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      Minnesota Supports Governor Dayton's Budget Plan

      Posted on January 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      Minnesotans responded yesterday to Governor Dayton's plan for a balanced budget that strengthens Minnesota's middle class.

      Education Minnesota President Tom Dooher praises Dayton for ‘investment mentality’ in education

      “This is the first time in many years that the Legislature has started with an investment mentality toward public education, from preschool to college,” Dooher said. “That’s good for our students and for our economy. We’ll continue to work with the governor and the Legislature on a final budget that’s best for Minnesota schools. Gov. Mark Dayton deserves credit for presenting a budget without shifts from schools or other gimmicks,” Dooher said. “He’s building a strong fiscal foundation for Minnesota.” 

      Statement from Minnesota 2020

      “Governor Dayton took a historic step toward the return of fiscal sanity in Minnesota by proposing reforms that will increase tax fairness, adequately fund critical public investments, and solve the state’s budget deficit without shifts or accounting gimmicks. the Dayton tax plan is the most comprehensive and thoughtful reform initiative since the turn of the century and represents a major move forward in terms of promoting tax fairness, revenue adequacy, and budget stability.

      Statement from MaryAnn Baenninger, President of the College of St. Benedict and Chair of the Minnesota Private College Council

      “Governor Dayton has proposed a historic increase in the state’s investment in our college students — and Minnesota’s economic future. The governor’s proposed budget would increase funding for need-based financial aid through the State Grant program by 25 percent.

      “We applaud the governor’s initiative. This is welcome news for the one out of four students from Minnesota who receive these grants, and the thousands of students who would become eligible. These students are enrolled part-time and full-time and attend all kinds of colleges — public and private, two-year and four-year.”

      Blog Entry from the Minnesota Budget Project

      “Both of these actions [expanding eligibility for Medicaid and preserving MinnesotaCare] are essential to preserve – and improve – the health insurance options available for low- and moderate-income families that allow Minnesota to enjoy one of the lowest uninsurance rates in the nation. The Dayton Administration deserves thanks for their leadership on making these two issues a priority.”

      Statement from state Rep. Frank Hornstein and state Sen. Scott Dibble:

      “This is a whole new day,” said Senator Dibble. “We have a Governor providing leadership from the outset; a Governor that is making investments in a multi-modal transportation system a key part of his vision for Minnesota’s economic future and vitality.”

      Rep. Hornstein applauded Governor Dayton for “his bold leadership today,” citing the proposal as “an amazing start in our shared goals of creating greater prosperity and quality of life to attract and retain the workforce for the modern economy. We look forward to the legislative debates and public hearings that will come next.”

      Statement from Dane Smith, President of Growth and Justice:

      “Long-term asset-building in the Dayton budget—including major increases for improving early childhood education, for workforce readiness, for building out a 21st century transportation system, and moving toward more affordable and universal health care—are all investments that make perfect business sense.

      “Dayton’s fiscal plan recognizes that Minnesota's prosperity rests not only on progressive and innovative business leadership, but also on a foundation of smart public investments, in high-quality public education and workforce training, physical infrastructure, economic security for the elderly and disadvantaged, public health, and natural resource protection. We cannot continue to neglect and cut the price, without considering the value, of these good works of our better-than-average state and local governments.”

      University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler’s statement:

      “The proposed budget announced today by Governor Dayton is good news for Minnesota students, their families, our research enterprise and the university system as a whole. We appreciate the Governor’s strong support, particularly as it follows deep cuts to the U’s state funding during the last decade.

      “In addition to reducing costs and making the U more efficient, we are committed to freezing tuition for the next two years for Minnesota resident undergraduates. Reducing the total tuition burden by about $2,500 for an average in-state undergraduate represents a meaningful savings for most families. The Governor’s proposed funding level for the university signifies that he shares our commitment to keep tuition affordable and education accessible to qualified Minnesota students of all economic backgrounds.”

      Duluth Chamber of Commerce President David Ross via the Duluth News Tribune:

      “It was anticipated, and we see the logic in it,” said David Ross, president of the Duluth chamber. “The test will be how fairly and equitably it is implemented and applied.”

      Ross said a presentation last month by state Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans helped convince him the sales tax was ripe for reform. Frans showed how the sales tax was generating less revenue than it used to, while a growing service sector paid no sales tax at all.

      “It was a compelling presentation,” said Ross, adding that it showed the potential for strong revenues from the service sector.

      Minneapolis Regional Chamber President Todd Klingel issued this statement:

      “We thank the Governor for recognizing that completing the transit system is critical to this region’s growth and viability. The Governor’s Transportation Finance Advisory Committee found that new revenue would be needed to fund the system. With his proposal, the Governor acknowledged the need for sustainable new funding and offered a solution.”

      Statement from Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak

      "Today, Governor Dayton showed that he listens to Minnesota’s mayors. Today, I thank Governor Dayton for releasing a budget without gimmicks that incorporates many of our recommendations about reducing Minnesotans’ property-tax burden, broadening the tax base and making LGA more reliable. I look forward to working productively with him and with legislators in the coming months, and I am confident that mayors’ voices will be heard.”

      SEIU applauds Governor Dayton for responsible and fair budget proposal:

      “This budget finally strikes a balance in our state which will allow us to invest in our priorities,” said Javier Morillo, President of SEIU Local 26. “The 1% continues to make its wealth off the backs of working families, locking people out of the middle class. We need to pay workers living wages so they can support their families. I am proud this budget puts an emphasis on rebuilding the middle class and investing in our communities.

      “I am pleased to see Governor Dayton recognize the sacrifices our children have been forced to make,” said Carol Nieters, Executive Director of SEIU Local 284. “Investments in education – from early education through college – are critical to helping our state move forward. We look forward to talking with legislators about the need for a general education levy to solve the problems of investing in our children’s education. A child’s opportunity for a quality education should not be dependent on where a child lives.”

      Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson: Governor’s Budget Puts Middle Class Families First

      “Governor Dayton’s budget proposal, at its core, puts middle class Minnesotans first.  This budget is a great first step in restoring prosperity and expanding the middle class. In 2012, Minnesotans elected new majorities to the Legislature to help build a better state.  Thanks to Governor Dayton’s leadership, Legislators now have a blueprint.”

      TakeAction Minnesota Executive Director Dan McGrath lauded Governor Dayton’s budget proposal and his courage to restructure the tax system

      “We believe the Governor’s courageous commitment to structural tax reform and insistence on new revenue will result in broad and sustainable prosperity for Minnesotans.  The imbalance present over the past decade, including budget gimmicks benefitting the richest two percent, has taken an enormous toll on the other ninety-eight percent of Minnesotans.  This budget can help rebalance their lives.We thank Governor Dayton for his tenaciousness and vision in doing what is right for our state, not what is necessarily easy.”

      Raise it for Health, a coalition of Minnesota's leading health and nonprofit organizations, praised Governor Dayton for including a significant tobacco tax increase in his budget

      "Governor Dayton has prioritized the health of all Minnesotans," said Matt Schafer, State Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. "We stand ready to work with the Governor and legislative leaders to ensure a tobacco tax increase is included in the final package. Together, we can reduce the economic and emotional burden of tobacco on our state and increasing the price of cigarettes is a proven strategy.”

      Statement from Jim Monroe, MAPE’s Executive Director

      “MAPE is very supportive of the smart investment Governor Dayton has proposed in state services.  As part of a skilled statewide workforce, our members provide services and implement programs which help our seniors retire with dignity, our college students get a world class education, and help our jobless get the training they need to re-enter the workforce.  We know that when we take care of our seniors, help our neighbors get new jobs and educate our children, we are doing our best to improve the quality of life for this state.”

      Hennepin County Improvement Board Applauds Gov. Mark Dayton’s Budget Proposal

      “This new investment will allow for a quicker build-out of our regional transit system, including both light rail and bus rapid transit, as well as stabilization and growth in core bus services,” said Counties Transit Improvement Board Chair Peter McLaughlin. “We are competing with our peers to attract new businesses and talent to Minnesota. The governor’s proposal will solidify the transportation component of his plans for a vibrant, more competitive Minnesota. When combined with the expansion of the sales tax base and the inclusion of Scott and Carver counties, the Governor’s budget proposal represents a huge leap forward.”

      State Rep. Ryan Winkler’s Statement on Governor Dayton’s Budget Proposal

      “Governor Dayton is being courageous and honest with the people of Minnesota. Minnesotans understand that balancing the budget and investing in our future is absolutely necessary and will cost money. Education is by the best economic development tool we have available to us and we must invest in early, K-12 and higher education. We need educated workers and innovation for our state to prosper.

      Minnesotans for a Fair Economy Statement Regarding Governor’s Budget

      “Minnesotans know that big banks and other corporations worked to align the system in their favor. And while middle class families in our state have worked harder than ever to pay their tax bill and meet other expenses, many corporations used loopholes and failed to pay their fair share. Those days are over. Governor Dayton’s plan focuses on the right priorities for moving our state forward, while making the system fairer. These investments are needed to maintain our roads and bridges, schools and colleges — and to provide care and dignity to our senior citizens. The plan is the safe, responsible and right thing to do, and it will help to get our economy back on track.”

      An op/ed from Wayne Cox, executive director of Minnesota Citizens for Tax Justice, St. Paul.

      “It’s hard not to like Gov. Mark’s Dayton’s new budget. He brings back sound budgeting and increases the odds for families to thrive now and succeed in the future.”

      ISAIAH Statement: Time for a Budget that Puts People First

      “Budgets are not just balance sheets. Budgets are moral documents. In the coming weeks and months, the Legislature, the Governor, and the people of our state have important choices to make about the moral document we create together.  We believe that God calls us to value the dignity and sacredness of all individuals and to continually expand the circle of human concern. Today, the Governor has started the conversation in a promising way. He has not only outlined policy proposals that have tremendous potential to move us forward, he has invited all of us be part of the discussion. We encourage the Legislature to follow the Governor’s lead and to set out in a bold new direction aimed at accomplishing real structural reform that puts our state on a path towards health, wholeness and prosperity.”

      Fresh Energy: Dayton budget offers encouraging start for transit

      “Governor Mark Dayton released his proposed budget today. While the primary headlines will feature proposed spending increases and income tax hikes, the budget also includes new sales tax revenue for what Governor Dayton calls “a transit system to support economic growth” in the Twin Cities and across the state. We applaud Governor Dayton for recognizing this important need.”