For more information contact: Catherine Thompson 651-296-5499
Greater Minnesota deserves a fair shot at a stronger future
SAINT PAUL, MINN – House DFL legislators from across the state unveiled a “Greater Minnesota for All” agenda today focused on building a stronger economic future in greater Minnesota through investments in job creation, transportation, and property tax relief. After a session of unfulfilled promises to greater Minnesota, House DFL Leader Paul Thissen said that it’s time for greater Minnesota to get a fair shot for a stronger future.
“All any Minnesotan wants – wherever they live in the state – is a fair shot for themselves and their community. The fact is we have proven ways of creating more jobs and opportunity from border to border. But last year in their rush to provide special perks to big Twin Cities and multinational corporations the Republicans turned their back on Greater Minnesota,” said House DFL Leader Paul Thissen. “After traveling the state over the past several months and listening to Minnesotans, we are bringing forward an agenda designed to create jobs and more opportunity in all corners of the state. We need to build an economy that works for all Minnesotans, not just the wealthy few.”
Last legislative session rural communities called the session a “monumental flop for greater Minnesota” after the House Republican majority failed to tackle important issues for greater Minnesota such as transportation, broadband infrastructure, and rural property tax relief. The “Greater Minnesota for All” agenda is focused on completing the unfinished business of the 2015 session.
“Minnesota’s economy and budget are in a strong position, but our potential for greatness in Minnesota will not be realized unless we make hardworking Minnesotans in every corner of the state our priority,” said House DFL Deputy Leader Paul Marquart. “Our agenda is focused on the building blocks for a stronger economic future in greater Minnesota – better schools, improved roads and bridges, and job creation. It’s time we level the playing field for greater Minnesota and that won’t happen unless this legislature truly makes greater Minnesota a priority."
Greater Minnesota for All Agenda
CREATING JOBS IN GREATER MINNESOTA
Statewide investment in broadband: Join Governor Dayton in calling for a $100 million investment in broadband in order to level the playing field for rural Minnesota businesses, families and students to compete in a state, national and international economy.
Pass a comprehensive transportation package: The lack of a comprehensive transportation package was one of the biggest failures last session for greater Minnesota. Communities across the state need a significant and permanent investment in roads, highways, and bridges across the state. We are committed to making sure that greater Minnesota gets its fair share by expanding on our DFL innovation to direct dollars to Corridors of Commerce as well as small cities across greater Minnesota.
Workforce housing for rural Minnesota businesses: Provide a tax credit for workforce housing in high needs rural communities so that businesses can attract the high quality workers they need to prosper and grow.
INVESTING IN EDUCATION & WORKFORCE TRAINING
Increased focus on career and technical education: Provide skills to help students get good paying jobs by doubling school reimbursement for technical and career education programs from 35% reimbursement to 70% reimbursement of costs.
Rural job training: Provide job certification rewards to a school for each career and technical class that leads to a certificate in specified job classes such as EMT, certified nursing aide, etc.
PROPERTY TAX RELIEF AND STRONGER RURAL ECONOMIES
Increase Local Government Aid (LGA) to 2002 levels: Listen to rural cities and address their top priority by increasing LGA and County Program Aid in order to provide top-notch services at an affordable cost for senior citizens, families and small businesses.
Property tax fairness for farmers: Create fairness and property tax relief for farmers through Agricultural School Building Bond Credit.
Oil train safety: Provide safety to Minnesotans that live near oil train tracks with a comprehensive oil train safety package that asks rail companies to pay their fair share to keep rural communities safe.
SUPPORTING RURAL SENIORS
Direct property tax relief for seniors: Provide a Homestead Credit and Renters Credit Property Tax for Senior Citizens, allowing both married senior citizen individuals to claim a $5600 exemption for purposes of determining household income for the HCR and renters refund programs.
Improved care for loved ones: Create a respite care program that would make it easier for families to provide care for loved ones with dementia.
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