Mankato Free Press - Dayton's Legislative Agenda a Refreshing Approach

Governors are expected to set the agenda for legislative sessions and Gov. Mark Dayton’s has a refreshing one. 

Dayton is calling for next year’s session to be an “unsession.”

Dayton wants lawmakers to focus on pruning unneeded laws from the books, rather than focusing entirely on adding new laws.

Dayton’s plan isn’t focused on saving money — although that would be one of the positive results. Instead he wants lawmakers to remove old laws that needlessly slow down Minnesota businesses and residents who deal with government agencies. 

In short he wants to remove redundant or excess rules to make government better, faster and simpler. 

Minnesota Public Radio reports that nearly 1,600 suggestions have come in and the governor has been personally sorting through them. Some of those suggestions are common sense and fairly simple to do, such as a “plain language implementation” that would cut jargon that many people don’t understand. Others are more grand, such as to reduce the number of legislators. [Read More]


Star Tribune - ‘Made in Minnesota’ Consumer Guide Aims to Keep Dollars at Home

With Elmo by her side, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development helped kick off a new manufacturing database Tuesday that aims to drum up business within the state.

Katie Clark Sieben unveiled the Made in Minnesota Directory, an online site that will help businesses find products such as textiles, machines, computers and electronics within the state. The database, which took six months to develop and includes 600 manufacturers, is the first of its kind and is expected to pump millions of dollars back into Minnesota’s economy. [Read More]

WCCO - Gov. Dayton declares ‘Love Your Melon Day’ to support kids battling cancer

Gov. Mark Dayton has declared Tuesday to officially be “Love Your Melon Day” to honor thousands of local children battling cancer and their families that have been there to support them.

The day was co-founded by Brian Keller, a student at the University of St. Thomas who teamed up with his friend Zachary Quinn to create the charity.

“Love Your Melon was started in our entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas,” Keller and Quinn posted on the Love Your Melon website. “We started with 400 hats and in three days after selling 200, we were able to give away another 200 to children in the hospital. After seeing the impact that this simple act of giving had, we were motivated to continue this forward to help as many children as possible.” [Read More]

October 25, 2013  |  News Alerts

Bemidji Pioneer - Education Commissioner Cassellius notes importance of early schooling

When Brenda Cassellius, the state’s education commissioner, asked a roomful of 4-year-olds how many legs does a spider have, the answer came very quickly: "eight!"

Cassellius, in the area this week touring several successful schools, smiled and then proceeded to read a story, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” written and illustrated by Iza Trapani, to 20 youngsters at Bemidji’s Jack and Jill Preschool.

Cassellius emphasized that early schooling can level the playing field between children.

“People see the cost-benefit analysis and they see that if you invest early in these kids, they really do so much better,” Cassellius said. “Give them a good first step and you don’t have to make it up later.” [Read More]


Blog Update: Dayton: Why Investing in Higher Education Matters

During the past decade, tuition and fees have increased by three times the rate of inflation. Meanwhile, Minnesota students are taking out loans at one of the highest rates in the nation, with the average graduate leaving school with $29,800 in student debt. This trend isn’t sustainable or fair to Minnesotans seeking a better future.

One student struggling with the increasing cost of school is Rahel Theodros. A full-time college student from Columbia Heights studying business marketing education at the University of Minnesota. In addition to her studies, Rahel works 15-20 hours per week as a waitress and is heavily involved in volunteering and numerous campus activities. 

Rahel has a younger sister and an older brother who are also attending college right now. She is one of nearly 100,000 Minnesota students who rely on the Minnesota State Grant program to pay for college. 

In addition to the State Grant funding she receives, Rahel has also had to take out $5,000 to $6,000 in student loans each year. She anticipates that she will graduate with more than $20,000 in student debt. “Without the Minnesota State Grant Program,” she said, “I would not have been able to afford tuition.” [Read More]


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