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2012 State of the State

2012 State of the State

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Published by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger on Feb 16, 2012
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02/16/2012

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RemarksofGovernorMarkDayton—AspreparedfordeliveryStateoftheStateAddressWednesday,February15,2012
Mr.SpeakerandMembersoftheMNHouseofRepresentatives.MadamPresidentandMembersoftheMN Senate.MadamChiefJusticeandDistinguishedMembersoftheMNSupremeCourt.MyfellowConstitutionalOfficers.MembersofmystaffandCabinet.VicePresidentMondale.GovernorAnderson.OtherDistinguishedGuests.Familyandfriends.MyfellowMinnesotans.Myfather,BruceDayton,is93yearsold.Sundays,wehave lunchtogetherathishomeinLongLake,whereIgrewup.62yearsago,myfatherbought40acresofmostlywoodsandacornfieldfor$6000. Heandmymotherbuiltahouse there,andwemovedintoitwhenIwasfiveyears old.Overtheyears,myfatheracquired130moreacres.HewasthefirstpersoninMinnesotatorestorehisfieldstotheiroriginalprairiegrassandflowers;andhehasnowdonatedhispropertytothepeopleofMinnesota,whichtheDNRwill preserveasoneofthefewremaining“old-growth”forestsinourstate.LastOctober,aswesurveyedthebeautifulfallcolorson trees borderinghis fieldofprairiegrass,Isaidtohim,“Youknow,Dad,youhavebeenaverygoodstewardofthisland.Itisinsomuchbetterconditionthanwhenyouboughtit.”Ioftenwonderhowourchildrenandgrandchildrenwilljudgeourstewardship.Willtheythankusforleavingourstate,nation,andworldinbettercondition thanwhenweinheritedit?Orwilltheyask, “Howcouldyouhaveleftuswithsuchamess?”Theanswerisforustodecide.Iamhopeful, becauseIbelieveinMinnesota.IbelieveinMinnesotans.And,fortunately,ourstateisnowshowingsignsofa long-awaitedandmuch-neededeconomicrecovery.Evenbetter,Minnesotahasregaineditsaccustomedpositionleadingmostotherstates’economicgrowth,afterlaggingbehindformuch ofthepastdecade.Minnesota’slatestunemploymentrateinDecember2011was5.7%,whichwasarecord2.8%belowthenationalaverage.WhilethenationaleconomyhasregainedlessthanhalfoftheemploymentlostfromthedepthoftheGreatRecession,Minnesotahasregainedallofitslostemployment. ThenumberofemployedMinnesotanstodayisatanall-timehigh
.
AndMinnesota’spercentageincreaseintotalwagesduring2011wasalmost5timesgreaterthantherestofthecountry.
 
The2012StateBusinessTaxClimateIndexrankedMinnesotaonly45
th
amongthestates.Thetopfivewere:Wyoming,SouthDakota,Nevada, Alaska,andFlorida.All,exceptforAlaska,are“Right-to-Work”states.Lastmonth,however,Minnesota’sunemploymentratewaslowerthan4ofthose5states.Duringthepasttwoyears,ourgrowthinaveragehourlyearningsequaledthebestandbeattherest.Ourper-capitaincomewas2
nd
highest.We’redoingsomethingright.Yet,eventhough 97,000moreMinnesotans areworkingtodaythan atthedepthoftheGreatRecession,therearestill morethan168,000Minnesotans,whowanttowork,but cannot findemployment.Theymustbeour#1priority.So,Isaytolegislators,let’stakeyourbestideasandmybestideasandturnthemintojobs!Andlet’sdoitnow.Ihavealreadysentyouthreemajorjobsinitiatives.Myproposedbondingbillwouldrepairbuildingsandupgradeclassroomequipmentatourstatecollegesanduniversities.Itwouldimproveourstateparks.Itwouldhelpfinancedowntownrevitalizationprojectsin severalcities.Five outstandingMayorsarewithustonight:inalphabeticalorder,MayorEricAndersonofMankato;MayorArdellBredefromRochester;St.PaulMayorChrisColeman;MayorDaveKleisofSt.Cloud;andMinneapolisMayorRTRybak.Myfatherandmyunclestaughtmetheimportanceof continuouslyimprovingthedowntownsofourmajorcities.Theyaretheeconomicheartsofentireregions.Iftheheartweakens,therestofthebodysuffers.One-thirdofallMinneapolispropertytaxesarepaidbydowntownenterprises.That keepspropertytaxeslowerforeveryoneelseinthecity.Everyyear,theCityofRochesterandOlmstedCountysendalmost$90millionmoretotheStateTreasuryintaxesthantheyreceivebackinLGA,SchoolAid,andotherassistance.Whywouldn’twewanttohelpmaketheseandotherkeycitiesassuccessfulaspossible?Onenationalstudyestimatesmybondingbillwouldcreate21,700jobs,mostofthemintheprivatesector.Ifyou’reskeptical,dividebytwo.That’sstillmorethan10,000Minnesotans,nowunemployed,whocouldbeworkingalloverthestate.Legislators,youare obviouslyentitledtoyourownpreferredprojects.Iask,however,thatyoudevelopyourprioritiesquicklyandpassabondingbillthismonth.
 
Thesooneryouact, thesoonerseveralthousandunemployedMinnesotanswillbedoingtheworkthatthoserepairsandrenovationsrequire.Passthebondingbill, now.Please.Ihavealsoproposedbuildinganew“People’sStadium”whichwouldprovideprivatesectorjobsforseveralthousandmoreMinnesotans.I’mamazedthatsomepeople feelnourgencytoputseveralthousandmoreMinnesotansbacktowork.Thelegislativeauthors,SenatorRosenandRepresentative Lanning,alongwithChairmanTedMondale, havebeenterrificpartnersinthis undertaking.Theymaybe gettingclosetoasite,adeal,andabill.Thenitwillbeuptoyouinthelegislature.Someofyoureportedlywanttoavoidvoting ona stadiumuntilafternextfall’selections.ThatwouldbeterriblyunfairtotheseveralthousandunemployedMinnesotans,whocouldbeworkingonthatproject thisyear,andtotheVikings.PasstheStadiumBillthissession.Please.Mythirdjobsproposalisa“JobsNow”taxcredit toencouragebusinessestohireunemployedMinnesotans,Veterans,andrecentcollegegraduates.Itwouldreducetaxesforparticipatingbusinesses,whileputtingstillmoreofourcitizenstowork.Lastweek,theMinnesotaNationalGuard’s AdjutantGeneral,RichardNash, reportedthatoftheover3000MinnesotaGuardsmenandwomen presentlyservinginKuwait,22%ofthemwillbeunemployed,whentheyreturnhome.AftertheyALLservedourcountryheroically,22%ofthemwon’thave jobs.Thatisshameful.Itis why,inadditiontomy“JobsNow”taxcredit,IhavealsoproposedexpandingtheMinnesotaGIBilltoprovideeducationbenefitstoallerasofveterans,becauseunemploymentamongallMinnesotaveteransmaybeashighastwicethestateaverage.Sittingupstairs,aretwoMinnesotaveterans.Mr.StevenJacksonservedintheUSArmyfor15yearsinplaceslikeIraq.Mr.JackMarshall forserved6yearsintheAirForce,anddidatourinKuwait.

Thesetwoheroes servedourstateandnationwithgreatpatriotism,valor, andhonor.Nowtheycan’tfindjobs.Thatiswrong.Sopassa“JobsNow”bill andexpandtheMNGIBill.Please.

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