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Grow with Us Plant Sale!
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Get all of your garden needs and help support DFL48! This year, we’re offering you plant cards at both Gerten’s Greenhouses and Garden Center in Inver Grove Heights and Wagner’s Greenhouse in Minneapolis and Bloomington.
TAG | Attorney General Swanson
The following, authored by Attorney General Lori Swanson, appeared in the StarTribune on March 12, 2015:
The history of American higher education is a tour of enlightened self-regulation. Professors, alumni, parents and students nurtured a higher education system that made our citizens the living pillars of our democracy. Each generation’s children had the opportunity to climb the ladder of economic opportunity.
But things have changed. Billboards, television commercials and radio broadcasts now herald a different culture for higher education, with for-profit colleges purporting to be the vanguard. Let’s look at the results to date.
For-profit colleges enrolled just 12 percent of students but accounted for 44 percent of student loan defaults in 2013 nationwide. The U.S. Department of Education determined that 72 percent of for-profit college graduates earn less than those who drop out of high school. Nearly 90 percent of for-profit graduates have student loans. Taxpayers ultimately pick up the cost of federal loan defaults when these students can’t find jobs.
Some for-profit “career schools” have saddled students with tens of thousands of dollars of loan debt by misrepresenting job placement rates and the transferability of credits, and by enrolling students in programs that will not even qualify them for employment in their field. Seven of the top eight for-profit colleges that receive GI Bill benefits are under investigation by state or federal regulators for deceptive recruiting or other potential law violations, according to a U.S. Senate Report. Attorneys General in over 25 states have sued, settled with, or are investigating for-profit colleges for their recruiting, marketing, enrollment and/or job placement practices.
Against this backdrop, the Attorney General’s office drafted Senate File 696/House File 234, a bill pending at the State Capitol. The measure would give students better information about job placement rates, graduation rates and limitations on credit transferability. In short, a pretty innocent bill that would cost taxpayers no money but would interject some transparency and basic fairness for students.
Yet, the bill faces a steep climb at the Capitol. Few deny that students are getting hurt. Instead, detractors claim that in 2014 the Minnesota Legislature allowed state regulators to largely outsource their oversight of out-of-state online, for-profit colleges to the school’s home state via an “agreement.” The “agreement,” however, was never designed to fix — nor does it fix — the abuses carried out by for-profit schools. It merely is an excuse to protect the industry by claiming that the state cannot regulate how online schools treat Minnesota students.
The tsunami of student loan debt has crushed the hopes and dreams of far too many young people. Minnesota has a responsibility to defend these students against abuses by for-profit colleges.
State and federal laws require companies that sell securities to inform potential investors of significant information about the company and the investment — including its risks — so that they can make informed judgments about whether to invest. We should require no less for our students. After all, these companies are selling their programs as investments too — investments in young people’s futures.
Today, January 5, 2015, Gov. Mark Dayton, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Attorney General Lori Swanson, Secretary of State Steve Simon, and State Auditor Rebecca Otto were sworn in at the Landmark Center in St. Paul.
DFLers will celebrate four more years of progressive leadership Saturday, Jan. 10 at the North Star Ball. The event, which is open to the public, is being held at the Union Depot in St. Paul. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Student tickets are $15.
Attire is everything from blue jeans to black tie. (You might see some flannel in the crowd. . .)
Order your tickets today at http://www.daytoninauguration.org/2015-north-star-ball. Please attend and show your support for our progressive leaders.
2014 inauguration · 2014 North Star Ball · Attorney General Swanson · Gov. Dayton · Lori Swanson · Lt. Gov. Smith · Mark Dayton · Secretary of State Simon · State Auditor Otto · State Auditor Rebecca Otto · Steve Simon · Tina Smith
With the worst mid-term election since 1928 and Democrats losing races across the nation, the Minnesota DFL met all but one of our goals:
- reelect Gov. Dayton;
- reelect Sen. Franken;
- reelect our congressional delegation;
- reelect Attorney General Lori Swanson
- reelect Auditor Rebecca Otto and
- elect Steve Simon as our next Secretary of State.
For the first time since 1970 – 44 years – the Minnesota elected a DFL Governor and DFL U.S. Senator.
With fewer than 2 million people voting we fell short on our fifth goal, retaining the majority in the Minnesota House. DFL Chairman Ken Martin makes the point that 10 of the 11 seats that the GOP picked up were in Greater Minnesota.
“The GOP message did not resonate with suburban voters who left the gains that the DFL made in 2012 in suburban districts relatively intact,” Martin said. “The DFL’s ability to win in suburban districts in a difficult mid-term election suggests that the GOP is becoming increasingly confined to a rural party. Indeed their inability to compete in the more populous parts of the state has prevented them from winning ANY statewide office since 2006.”
Thank you to everyone for their hard work to elect leaders who will build a better Minnesota and represent our values in Washington, D.C. We look forward to working together to ensure that the DFL is a Party built to win, built to last and that we retake the Minnesota House and go blue for our Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.
2014 election · Al Franken · Attorney General Swanson · DFL Chair Martin · Gov. Dayton · Ken Martin · Lori Swanson · Mark Dayton · Secretary of State Simon · Sen. Franken · State Auditor Otto · State Auditor Rebecca Otto · Steve Simon · U.S. Senate