Star Tribune – New Minnesota Law Helps Families Care for Sick Loved Ones

Rick Hansen was a state employee some years ago whose good health had allowed him to accrue a number of unused “sick days.” But when he wanted to use that time to take his ailing mother to the doctor, his request was denied. “Sick time” was for his own medical needs or those of his dependent children — no one else, he was told.

Hansen’s first stab at expanding the use of sick days for family caregiving met with then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto in 2009, he said last week. It took four years to revive the bill. When he did, he was pleased to find that support for the notion had crossed the partisan aisle sufficiently to win 99 of 134 votes in the House and an ample majority in the Senate.

We take that change as recognition that an economy that depends on both men and women to work outside the home also has to allow those workers a reasonable opportunity to meet their family obligations. Two-earner families have been the American norm for more than four decades. But too many employment practices are still grounded in a tacit assumption that employees’ families include a nonworking adult who can relieve paid workers of caregiving responsibilities. That outdated thinking must end. [Read More]


Detroit Lakes Online – Governor Dayton Aims to Improve Tribal Relationships

With the White Earth Nation flag and tribal and state representatives standing behind him, Gov. Mark Dayton signed an executive order Thursday directing state agencies to develop policies to guide them when working with tribal nations.

"We are committing that we're going to have government-to-government, equal-to-equal communication," Dayton said in a signing ceremony at the Shooting Star Casino. "That kind of communication and dialogue is so important."

The executive order requires state agencies to designate a liaison between that department and tribal governments, and consult with tribes on issues that affect American Indians.

"It strengthens our relationship, government-to-government, with the State of Minnesota," said White Earth Nation Chairwoman Erma Vizenor. [Read More]

St. James Plaindealer – Property Taxes Projected To Go Down in New Minnesota Budget

Increased aid to local governments, sales tax exemptions for cities and counties, and direct property tax refunds for hundreds of thousands of homeowners and renters included in Governor Mark Dayton’s Budget which is projected to decrease property taxes next year by an estimated $121 million, or 1.5 percent.

“Without property tax relief, Minnesotans would have seen an increase in their property taxes next year – continuing a decade-long trend of rising property taxes,” said Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans. “Instead, when new local aids, credits, and exemptions are factored-in, along with increased refunds for homeowners and renters, we estimate property taxes will fall in Minnesota by $121 million.”

City Manager Joe McCabe says St. James will receive an additional $232,109 next year. Government aid goes from $1,336,057 this year to $1,568,166 next year. [Read More]

August 12, 2013   |  News Alerts


KTTC – Destination Medical Center Will Bring Economic Development, Jobs

Friday afternoon the group that will be at the helm of the DMC process met for the first time. What's clear after the meeting is that these men and women are about to get to work, and results should appear faster than some may have expected.

"The scale of this is virtually unprecedented," said Gov. Mark Dayton.

The men and women around the table are tasked with allocating tax money to DMC infrastructure projects. One of their first tasks -- working with a group called the Economic Development Agency to put together a development plan to guide the next 20 years of growth.

"It's going to be better," said Gov. Dayton. "It's going to be newer. It's going to be more attractive. It's going to be more dynamic, and it's going to have more people with more jobs." [Read More]


Rep. Jeanne Poppe – New Budget Will Bolster Minnesota’s Ag Economy

As thousands of Minnesotans gather for the 32nd annual Farmfest, I can think of no better time to write about the progress the DFL-led Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton made for Minnesota’s farmers during the 2013 legislative session.

This year we worked to pass legislation to support farmers and continued progress for a growing ag economy throughout Minnesota. That is why Agri-News reported about our positive results, saying “the legislative session was good for agriculture.”

Here are a few of the areas we were able to make progress:

Invested in Minnesota’s AGRI Fund: Thanks to new resources for the AGRI fund, Minnesota can expand the Farm-to-School program, provide grants for the start-up, transition and expansion of family farm livestock operations, assist with the start-up of any farm, fund research on conventional and cover crops, and explore the development of renewable forms of energy. AGRI stands for Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation.

Improved Minnesota’s “Buy the Farm” Law: We passed new legislation to help protect landowners’ livelihoods and make sure they are treated fairly by requiring utilities to pay relocation costs, compensation and to file challenges to claims within 60 days to prevent stalling. [Read  More] Bookmark and Share

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