Getting Minnesotans back to work
Getting people back to work continues to be my top priority for the 2012 legislative session. Despite some welcome signs that our state’s economy is beginning to stabilize after a long and painful recession, Minnesota still faces a serious jobs deficit. That is why I am determined to work with Gov. Dayton to pass a jobs plan to get Minnesotans back to work.
Our DFL Jobs Plan will help businesses grow and retain good jobs in Minnesota by providing new incentives to companies that hire unemployed workers, veterans or recent graduates. This is a one-time $3,000 tax credit to any Minnesota business for each veteran, unemployed worker or recent graduate they hire during calendar year 2012, and a $1,500 credit for each new hire through June 2013. A similar program has worked very successfully on the Iron Range. This $35 million program would create more than 10,000 new, private-sector jobs this year. That’s something everyone can get on board with.
Another important component of the DFL Jobs Plan is to put new money into the Minnesota Investment Fund. This program has a successful track record of attracting new businesses and helping existing Minnesota companies grow and expand. The money we managed to secure for this program last year allowed the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to attract new business to Minnesota, resulting in $46 million in private investment and the creation of 218 new jobs.
The plan also creates new opportunities for job training in high-demand fields by expanding the Minnesota FastTRAC initiative statewide. This proven program has been successful in training workers for high-demand jobs and the expansion is a good investment to help get people back to work.
The DFL Jobs Plan includes an initiative to help another 2,000 Minnesotans receive job skills training through grants for professional education for in-demand jobs. These grants will go to adults who pursue and complete short-term education and training at a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institutions in regionally high-demand career fields.
This is the legislative session traditionally dedicated to a bonding bill. Making targeted and strategic investments in the state’s infrastructure will put more than 20,000 Minnesotans back to work repairing and improving the state’s roads, bridges, wastewater treatment facilities, and higher education research facilities–another important component in the jobs plan. The proposed bonding bill provides $775 million for new investment in infrastructure, allowing primarily private-sector employers to put tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work. The bonding bill includes $20 million in bonding requests by DEED specifically designed to help other businesses expand in Minnesota. These initiatives would provide grants to cities for business infrastructure, help local authorities renew old property for business development, and aid in the development of transit improvements focused on businesses.
The 2012 jobs plan includes good ideas to create jobs and I hope the Republican majority works with us to get this bill passed–it’s a good plan to jump start our economy and put more people back to work.
It is an honor to represent Northeastern Minnesota as your State Senator. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I can be reached at Room 25 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155. My phone number is 651-296-8017 and email firstname.lastname@example.org.