Responses to Dayton's State of the State Address

Updated: 04/30/2014 8:42 PM By: Cassie Hart

Photo: KSTP/File
Photo: KSTP/File

Governor Mark Dayton delivered his fourth State of the State Address to a joint session of the Minnesota Legislature. In the speech, Governor Dayton highlighted important progress that has been made over the last four years to build a Better Minnesota, and outlined his vision to build on that progress. After the speech, these responses were released.

“Tonight, Governor Dayton repeated his strong commitment to growing Minnesota’s economy, and expanding economic opportunity for all Minnesotans. Under the Governor’s leadership, Minnesota’s economy has added more than 150,000 new jobs since 2011, regaining all the jobs that were lost during the Great Recession. The investments the Governor has made in economic development, job creation, and education have paid off – with more jobs, more business expansions, and a stronger middle class. Minnesota has made great progress over the last three years, and I have high hopes for our state’s future thanks to the leadership of our Governor.”


                                               -- Vice President Walter F. Mondale



“Creating a world-class education system for Minnesota students has been one of Governor Dayton's top priorities from the beginning of his administration. Tonight, the Governor reaffirmed his commitment to helping every Minnesota student succeed. Paired with the investments and smart reforms made over the past three years, the proposals the Governor outlined tonight will help our hardworking educators build even better Minnesota schools that open more opportunities for all of our students to succeed in school and life.”


-- Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, Department of Education



“Since 2011, Minnesota has added more than 150,000 new jobs. We have made important progress with new investments in economic development, business expansion, and job creation. We have made new and important investments in education – from preschool to college. We have strengthened the middle class, improved the lives of disabled and aging Minnesotans, and expanded opportunity for all Minnesotans. The Governor’s speech tonight aptly described the progress Minnesota has made over these last three years, and laid out an exciting vision for Minnesota’s future.”


                                                -- Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon



“Thanks to Governor Dayton’s strong leadership, middle-class Minnesotans received tens of millions of dollars in immediate tax cuts this filing season. Next year, about one and a half million middle-class taxpayers will save money on their income taxes. These tax cuts, paired with the investments in property tax relief last year, provide real tax relief. I look forward to working with Governor Dayton throughout the rest of this session to provide even more tax relief for Minnesotans.”


-- Commissioner Myron Frans, Department of Revenue



“Governor Dayton and the Legislature made key investments last session that strengthened Minnesota’s economy and attracted new jobs to our State. Establishing a Minnesota Job Creation Fund and making significant contributions to the Minnesota Investment Fund attracted new business expansions that added thousands of jobs for Minnesotans. This evening, Governor Dayton called for further investment in Minnesota’s economy- key investments in education, transportation and infrastructure that will spur additional economic development for our state, and provide better jobs and an even higher quality of life for Minnesotans across the State.”


                                              -- Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben, DEED



“Some people talk about reform. This administration does it. In his 2013 State of the State Address, Governor Dayton called on the Legislature and state agencies to make government simpler, more efficient, and easier to understand. Under the Governor’s leadership, we are making those calls for action a reality. This year, we are passing legislation that eliminates unneeded statutes and implementing reform measures that are making state government better for Minnesotans.”


-- Commissioner Tony Sertich, IRRRB



“Governor Dayton believes the hard-working Minnesotans who care for our parents, grandparents, and friends and relatives with disabilities should receive a much deserved pay increase. This year, Governor Dayton has proposed a five percent pay increase for home care providers – helping ensure these hard-working Minnesotans are paid fairly for the high-quality care they provide for our friends and loved ones.”


-- Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, Department of Human Services



“Last year, Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature reversed a decade of disinvestment in higher education. By freezing tuition at public colleges and universities and enacting the largest increase in direct student financial aid in a generation, the Governor has helped make higher education more affordable for Minnesotans. Those investments, on top of tuition and student loan interest tax deductions signed into law this month, are making a difference for hundreds of thousands of students and their families. The Governor’s comments tonight reiterated his strong support for higher education, and laid out a vision to help ensure college is not only affordable, but also better-aligned with our workforce needs – preparing our students for the good-paying jobs of tomorrow.”


-- Commissioner Larry Pogemiller, Office of Higher Education



“Governor Dayton consistently prioritizes creating a more fair, equitable and educated Minnesota. Under his leadership, our state now has a balanced budget that helps working families. Many of those working families - thousands of whom live in Minneapolis - will also see a raise following the minimum wage bill Governor Dayton signed into law. The vision Governor Dayton painted tonight is one of a bright future. He has helped move our state in the right direction as we ensure our city and state can be a place where all people have an opportunity to thrive. I thank him for his dedication to creating an economy that works for everyone, where the entire community contributes to and benefits from our growth and increased prosperity, and I look forward to working with him to continue moving Minnesota forward.”


-- Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges



“Tonight, Governor Dayton reiterated his commitment to working-class Minnesotans and to tackling the biggest issues facing families across our state. Here in Saint Paul, we have appreciated his collaborative approach with local communities. In addition to his ongoing support for local job-creating investments like the Lowertown Ballpark and the Palace Theatre, the Governor has worked together with communities to reinvest in local government aid after several years of disinvestment. This meant that we were able to hold the line on property taxes in Saint Paul, with most people seeing property tax decreases in 2014. We look forward to the Governor’s ongoing support of local communities.”


-- St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman



“In southwestern Minnesota water access is a critical issue. The lack of it limits job creation and the long-term vitality of communities like Luverne. This year, Governor Dayton has recommended state funding for the Lewis and Clark water project, which promises to help solve the water issues facing southwestern Minnesota. I want to thank the Governor for including the project in his proposal. For the sake of our community, and for the benefit of our entire region, I urge the Legislature to pass the Governor’s recommendations this session.”


-- Luverne Mayor Pat Baustian



“This year, as part of his Unsession agenda Governor Dayton proposed legislation that would cut in half the time my business is required to save and store Unemployment Insurance records for my employees. We are really excited, because the proposed changes from the Governor will allow us to have a reduction in storage space. I don’t know if that ultimately is going to mean that we are going to be able to reduce costs by having to use less space; but it certainly means I will have more usable space for the most important assets in my business, which is my people.”


-- Ravi Norman, CEO of Thor Construction



“In 2013, Governor Dayton and the Legislature provided over $400 million in much needed property tax relief, significantly helping the middle class, while also investing new resources in Local Government Aid and County Program Aid. This will ensure critical local services are funded in communities across our state. Tonight, the Governor outlined a vision to continue strengthening Minnesota’s middle class, and keep our state moving in the right direction.”


-- Matt Entenza, Senior Fellow, Minnesota 2020

“Last year, Governor Dayton and the Legislature strengthened our communities by investing in education and job creation. And just as few weeks ago, the Governor signed legislation raising Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 – providing working people a much needed raise. Again tonight, Governor Dayton voiced his strong commitment to expanding economic opportunity for all Minnesotans. We applaud the Governor and Legislature for their leadership, and we look forward to working with them to make our state an even stronger, healthier state by continuing to work towards racial and economic equity, and to restore dignity, for all Minnesotans.”


-- Reverend Paul Turner Slack, President of ISAIAH



“As a single mom with three great kids, I have been working several minimum wage jobs to support my family.  I want to thank Governor Dayton and the Legislature for raising the minimum wage this year and for their continued commitment to working moms and dads in Minnesota. Increasing the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour, and making the other investments outlined by the Governor tonight, will make our state an even better place for working families.”


-- Jacquita Berens, Robbinsdale, MN



“I want to thank Governor Dayton and the Legislature for passing new tax cuts this year that will benefit families like mine. With two kids in college, and another enrolling in college next fall, our family is paying a lot in college tuition. But the new tax cuts signed into law this month by Governor Dayton will save our family hundreds of dollars a year, which we can use to help pay for college tuition. This year, we saved about $160 from the new tuition tax deduction. Next year, my wife Janet and I will save another $220 because the marriage penalty was eliminated. And beginning next year, our daughter Katie will be eligible to deduct the interest she paid on her student loans – saving her up to $190 on her taxes.”


-- Mark Zuzek, Hastings, MN



“Last year, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature froze tuition for students at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. After a decade of rising tuition costs, this freeze is helping make higher education more affordable for middle and lower income families across our state. The Governor should be commended for articulating a vision tonight that builds on those wise investments.”


-- MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone



“The University of Minnesota is committed to providing Minnesota students an education second to none. I want to thank Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature for helping ensure that higher education remains affordable for our students.

The $46 million the Governor invested in the State Grant Program last year is benefiting more than a third of our undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota, and also benefiting students at other higher education institutions all across Minnesota. We are also grateful for the support that made possible a two-year tuition freeze at the U. We look forward to working with the Governor to build on these important investments.”


-- University of Minnesota Provost Karen Hanson



“The minimum wage increase signed by Governor Mark Dayton will provide more than 325,000 hard-working Minnesotans a much-needed raise while boosting consumer spending in our communities. The investments that Governor Dayton outlined tonight will strengthen this progress and help to improve the lives of all working people. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to build an even better Minnesota.”


-- President Shar Knutson, AFL-CIO



“Governor Mark Dayton and the Legislature understand Minnesota’s system of public education is the engine of the state’s economy, so they’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars in it. Those investments mean kindergartners will have access to all-day, every day kindergarten this fall and college will become more affordable to tens of thousands of students through the Minnesota State Grant program. Those aren’t the only improvements they’ve made, but they show the Governor respects the hard work of educators from the earliest grades through higher education. Minnesota’s educators are eager to work with the Governor Dayton on the next stage of his vision for public schools.”


-- President Denise Specht, Education Minnesota



“Governor Dayton is right. An $850 million bonding bill is too small to meet Minnesota’s needs. I urge the Legislature to act on the Governor’s request to invest more in our state’s infrastructure, and put tens of thousands of people back to work all across Minnesota.”


-- President Harry Melander, St. Paul Building & Construction Trades Council



“Governor Dayton continues to show strong leadership for our state. Working with the current legislative leadership, the governor has created thousands of jobs, strengthened our economy and streamlined state government to make it run more efficiently. Minnesota is clearly on the right path with Governor Dayton at the helm. And, it’s fair to say, unequivocally, that the quality of life for middle class Minnesotans is better today than it was when he took office.”


-- President Chet Jorgenson, MAPE



“I commend Governor Dayton for signing the first minimum wage increase since 2005. By giving 325,000 Minnesotans their first raise in nearly a decade he has delivered on moving working people and their families forward significantly in this recovered economy.”


-- Wade Luneberg, UNITE HERE



“Throughout his career, Governor Dayton has shown that he shares the same values as working Minnesotans. Tonight, the Governor reiterated his commitment to middle class families by calling for investments in job creation, education, and good health care. We agree with the Governor that making investments like these will benefit working people in Minnesota.”


-- President Sami Gabriel, MN Teamsters Local 320



“I was glad to hear Governor Dayton voice his strong support tonight for making new investments in Minnesota’s roads, bridges, and mass transit systems. Investing in transportation is critical to our state’s economy. We look forward to working with Governor Dayton to move our state forward, and build a brighter transportation future for Minnesota.”


-- President Todd Pufahl, Laborers District Council


“Working families are the backbone of Minnesota. Tonight, Governor Dayton outlined smart proposals that will continue to grow good jobs and a stronger middle class.  He’s committed to creating a more fair, equal and educated Minnesota where opportunity is abundant and prosperity is shared.  We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to advance an agenda that benefits all Minnesotans.”


-- Eliot Seide, AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director


“We applaud Governor Dayton for his strong support of Minnesota’s home care workers. After years without any meaningful increase, we are pleased that the Governor and the Minnesota Legislature have committed to providing home care workers a five percent increase this year. We are eager to continue collaborating with the Governor and the Legislature to make sure this legislation is passed and signed into law in the coming weeks.”


-- President Jamie Gulley, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota



“Tonight, Governor Dayton reiterated that an $850 million bonding bill will not cut it for Minnesota. Our state’s critical infrastructure needs are too great to be met by a bill of this size. Like the Governor, we support a bonding bill that addresses our statewide infrastructure needs and creates tens of thousands more good jobs for Minnesotans.”


-- Glenn Johnson, Operating Engineers, Local 49



“We share Governor Dayton’s commitment to investing in Minnesota’s future. Making investments in our statewide infrastructure needs will help Minnesota better compete in the global economy and support the creation of thousands of good jobs for working people.”


-- Terry Nelson, Intl Union of Painters & Allied Trades