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Dayton, DFL jobs plan heard

Published (3/9/2012)
By Nick Busse
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Some key elements of Gov. Mark Dayton’s jobs plan got their first hearing in a House committee March 1.

The House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee took up four DFL-sponsored bills representing portions of the job creation proposal outlined by Dayton and DFL lawmakers at a Jan. 11 press conference.

Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul) sponsors HF2277 that would create a “Jobs Now” tax credit to incentivize employers to hire new workers. Qualified employers could apply for a credit of between $1,500 and $3,000 for each unemployed worker, veteran or recent graduate that they hire, up to a maximum of 16 employees. It would expire June 30, 2013, and the credits could only be claimed after the employees had worked for 12 consecutive months.

Ben Kyriagis, president of World Trade Network, Ltd., called the bill a “modest, reasonable jobs plan.” He said bipartisan passage of the bill would send a message to businesses and consumers that the state’s leaders are serious about creating jobs.

The bill also contains a proposal to tax online retail purchases — the so-called “Amazon” or “affiliate nexus” tax. That provision will be discussed by the House Taxes Committee, where the bill was sent without recommendation.

Meanwhile, three other bills were laid over for possible omnibus bill inclusion:

HF2186, sponsored by Rep. Patti Fritz (DFL-Faribault), which would appropriate an additional $10 million for the Minnesota Investment Fund, which provides grants for business development;

HF2181, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Brynaert (DFL-Mankato), which would fund a $4.5 million Fast Training, Resources and Credentialing (FastTRAC) program to provide worker training for careers in high demand; and

HF2185, sponsored by Rep. Bev Scalze (DFL-Little Canada), which would authorize $25.2 million in transportation economic development bonding.

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