed today “Go Wild! Day” in Minnesota to rally fans as they Minnesota Wild return to the Xcel Energy Center to take on the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of the NHL Playoffs.

“As Minnesotans, we are proud to live in the great State of Hockey. The Wild had two tough games in Colorado. Now they’re playing two games in Minnesota, where they can even up the series.” said Governor Dayton.
 
To show their support for the Wild, the Governor, who was an All-State high school goalie, and Department of Education Commissioner Cassellius, who still moonlights as a forward for the Penalty Box Hockey Team, wore their jerseys to the Capitol today.

You read the Governor’s proclamation here: http://ow.ly/w00ns


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Katie’s Story: College Tuition Tax Deduction

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 0:00 AM
Categories: Education, Reform, Budget

2014_04_15_gmd_zuzeks.jpg

Thanks to new tax cuts enacted by Gov. Mark Dayton and the MN legislature, the Zuzeks family are expected to save about $160 this year and another $220 on their state taxes in 2014.

Paying for college tuition can cost Minnesota students and families tens of thousands of dollars every year. But a new college tuition tax deduction signed into law by Governor Dayton will help reduce that financial burden, saving 40,000 Minnesota college students an average $140 per year.

The Zuzeks of Hastings, Minnesota, were born to be teachers.

“From a young age, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” said Katie Zuzek, a senior at St. Mary’s University in Winona. “And in order to realize that dream, I knew I had to go to college – there wasn’t any other option.”


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The Norman Family's Story: Tax-Free Adoption Assistance

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Reform, Greater Minnesota

2014_04_16_norman_family.jpg
Because of the middle class tax cuts signed by Governor Dayton, the Norman family will not have to pay $700 to $800
in state taxes they would have otherwise owed for the adoption assistance they received from Aaron’s employer in 2013.

Kristi and Aaron Norman of Rochester have always dreamed of raising a family. And thanks to adoption, they are now the proud parents of two young children.

Raising children can be expensive, especially for a young family. Costs for child care, medical care, and clothing can add up quickly. But there is one expense the Normans did not expect when they adopted their daughter last year: state adoption taxes.

When the Normans adopted their daughter in July 2013, Aaron’s employer helped defray half of the $20,000 it took to complete the adoption process. The Normans were grateful for the generous help Aaron’s employer.


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MnDOT Safe Routes to School grants support 138 Minnesota schools

Posted on April 18, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Transportation, Education

Safe Routes to School

International Walk to School Day at Lyndale Community School in Minneapolis

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has announced the recipients of $4.8 million in federal grants for Safe Routes to School. The grants will support Safe Routes to School at 138 schools in 50 communities.
 
“These projects will help communities increase opportunities for children to walk and bike to school,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “More students walking and biking means less traffic on the road and in front of schools, improving safety and promoting healthier kids.”
 
Schools received grants in two categories:

  • Planning – Funding to complete a Safe Routes to School plan to help analyze existing conditions, gather public input and identify potential infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions at K-8 schools. Plans will be completed by the Regional Development Commission or a planning consultant hired by MnDOT.
  • Infrastructure – Funding for improving the environment and infrastructure around the schools such as crosswalks and trails.

 
MnDOT announced the available grants in December 2013. It received 85 applications and funded 60 applications. The total amount requested was $11.3 million.
 
All Safe Routes to School grants in this solicitation are federal funds. The infrastructure grant includes a 20 percent local match. Each infrastructure grant includes a resolution of support from the local governing body to ensure community support. No local match is required for planning assistance grants.
 
Since 2005, MnDOT awarded nearly $15.5 million in federal funds to communities to support Safe Routes to School. The majority of funding—$13.1 million—was awarded for infrastructure projects. The remainder was allocated for non-infrastructure items and activities.
 
This solicitation used the remaining federal Safe Routes to School funds. Federal funding for the program is now available through the new Transportation Alternatives Program. Safe Routes to School projects occur in all 50 states.
 
The list of grant recipients is below. More information is available at www.mndot.gov/saferoutes.


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The Lee Family's Story: Eliminating the “Marriage Penalty”

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Economy, Reform

2014_04_16_lee_family
The new tax cuts will provide Ching and Pi Lee an estimated $180 that they can save or spend in our local economy.

By 1986, Ching Lee decided it was time to leave Taiwan and join his extended family, who had already immigrated to the Twin Cities. Trained as mechanical engineer in Taiwan, Ching was able to find work as a manufacturing technician for a high-tech company in the West Metro.

A new country and a new job were not the only changes for Ching in 1986. He also fell in love with and married a fellow Taiwanese transplant, Pi Liu. Not strangers, Pi and Ching first met in Taiwan before becoming reacquainted in Minnesota. 



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Brenda's Story: Mortgage Debt Forgiveness

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

2014_04_16_brenda_scandin

Because of the middle class tax cuts signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton,
Brenda Scandin was able to avoid up to $35,000 in taxes after selling her home at a loss in a short sale.

In 2013, more than 11,800 Minnesota families lost their homes to foreclosure. Thousands more sold their homes at a loss in a short sale. But thanks to new tax cuts signed into law by Governor Dayton, Minnesotans who lose their home to foreclosure or sell their homes at a loss will not face the added burden of paying thousands of dollars in state taxes.

Like tens of thousands of Minnesotans who lost their jobs during the Great Recession, Brenda Scandin of Mound, Minnesota, never thought it could happen to her. Brenda had a good job working as a finance professional, and with decades of business experience, she had an excellent understanding of money management. But after losing her job during the recession, Brenda and her husband began having a difficult time making their mortgage payments.


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The Unsession: Michelle's Story

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM

To make state government work better for the people it serves, Governor Dayton has implemented Minnesota's first-ever Plain Language policy. Watch this video to learn how the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs has made their website easier to use for Veterans like Michelle Ambrose.


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