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minnesota-welcomeIn 2012, Gov. Mark Dayton promised voters he would build a Better Minnesota, and working with a DFL-led Legislature that’s what he’s done. In fact, Minnesota continues to do better and better.

But it’s not just DFLers who will tell you Minnesota is on the right track; the facts tell the story that Minnesota is the state that works:

  • CNBC recently named Minnesota as the “6th Best Place to do Business.”
  • Forbes Magazine named Minnesota the “3rd Best State in the Nation to Earn a Living.”
  • A June 2013 study by the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis found Minnesota tied for 5th in nation’s fastest growing economies.
  • Minnesota’s unemployment rate is at the lowest level in seven years. With almost 3 million jobs, there are more jobs in Minnesota than any other time.
  • For the first time ever, employment in the St. Cloud area topped 105,707, and unemployment fell to its lowest rate in the region since 2007.
  • The Twin Cities boasts the lowest unemployment rate of any large metropolitan area in the U.S.
  • DEED released a report showing that 82 percent of Minnesota businesses expect steady or increased profits in the coming year.

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By Ken Martin, Chairman, Minnesota DFL

Mark_DaytonWhen Gov. Mark Dayton took office, Minnesota faced budget deficits, high unemployment and our schools, roads and services for our most vulnerable citizens were eroding. Middle class families were struggling under the weight of higher property taxes and fees because Republicans refused to ask the wealthiest Minnesotans to pay their fair share.

Gov. Dayton knew we could do better and ran on the promise to build a Better Minnesota. In his fourth State of the State address, Gov. Dayton showed that four years later, this IS a Better Minnesota and he emphasized his commitment to making it better for generations to come.

Since Gov. Dayton took office, Minnesota has added 151,200 jobs. Today there are more than 3 million Minnesotans working – more than at any other time in state history. While Republicans predicted gloom and doom, saying businesses would leave the state under DFL control, that’s just not the case. With an historic investment in education; $30 million for the Minnesota Investment Fund – which leverages $31 of private investment for every $1 of public money; and creating the Minnesota Job Creation Fund, Gov. Dayton has made it clear that Minnesota is a good place to do business. Forbes Magazine agrees, ranking Minnesota as the 8th best place in the nation for business.

Gov. Dayton also pointed to specific businesses who have added jobs in the state. From AGCO, in Jackson, to Segetis, in Hoyt Lakes, to AXIS Clinicals, in Dilworth, businesses across the state are growing thanks to financial partnerships between the public and private sectors.

And the work to grow jobs is not done. In his State of the State address, Gov. Dayton called for a $1.2 billion bonding bill. It will mean more jobs now and more jobs in the future. For example, communities in southwestern Minnesota desperately need water to expand businesses and attract new ones. Funding through a larger than currently proposed bonding bill could complete the Minnesota portion of the Lewis & Clark pipeline and turn on the water for communities in need.

While Gov. Dayton has worked to grow opportunities for business expansion, he’s also made a difference in the lives of hardworking Minnesotans. Gov. Dayton signed the first minimum wage increase in a decade into law, giving Minnesota’s 325,000 lowest-paid workers a well-deserved raise. As Gov. Dayton said in his speech, when the minimum wage increase is fully in effect, Minnesotans will earn almost $500 million more every year. With 137,000 children being directly impacted by this increase not only will families prosper, but Minnesota is poised to see economic growth because workers have more money to spend.

And this new-found prosperity under Gov. Dayton’s leadership is here to stay. By investing in education, especially for our youngest learners, and in other policies that lift all boats, we will work to ensure that all Minnesotans share in these new opportunities for years to come.

“Increasing our commitment to early childhood education will be one key to closing the achievement gap and enabling all of our children to become successful adults,” Gov. Dayton said. “We need ALL of them to succeed. If 95+ percent of the new two generations become successful adults, this country will continue to prosper, even in more difficult times. If, however, only 85 percent are successful, 10 percent are unemployed and 5 percent are in prison, this country will struggle. And that struggle will affect everyone.”

While much has been accomplished in the past two years, after 10 years of disinvestment by Republicans more work remains to be done.

In the area of education, Gov. Dayton suggests afternoon and evening opportunities for students at schools and recreational centers. For older students, he wants to see the resources necessary to better align secondary and post-secondary education.

While many Minnesotans are working, too many Minnesotans are still unemployed or underemployed. Gov. Dayton understands that continuing to invest in entrepreneurs and small businesses and to “build on our legacy of innovation that has and will continue to drive Minnesota’s future economic growth” is one of most important ways that everyone can share in Minnesota’s prosperity.

In this State of State, Gov. Dayton has shown us where he has taken Minnesota in the past four years and he’s set a course for the future. Minnesotans have a clear choice this November: return the state to Republican control and a time when hardworking Minnesotans paid more in taxes and fees to protect corporations and the richest Minnesotans; or vote for Gov. Dayton who will keep improving education and the economy to build an even Better Minnesota.

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Ortman joining forces with extreme Tea Party Express

The Tea Party Express rolls into town for Ortman rally on Thursday

The Tea Party Express – an infamous right-wing group – is barreling into Minnesota to campaign for state Sen. Julianne Ortman – a sure sign that her extreme positions are at odds with the average Minnesotan.

The Tea Party Express – which has endorsed extreme conservatives like Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann – is bringing their “Fighting for Liberty” bus tour to Minnesota on Thursday for a “Rally with Julianne Ortman.”

“Julianne Ortman’s decision to stand with right-wing extremists like the Tea Party Express is a testament to how out of touch she is with Minnesota voters,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “Ortman is far too extreme a conservative and just plain wrong for Minnesota.”

 Ortman has consistently proved that she’s willing to put her extreme conservative values ahead of what’s best for Minnesota. Last week, Ortman voted against a measure in the State Senate to help close the gender pay gap and increase workplace protections for women in Minnesota. She’s also doubled down on her attacks on women’s reproductive health, her opposition to the overwhelmingly bipartisan Senate immigration bill and her promise to repeal Obamacare.

The Tea Party Express is the latest standard bearer from the conservative community to embrace Ortman. She’s also been backed by extremists like Sarah Palin, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, TEA Party Nation, the Conservative Campaign Committee, and SHE-PAC.

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Mark_DaytonMinnesotans received great news today; thanks to the leadership of Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL leaders, the state has a budget surplus of $1.233 billion for fiscal years 2014-15. This follows years of budget deficits under Republicans who used smoke and mirrors and borrowed from our schools to ‘balance’ the state’s budget.

“The additional money provides an opportunity to keep Minnesota moving in the right direction – forward. While many ideas about how to best use the budget surplus will come forward, I trust Gov. Dayton and DFL leaders will take actions to help middle class families and continue their work to build a Better Minnesota.”

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©2014 DFL SD 48. Prepared and paid for by Senate District 48 DFL, Sharon Borine, Chair, 18285 Croixwood Ln, Eden Prairie, MN 55347