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Governor Dayton Signs Women’s Economic Security Act into law

Posted on May 11, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Surrounded by women from across Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton signs the Women’s Economic Security Act into law at the State Capitol.

Lawmakers and advocates joined Governor Mark Dayton on Mother’s Day to sign the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA) into law. 

Women in Minnesota make up half the workforce, but earn on average just 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. WESA is nation-leading legislation designed to break down barriers to economic progress for women. WESA strengthens workplace protections and flexibility for pregnant women and nursing mothers, expands employment opportunities for women in high-wage, high-demand occupations, and reduces the gender pay gap through increased enforcement of equal pay laws.

“Today, as we honor our Mothers and Grandmothers, we have taken a giant step forward for Minnesota's working women and their families” said Governor Mark Dayton. “It should not require a law to ensure that women are treated fairly in the workplace, or that they are paid equally for their work. However, too many women still experience serious economic disparities, unfair gender barriers, and other workplace discrimination in our state. For all of them, this law is vitally important and long-overdue. I thank the bill’s authors, Senator Sandy Pappas and Representative Carly Melin, for their leadership on behalf of all Minnesota women.”

“When future generations look back at the barriers facing working women today, we will be able to look them in the eye and tell them we took action to make our state a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said chief author State Representative Carly Melin (DFL – Hibbing). “This legislation strengthens working families and grows the middle class by ensuring that our mothers, sisters, daughters, and grandmothers have equal opportunities for economic security.”

"While Minnesota's economy continues to grow, progress for women's economic prosperity has lagged woefully behind,” said Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL – St. Paul), chief author of the Senate bill. “WESA will move us in the right direction and ensure women finally receive equal pay for equal work, that we don't face discrimination for being mothers, and that we are treated fairly in the workplace.”

“When women succeed, Minnesota succeeds,” said Speaker of the House Paul Thissen. “Minnesota’s economy is headed in the right direction, but not everyone is sharing in the gains. And when you dig underneath the first layer of economic challenges facing Minnesotans, we find that the people struggling to stay or step-in to the middle class are disproportionately women. The Women’s Economic Security Act aims to break down barriers to economic progress so that women    and all Minnesotans    have a fair opportunity to succeed.”

The Women’s Economic Security Act takes the following steps to break down barriers to success for women:

Stronger Workplace Protections 

  • Requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee for health conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Improves the law that requires employers to provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child.
  • Enhances protections for employees seeking to assert rights or remedies if a violation occurs in the workplace

Closing the Gender Pay Gap

  • Reduces the gender pay gap through increased enforcement of equal pay laws for state contractors by requiring businesses with 40 or more employees seeking state contracts over $500,000 to certify they are paying equal wages to workers regardless of gender. 
  • Ensures the rights of employees to voluntarily discuss their compensation without fear of retaliation from their employers. 
  • Decreases the gender pay gap by addressing the “motherhood penalty,” requiring businesses to make hiring, promotion, and termination decisions regardless of  an employee’s “familial status” (Pregnant women and parents and legal guardians of children under 18 who live with them).


Share Your Catch from the Fishing Opener on Instagram

Posted on May 08, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Stock Up On Memories Because They Never Lose Their Value


In conjunction with the Fishing Opener, Governor Dayton is launching his official Instagram page. Follow @GovMarkDayton and use the hashtag #GFO2014 throughout the event for photos and updates. 

How to participate:

  • Download the Instagram app and create an account. 
  • Take photos using the Instagram app. Or upload a previously taken photo from your mobile photo gallery to Instagram. 
  • Write a photo caption. Use the hashtag #GFO2014 if you would like your fishing opener photos to be included on Governor Dayton’s Social Media Round Up. 
  • A hashtag is a phrase prefixed with the “#” symbol. Hashtags are used to search and group the same phrases together on each specific social platform. 
  • Select to share the photo/video directly to other social channels. 
  • Publish the photo to your followers’ feeds.


Kicking off the 67th Annual Governor's Fishing Opener

Posted on May 08, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Governor Dayton at the 2013 Fishing Opener 
As nearly 500,000 Minnesotans gear up to go fishing this weekend, Governor Mark Dayton is getting ready to host Minnesota’s 67th Annual Governor’s Fishing Opener in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Headquartered at Grand View Lodge, the weekend’s events will feature fishing, family fun activities, a live concert with the Gear Daddies, and a community picnic in downtown Nisswa that is expected to draw a crowd of more than 5,000 Minnesotans.
“I thank the Brainerd and Nisswa communities, and Grand View Lodge, for their tremendous work in hosting this year’s Governor’s Fishing Opener,” said Governor Dayton. “Lt. Governor Prettner Solon and I are looking forward to this weekend’s events. With help from my great fishing guide Ray Gildow, and a little bit of luck, I hope to catch a fish this weekend.”
The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. The event was designed to promote the development of Minnesota’s recreation industry, and in recent years, it has served as a kick-off celebration for the summer tourism season. Fishing generates an estimated $2.4 billion in direct retail sales annually in Minnesota, supporting 35,000 jobs statewide. Minnesota has the second-highest angler participation rate of any state in the nation (32 percent).
“The Brainerd Lakes Area is home to some of the finest fishing in the world. This weekend, I look forward to catching plenty of fish and promoting the great recreational experiences that our state offers,” said Lt. Governor Prettner Solon. “I also want to extend my gratitude to the people of Nisswa and Brainerd for their hospitality and for organizing the 2014 Opener.”
For more information about the 2014 Governor’s Fishing Opener, including a full list of public events, visit this website. Photos of Governor Dayton, Lt. Governor Prettner Solon, and various Fishing Opener activities will be posted online at this link throughout the weekend.


Investing in the Brainerd Lakes Region

Posted on May 07, 2014 at 4:53 PM
Categories: Bonding

"The Cost of Higher Education" at Central Lakes College-Brainerd - by MSCSA

Photo: "The Cost of Higher Education" at Central Lakes College-Brainerd by MSCSA

Governor Dayton understands the importance of investing in Minnesota’s future. Just like a homeowner who maintains their property – making smart investments in Minnesota’s infrastructure will ensure our state remains a great place to live for decades to come. That’s why the Governor’s bonding bill proposes to invest $986 million in critical infrastructure projects across our state. These projects will produce more than 27,000 jobs for Minnesotans and improve facilities essential for job creation, education, and transportation.

The Brainerd Lakes region would benefit from several projects proposed in the Governor’s bonding bill, including: 

  • Central Lakes College. Governor Dayton recommends $3.05 million for improvements of Central Lakes College. These new resources will help pay for upgrade research facilities, an improved library and computer center, and better study spaces. The campus renovations will help ensure students get the world-class education they need for a great job after graduation.

  • Little Falls Snow Plow Facility. Every day, Minnesotans depend on safe roads to quickly and efficiently travel to their destinations. The Governor’s bonding proposal would invest $3.6 million in the Little Falls snowplow facility to ensure that Minnesotans in the Brainerd Lakes area have safe, snow-free roads. These new resources would pay for modern salt-brine making facilities to keep the roads clean and an improved mechanic shop to keep plows on the road.

You can learn more about the Governor's bonding proposal here.


Anglers Catch All They Need to Know at New DNR Fish Minnesota Website

Posted on May 07, 2014 at 10:33 AM


As nearly a half-million Minnesotans get ready to go fishing this weekend, the DNR today rolled out a new mobile website that anglers can use to more easily find and understand the state’s fishing regulations.

Previously, these regulations were only available in a 92-page brochure. But thanks to the Governor’s Plain Language initiative (part of his Unsession package), this new mobile solution will help Minnesota’s 500,000 anglers access the fishing information they need more easily, in a user-friendly format.

“I have been fishing in Minnesota for my entire life,” Dayton said. “But even the most experienced anglers couldn’t possibly know all of the state’s many fishing regulations, which are essential for responsible wildlife management. This new mobile site will help all Minnesotans more easily find and understand the state’s fishing rules and regulations.”


Watch This: Governor Dayton Signs the Safe and Supportive Schools Act

Posted on May 05, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Categories: Human Rights

On Wednesday, April 9, Governor Dayton signed the Safe and Supportive Schools Act into law. The new measure provides local school districts the guidance, support, and flexibility to adopt clear and enforceable school policies to help protect all children from bullying, and to reinforce the principles of tolerance and respect in our schools. Watch the video to see how students reacted to the bill signing.

Bonding Proposal Would Boost Higher Education in Northeastern Minnesota

Posted on May 05, 2014 at 8:00 AM

On Friday, May 2, Minnesota Office of Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller and Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben visited Itasca Community College to receive a tour of the campus’s facilities.

On Friday, May 2, Minnesota Office of Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller and Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben visited Itasca Community College to receive a tour of the campus’s facilities.

Governor Dayton’s higher education bonding bill continues to be the focus of a statewide tour, with visits this week at campuses in Ely, International Falls, Hibbing and Grand Rapids. 

Larry Pogemiller, Commissioner of the Office of Higher Education (OHE), and Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED, spent time visiting four campuses in the Northeastern Minnesota.

In his State of the State Address, Governor Dayton outlined the need for increasing support for Minnesota’s state colleges and Universities. “The State’s current bonding levels do not adequately support the improvements that both MnSCU and the U of M must make in their existing physical plants, in new buildings, and in state-of-the-art equipment and technologies -- to continue to attract the best students and give them the best possible educations.”
The Governor has recommended $3.34 million for projects at these four campuses, including the renovation of classroom and lab spaces, as well as the installation of a biomass boiler system at Itasca.

“The colleges of the Northeast Higher Education District not only provide strong academic programs for their students, they are also integral to the economic viability of the region,” said Pogemiller. “These recommended investments will allow them to continue to educate their students in up-to-date classrooms and labs, as well as address pressing infrastructure issues.”

“Our highly-educated and productive workforce is our greatest asset in Minnesota, and we must continue to provide learning environments for continued growth,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “The proposed funding for the Northeast Higher Education District will provide infrastructure support for the classroom and lab spaces needed for our future workers.”

Upcoming visits include Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical in Red Wing, and Winona State University, among others.

Governor Dayton’s Capital Investment bill includes $233 million for higher education projects at the University of Minnesota and MnSCU campuses.


ICYMI: Watch Governor Dayton's Full State of the State Address

Posted on May 01, 2014 at 10:30 AM

02:27 - Gavel and entrance of Governor Mark Dayton.
03:48 - Governor Mark Dayton's presents his 2014 State of the State Address.
Runs 52 minutes.

You can read Governor Dayton's remarks as prepared for delivery here. Check out the Flickr gallery for more photos from the event.


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.
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.


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.
The Star Tribune will be live-streaming video of the Governor’s remarks on their website.
Pioneer Press (
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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