MN Governor, DFLers Propose Jobs Bill

Rebuild highways and buildings plus give a $3,000 tax credit to businesses that create new jobs— those are the proposals Minnesota Democrats (DFL) outlined less than two weeks before the start of the 2012 legislative session.

Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) endorses the ideas “Our jobs plan will help businesses create good jobs for thousands of Minnesotans who are looking for work. We need to focus on what we know will work: investing in infrastructure, providing incentives to private sector businesses to create more jobs, and training workers for high-demand careers. I hope that this legislation to put Minnesota back to work will be among the first I will sign during the upcoming session,”

Also part of the plan, $10 million in additional funding for a fund that is used to attract businesses to Minnesota. Democrats plan to pay for the additional spending and tax credits by tightening up loopholes that allow corporations to avoid paying some taxes in Minnesota.

Press release from Governor Dayton’s office:
Governor Mark Dayton and DFL Legislators together today announced a plan that if passed by the legislature, will put thousands of Minnesotans back to work this year. The plan includes a number of proposals designed to provide incentives for businesses to hire out-of-work Minnesotans, invest in infrastructure and train workers for the jobs of the future.

To encourage businesses to hire new employees, Governor Dayton and the DFL Legislators propose offering a New Jobs Tax Credit. This would be 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. This $35 million program would create over 10,000 new, private-sector jobs this year. Other proposals in the plan include a new bonding bill with details to be announced next week, a proposal that will help Minnesota compete for business expansion through the Minnesota Investment Fund, an expansion of the FastTRAC program to provide career-specific training to prepare adults for the jobs of the future and the creation of the Minnesota Opportunity Grants Pilot Program which will help Minnesotans get the training required for high-demand careers.

“From day one, my top priority has been to get Minnesota working again. Our jobs plan will help businesses create good jobs for thousands of Minnesotans who are looking for work. We need to focus on what we know will work: investing in infrastructure, providing incentives to private sector businesses to create more jobs, and training workers for high-demand careers. I hope that this legislation to put Minnesota back to work will be among the first I will sign during the upcoming session,” said Governor Mark Dayton.

Governor Dayton was joined by Senate DFL Leader Tom Bakk and House DFL Leader Paul Thissen at today’s press conference announcing the jobs plan.

“We all know Minnesota is facing a serious jobs deficit, and it’s clear that we have to make creating jobs our number one priority this session,” said Sen. Bakk. “Our jobs plan is comprised of smart, targeted and proven strategies that will spark new hiring, get tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work, and ensure that Minnesota companies and workers can compete in today’s economy. It’s critical that we move quickly to pass this comprehensive jobs package early in session, so we can make sure our employers and workers start seeing the benefits of these initiatives as soon as possible.”

“Without question, jobs are the true priority for the Minnesota Legislature in the 2012 session. It’s what matters to Minnesotans.” said Minority Leader Paul Thissen. “The best thing the legislature can do for Minnesota’s success is to make sure Minnesotans have an opportunity to build a career for the future. Jobs should be our focus, not divisive constitutional amendments.”

Summary of the legislative plan from the DFL:

New Jobs Tax Credit: The New Jobs Tax Credit is focused on immediate job creation. It would provide businesses with a $3,000 tax credit for each unemployed Minnesotan, Veteran or recent graduate hired in calendar year 2012 and a $1,500 credit for each new hire through June 2013. This $35 million initiative would create over 10,000 new, private-sector jobs each year.

Invest in Infrastructure: A new bonding bill, to be announced next week, would provide $775 million for new investment in infrastructure, allowing primarily private-sector employers to put tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work.
The bill would also include $20 million in bonding requests by the Department of Employment and Economic Development specifically designed to help 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.

Help Minnesota Compete for Business Expansion: $10 million in additional funding would be provided for the Minnesota Investment Fund, which has a track record of helping Minnesota to attract businesses to locate or expand here. In the last legislative session Governor Dayton secured $3 million in funding for the Minnesota Investment Fund. Prior to that, the fund had received only $4 million since 2005 well below the funding level for similar funds in our neighboring states. The money secured in the special session has allowed DEED to attract new business to Minnesota, resulting in $46 million in private investment and the creation of 218 new jobs. Communities across the state, including Faribault, Owatonna, Sauk Rapids and Jackson, have been able to attract new companies thanks to this fund.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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