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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

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

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

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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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The Unsession: Ravi's Story

Posted on April 07, 2014 at 3:21 PM
Categories: Reform

Just two weeks ago, Governor Mark Dayton signed new tax cuts into law that are already saving Minnesotans time and money, and making filing taxes simpler for more than 1 million middle class Minnesotans and thousands of businesses. Watch this video to learn more about how Governor Dayton’s tax reforms are saving time, money, and hassle for small business owners like Ravi Norman of Thor Construction.


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Governor Dayton recognizes state employees for reforming state government

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Categories: Reform

Governor’s Continuous Improvement Awards recognize cost savings, better service delivery

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Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson (back left)  and the pharmaceutical safety team

Today, 78 state employees from 15 state agencies were recognized for outstanding achievements that have reformed state government and saved taxpayer dollars. In the Governor’s ongoing effort to build a Better Government for a Better Minnesota, state agencies have worked hard finding innovative ways to deliver better services to Minnesotans while eliminating wasteful spending, improving efficiencies, and strengthening measures of accountability.

The Governor’s Continuous Improvement Awards celebrate individual and organizational achievements that have increased the productivity and efficiency of state government services, while improving the delivery and responsiveness of customer service. Twenty-eight teams from across the administration were nominated for this year’s awards, with six receiving recognition at today’s award ceremony for their extraordinary achievements.


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The Unsession

Posted on August 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM
Categories: Reform

The Unsession

Click to enlarge This week marks the beginning of the Minnesota State Fair; and Governor Mark Dayton is asking Minnesotans for their ideas to make state government better, faster, and simpler.
 
At more than a dozen state agency booths across the State Fair, fair-goers will be able to find more information about Governor Dayton’s ‘Unsession’ Agenda, and have an opportunity to provide their suggestions to the Governor. Suggestion boxes will be set up at each state agency booth, and Minnesotans will also be able to submit their Unsession ideas online over the next several weeks. The Governor is asking specifically for ideas for the upcoming 2014 Legislative Session.
 
The Unsession, proposed by Governor Dayton, will focus on eliminating unnecessary or redundant laws, rules, and regulations, and getting rid of anything else that makes state government nearly impossible for people to understand.
 
“My request of Minnesotans is simple: send me your Unsession suggestions,” said Governor Dayton. “Send big ideas that could revolutionize how state government operates, or commonsense changes that would eliminate headaches for Minnesotans. I invite every Minnesotan to join in building a better state government that better serves you.”
 
The Dayton Administration is also asking state employees for their ideas. The Governor sent a personal email to the state’s more than 30,000 state employees this week, asking for their reform ideas and suggestions. Already, nearly 1,200 state employees have registered to participate, and over 300 Unsession suggestions have been collected from state employees in just the first four days.

Improving how state government works has been a hallmark of the Dayton Administration. State employees have already made important reforms that have saved Minnesotans time and money – including changing the way the state pays for health care, reducing expensive and time-consuming paperwork, and creating new online solutions for permit applications. Other examples of improvements achieved over the last several years include reducing the waiting times for vehicle registrations from 90 days to just 10 days, cutting environmental permit waits by over 40 percent, and making hunting and fishing licenses available on smartphones.
 
Submit Your Unsession Suggestion

If you have a good idea for how to make state government better, faster, or simpler, Governor Dayton wants to hear from you. Over the next three weeks, the Governor will be accepting suggestions online and at the Minnesota State Fair. Your idea might just be the next big reform measure that could save Minnesotans time and money.
 
To submit your idea, visit any state agency booth at the Minnesota State Fair, or visit the Governor’s Unsession Suggestion website at www.mn.gov/governor/unsession.


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Guaranteeing a Great Start for Minnesota Kids

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Education, Reform


Governor Dayton reads to children.
Under the new budget passed by Gov. Dayton and the legislature all Minnesota’s kids will have access to all-day kindergarten education.

Minnesota kids were big winners at the legislature this spring. Gov. Mark Dayton and the DFL legislature emphasized education – funding high-impact programs like all-day kindergarten and early childhood education scholarships. These bold initiatives are part of the broader $485 million education bill that ensures our state’s learners get the support they need to be successful

Programs like all-day, every-day kindergarten are proven to make a big impact in a child’s life and critical to closing Minnesota’s growing achievement gap. Unfortunately, some parents have to pay thousands of dollars for it, and some schools don’t offer it all. Currently, only 54 percent of Minnesota children are able to all-day kindergarten. A child’s access to quality education shouldn’t be limited by their parent’s income. Under the new budget passed by Gov. Dayton and the legislature all Minnesota’s kids will have access to all-day kindergarten education!

Early childhood learning also received a major boost this year with new funding for a scholarship program. This program targets Minnesota’s achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality pre-school and child care services. The $40 million influx means that 8,000 low-income children will be able to attend high-quality pre-school programs starting this fall. 

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A Fair Tax System for Minnesota’s Middle Class

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Reform, Economy, Budget


Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature invested $400 million in middle class property tax relief in the recently passed budget to help Minnesotans and restore tax fairness.
Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature invested $400 million in middle class property tax relief in the recently passed budget to help Minnesotans and restore tax fairness.

Middle class Minnesotans have endured a decade of property tax increases. Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature invested $400 million in middle class property tax relief in the recently passed budget to help Minnesotans and restore tax fairness. The investment provides new resources for the following:

  • Homestead Credit Refund
  • Renter’s Property Tax Refund Credit
  • Local Government Aid
  • City and County Sales Tax Exemption

Homestead Credit Refund

A new $120 million investment in the Homestead Credit Refund will provide significant direct property tax relief to middle-class homeowners. Under the new budget, more than 150,000 additional homeowners will be eligible for the refund. Current refund recipients will benefit as well, the new law is expected to increase the refund for 300,000 homeowners who already receive it. 

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Minnesota Job Creation Fund: A New Tool to Help Attract and Support Business

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Budget, Reform, Jobs

Minnesota needs effective tools to create jobs and make our state more competitive.  That’s why Governor Dayton’s budget invests $25 million in ongoing funding for the Minnesota Job Creation Fund, a new statewide performance based job creation program. This investment will create and support thousands of Minnesota jobs by making our state a more competitive place to do business and leveraging $450 million in additional private investment.

Click to Enlarge

To learn more about the Minnesota Job Creation Fund and Governor Dayton’s plans to build a Better Minnesota, click here.


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State to partner with health providers to deliver better care at a lower cost

Posted on February 01, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Categories: Budget, Reform, Health

Governor Dayton and Commissioner Jesson

ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton announced today a new reform initiative that will provide better health care for 100,000 Minnesotans and lower costs for taxpayers. In an effort to further improve the state’s Medicaid program, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is partnering with six health care providers to test a new payment model that prioritizes quality, preventive care and rewards providers for achieving mutually-agreed upon health goals. 


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Budget for a Better Minnesota: Strengthening the Middle Class

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Categories: Budget, Jobs, Reform, Education

Governor Mark Dayton today released a budget proposal focused on improving the lives of Minnesotans through major investments in education, new initiatives for a stronger economy, and a fair tax system.
 
“If the investments in my budget proposal are made, they will yield returns in new jobs, private investments, vibrant communities and additional state and local tax revenues; and they will help keep our economy moving forward,” said Governor Dayton. “They represent my best judgment about what Minnesota needs to grow our economy, expand our middle class, improve our quality of life and take care of those most in need.”
 
Governor Dayton’s budget delivers on his promise to increase funding for education every year he is governor: no excuses, no exceptions. The governor’s budget provides quality early education for 11,000 young children, optional All-Day Kindergarten for 46,000 kids, and increases K-12 funding by $52 per student. His budget also delivers a significant increase in direct student aid for higher education and makes needed investments in the MnSCU system and the University of Minnesota to train our workforce for the jobs of the future.


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