Get some good energy by reading about brilliant women in MN’s energy industry

Great to hear about smart women!

Again for 2017, CERTs (Clean Energy Resource Teams)  interviewed 18 women who are playing major roles advancing clean energy in Minnesota. They talked with us about what they do, how they got into the field, the things that inspire them, and tips for others.

Click here to see all of the interviews

Calling all youth entrepreneurs – MN Cup applications open March 20

It’s a great opportunity – would love to see some LqP folks get involved…

MN Cup is the largest statewide startup competition in the country, and we’re proud to again sponsor the Youth Division. Students age 18 and under are eligible to participate in this platform that encourages and fosters the development of creative ideas by Minnesota’s youth.

Participants will have an opportunity to access available resources, network with MN Cup partners, mentors and entrepreneurs, and hone their business pitch and plan. The winner will receive $10,000 in seed capital, along with a variety of other benefits. Applications are accepted March 20 – April 28.

Minnesota Ranked 3rd-Best State in the Nation in New Study from U.S. News and World Report

Good news from Governor Dayton…

Report cites Minnesota’s opportunity, infrastructure, education, and healthcare systems as top factors setting Minnesota ahead

In addition to #3 national ranking, study ranks Minnesota best state in the region

PAUL, MN – Citing economic opportunities, great educations, and quality health care in Minnesota, U.S. News and World Report today released a study ranking Minnesota the 3rd-best state in the nation. The study also ranked Minnesota as the best state in the region, when compared to North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri.

“This ranking affirms what we already know: we live in one of the very best states in the country,”said Governor Mark Dayton. “But we still have more work to do to ensure that Minnesota is a state that works for everyone. I urge the Legislature to join me in making the investments necessary to ensure that our state remains a national leader in education, health care, modern infrastructure, and other essential elements of economic opportunity for all our citizens.”

Among the categories considered in the study, Minnesota scored top rankings in opportunity, health care, infrastructure, education, and the economy. In every category scored, Minnesota beats the average of all states in the nation. The study notes that Minnesota has “the third-best health care and some of the best infrastructure and opportunity in the nation.”
“This study underscores that investments in education and infrastructure drive opportunities for all Minnesotans, everywhere in our state,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “Governor Dayton’s Opportunity Agenda will continue this progress.”

Since Governor Dayton took office, the state has turned a $6 billion deficit into consistent budget surpluses, paid back $2.8 billion in debt to our schools, and added more than 255,400 jobs. Under the Governor’s leadership, the state has made investments in education every year – no excuses, no exceptions – to grow greater opportunity for all Minnesota families. Governor Dayton is now calling for An Opportunity Agenda for a Better Minnesota, to continue that progress and make Minnesota a state that works for everyone, everywhere in our state.

What’s happening at the Legislature? The Minnesota Investment Fund discussion

We wanted to share info on discussions happening at the Minnesota Legislature right now. Staring with…

From EDAM (Economic Developers Association of MN)…

SF1522, was introduced today! The Minnesota investment fund, job creation fund, and redevelopment program appropriations authorization

Your support is important to making sure it passes. Be sure to contact your legislators to express your support for the bill! If you’re not sure who your legislators are, the legislature’s district finder tool will help you get your representatives’ names and contact information. Learn more about the SF1522 and track its status.

 

 

Governor Mark Dayton Signs Bipartisan $35 Million Rural Finance Authority Bill

Governor Mark Dayton Signs Bipartisan $35 Million Rural Finance Authority Bill

Investment will help ensure that Minnesota farmers can restructure their finances ahead of the growing season

Many Minnesota farmers would otherwise face a credit crunch after several years of low commodity prices and rising expenses

ST PAUL, MN – Delivering needed assistance to Minnesota’s 74,000 farmers, Governor Mark Dayton today signed the bipartisan $35 million Rural Finance Authority legislation (H.F. 14) into law. The new funding will allow the Authority to continue offering eligible Minnesota farmers affordable financing and terms and conditions not offered by other traditional lenders. Without the investment, many Minnesota farmers would face a credit crunch caused by several years of low commodity prices and rising expenses. Rural Finance Authority loans are particularly important early in the year when Minnesota farmers review their finances and restructure debt ahead of the growing season.  

 

“This investment will provide important assistance to Minnesota farmers struggling with low commodity prices and rising expenses,” said Governor Dayton.“I thank the Legislature for moving quickly to pass this bipartisan legislation. I look forward to working with Legislators on additional help for our farm families throughout the Session.”

 

“Minnesota’s farm families are the backbone of Minnesota’s economy and support hundreds of thousands of good jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “The Rural Finance Authority is important because it helps farmers facing the perfect storm of low commodity prices and high costs. I thank the many legislators who worked together across party lines to get this done.”

 

In addition to helping farmers secure financing, the Rural Finance Authority also offers a variety other programs to strengthen Minnesota farm families and communities. These programs are designed to help new farmers purchase land, restructure debt, invest in farm improvements, and finance livestock production facilities. Overall, more than $270 million has been invested in Minnesota farm operations since 1986.

 

“The Rural Finance Authority has delivered affordable, low interest loans to thousands of Minnesota farmers to finance expansions and land purchases, and to restructure their debt,” said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “Keeping family farmers in business is important not only to our rural communities, but to the entire state.”

 

 The Rural Finance Authority has lacked funding since December 31, 2016, because the Minnesota Legislature failed to pass a bonding bill last session. Since exhausting the funding, the Authority has been working with local banks to take loan applications, but has been unable to authorize new financing for Minnesota farmers.

 

“The agriculture industry is the second largest employer in our state and the cornerstone of Minnesota’s economy, but the average farmer is 57 years old,” said Senator Andrew Lang (R-Olivia). “These low interest loans will continue our tradition of supporting family farms, and help young beginning farmers start their own farms or take over their family farms. I want to thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for working so well together, and I am glad to have the support of Governor Dayton on such an important program.”

 

“I am honored to have been a part of passing this legislation that will provide famers critical access to low interest loans,” said Senator Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley). “Programs like the Rural Finance Authority allow our agricultural producers and family farms to remain competitive, especially given the current downturn in the agriculture economy, and in turn has a direct impact on the success of rural communities throughout the state.”

 

“Providing funds for the continuation of the Rural Finance Authority’s agricultural loan program is an urgent issue I am pleased we were able to resolve swiftly,” said Representative Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin). “These loan opportunities benefit both our hardworking farmers and the local lenders who participate.”

 

Minnesota farmers interested in learning more about the assistance offered by the Rural Finance Authority should visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website or contact: 651-201-6004.

MN Democrats aim to crack down on wage theft

KARE 11 is covering the news on how policymakers are planning to crack down on employers who

Minnesota Democrats say they want to bolster the state’s ability to go after businesses that fail to fully compensate workers.

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said during a Wednesday rally that the state needs to hold accountable a small number of businesses stealing from workers. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry estimates that over 39,000 workers aren’t paid an average of $11.9 million each year in wages, overtime and benefits.

Democrats’ proposed legislation would further define wage theft, give regulators more money to investigate cases and raise penalties for businesses that have underpaid their workers.

St. Paul Rep. Tim Mahoney says the changes would help protect workers from future wage theft while aiding the investigation of over 20,000 complaints filed each year.

Learn more on KARE 11.