At the beginning of the legislative session, Gov. Dayton outlined five priorities to improve the lives of Minnesotans throughout our state. Through working with the DFL-led House of Representatives and Minnesota Senate, Gov. Dayton kept his promise to build a Better Minnesota.
- Tax cuts and repeal of business to business taxes: More than 1 million lower- and middle-class Minnesotans received a tax cut. The Governor and legislators also repealed three business to business taxes that had been put into place where there was a budget deficit.
- Minimum wage increase: Raised the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2016. This is the first increase in nearly a decade. It will benefit more than 325,000 workers and about 137,000 children. Prior to the increase, Minnesota was one of four states to have a minimum wage ($6.15) lower than the U.S. minimum wage.
- Bonding bill: More than $1 billion invested in infrastructure and economic development projects throughout the state that will strength local communities and drive economic growth. The bill creates thousands of jobs.
- Essential spending and fiscal responsibility: Thanks to a $1.2 billion budget surplus, Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators were able to address key priorities for Minnesotans. In addition to adding $150 million to the state’s reserve, the first increase since 2001, the surplus was used to:
- Provide a pay increase to health care workers who care for people with disabilities and older Minnesotans.
- Provide free hot lunches for all students so they are better prepared to learn.
- Provide heating assistance for pay for propane fuel during the brutally cold, long winter.
- Unsession: More than 1,100 proposals were signed into law to streamline government and improve government services.
The Governor signed into the law Women’s Economic Security Act to ensure equal pay for equal work, expand family and sick leave for working families and increase economic opportunity for women in high-wage, high-demand jobs.
Our Representative and Cottage Grove Police Officer Dan Schoen pushed for reform on the difficult issue of medical marijuana. While the compromise might not be enough for some, the results delivered deserved relief to children and their families and will provide need scientific analysis to guide future medical marijuana debates.
Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators is far reaching and will improve the lives of Minnesotans in every corner of our state.