Tag Archives: economy

2012 Legislative Session update

An update on legislative bills and movement, so far. The 2012 legislative session is expected to end by mid to late April. To view more information about these bills, visit our 2012 legislative agenda page:


HF 645 and SF 947 – Collaborative grant program to reduce minority populations unemployment and appropriation.

CAPM’s position: Support

Status: Last heard in 2011, this bill did not make any movement in 2012. The bills are not expected to pass in 2012.


HF 1953 – Prohibits bullying and retaliation against bullying in public schools

CAPM’s position: Neutral

Status: CAPM was informed that the language in the bill may have unintentional and undesirable consequences on how bullying is treated in schools. We await the governor’s bullying taskforce’s recommendation as they conduct hearing and discussions on how best to protect all students from harassment and bullying in school.


HF 1907 / SF 1556 – Restores the 20% wage cut for family members providing PCA services.

CAPM’s position: Support

Status: see below…


HF 1888 / SF 1672 – Restores cuts to Emergency Medical Assistance for non-citizens.

CAPM’s position: Support

Status: see below….

The Senate passed the Omnibus Health and Human Services Bill (HF 2294) sponsored by Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) on Thursday afternoon. The legislation includes $22 million in new spending as a result of an announcement by Governor Dayton this week that health plans would repay $73 million to the government due to a cap on Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) profits. The bill partially restores the Emergency Medical Assistance program, temporarily restores pay for personal care attendants (PCAs) who attend to relatives, and provides dialysis and cancer treatments for non-citizens. The House companion bill was passed on March 29. The bills will eventually go to a conference committee to sort out any differences. Sen. Hann said Thursday that the bill won’t be perfect for everyone but it’s his intention to produce a bill with broad support from the Legislature that the Governor will sign into law.

CAPM will keep an eye on things for the HHS bill.

State Government

HF 2555 / SF 2304 –Sunset advisory commission sunset review changes implementation, administrative procedures and fees modification and appropriation

CAPM’s position: Support

Status: Both bills have been active during the 2012 session and we are cautiously optimistic about the passage of the bills.

Constitutional Amendment

Voter ID – Constitutional amendment to require Minnesotans to show a valid photo ID in order to vote.

CAPM’s position: Oppose

Status: The last step to put the question on the Election Day ballot came April 4, when the Minnesota Senate approved legislation passed earlier by the House.

Voters will be asked:

“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?”

Expect a voter education campaign from organizations on both sides of the issue this summer and fall.

To learn more, MPR has a voter ID primer at:

The Voter ID amendment proposal joins the marriage amendment proposal this November on the ballot.

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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Legislative


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Legislation of interest, an update (Education, welfare reform, veterans bills..)

Education Funding

HF 2480 (Winkler) / SF 2029 (Sieben)
Corporate tax provisions and school shift requirements modifications

Named “Pay Back Our Kids Act,” read more in a Star Tribune article “DFLers call for payback of money borrowed from schools”

Jobs and workforce training

HF 2277 (Mahoney) / SF 1768 (Skoe)
New jobs tax credit established, corporate franchise and sales and use taxes changes made, and money appropriated.

This legislation would provide a one-time $3,000 tax credit to any Minnesota business for each veteran, unemployed worker or recent college graduate hired during the 2012 calendar year, and a $1,500 credit for each new hire through June 2013.

HF 2181 (Brynaert)  / SF1751 (Eaton)
FastTRAC adult career pathway program establishment and appropriation

Welfare Reform

SF 1833 (Benson) / HF 2080 (Daudt)
Minnesota family imvestment program (MFIP) ineligibility, sanctions, time limit, and exit level modifications

The above bills were among a series of welfare reforms proposed in February that met with strong opposition from low-income advocacy groups. Read more in the article: ‘Welfare Reform 2.0’ moves ahead, but met with anger at Legislature


HF 2261 (Dettmer)
Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery burial eligibility expanded to include deceased allied Hmong-American or Lao-American veterans of the American Secret War in Laos.

HF 2260 (Dettmer)
Congress and the President of the United States memorialized to amend federal veterans cemetery law to expand eligibility for burial in state veterans cemeteries developed with federal funding to include allied Hmong-American and Lao-American veterans of America’s Secret War in Laos.

HF 2629 (Anderson, B.)
Resolution; Congress and the President of the United States memorialized to formally recognize the Khmer Freedom Fighters.

Read more about this bill in the article: Resolution would affirm Khmer soldiers

Click the “Read the rest of this entry” link to view previously mentioned legislation of interest (from Feb. 7th, 2012)

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Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Legislative


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E200 2012

E200 2012: Targeted Business Strategies To Help Minneapolis/ St.Paul Entrepreneurs

Accelerate Growth — Explore Financing — Diversify Markets — Expand Networking

WHAT: E200 Emerging Leaders is an intensive training initiative to accelerate growth of high potential small businesses located in America’s cities. Developed by the U.S. Small Business  Administration, E200 offers qualified business owners powerful benefits including innovative strategies to grow, acquire financing, access new markets and leverage networking.

WHO: The e200 training is open to small businesses located in the City of Minneapolis or City of St. Paul with annual revenues between $400,000 to $10 million that have been in business for at least three years. This training is not for start-up businesses.

WHEN: Thirteen classes will begin the week of April 18 and run through early November. Space is limited to one C-level executive per business.

CLASSROOM LOCATION? To be determined

WHAT’S THE COST? The only costs are your time and commitment to complete the curriculum.

Anticipate 100 hours of combined classroom, homework and peer-to-peer mentoring.

HOW DO I REGISTER? To request a letter of interest form, contact Cindy Collett at 612-370-2312

Letters of interest must be received by: March 12, 2012.

This program is co-sponsored by the following organizations:
Metropolitan Economic
Development Association (MEDA)
City of Minneapolis
City of Saint Paul
The SCORE Association
U.S. Small Business Administration
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
Federal Executive Board of MN – SADBOC
North Hennepin Community College
Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
Women’s Business Center at WomenVenture

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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Community news


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Conference Call/Web Chat: Small Business Administration 101 (2/22/12)

U.S. Department of Education sent this bulletin at 02/21/2012 11:57 AM EST

Join Us for Our Next Conference Call/Web Chat:

Small Business Administration (SBA) 101

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will host a conference call/webinar in collaboration with the SBA. Representatives from SBA will speak about their efforts to support small business owners and entrepreneurs, including:

  • Providing business owners access to capital
  • Opportunities in government contracting
  • Access to entrepreneurial education and counseling
  • Disaster assistance for business owners, homeowners, and renters.

Small businesses account for nearly two of three new jobs created today. AAPI-owned businesses, like other minority-owned businesses, continue to grow and provide employment opportunities, contributing to the recovery and growth of the current economy.  Hear from officials from the Small Business Administration about their work to protect the interests of AAPI-owned small businesses, and ask questions about accessing these federal resources.


WHO:                   Meina Banh, Special Assistant, Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs,
U.S. Small Business Administration

                               Chris Chan, Special Advisor for Public Engagement,
U.S. Small Business Administration

WHEN:                Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM EST / 12:00 PM PST

HOW:                   To join on-line:

1. Click here
2. Enter your name and email address.
3. Enter the session password: welcome1
4. Click “Join Now”.
5. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

**WebEx technical support – 800-857-8777

                                 To join by phone:

Dial:      888-982-4491
Passcode:         6271


Questions can be submitted via Twitter at

*Note: all web chats are off the record and are not for press purposes.

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in National news


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News roundup: housing and education articles


Foreclosure settlement could help 17K Minn. homeowners

Minnesota homeowners with foreclosed houses, could get help from a settlement announced Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.

Obama wants Congress to act on expanded home refinance plan

The Obama administration’s latest refinancing proposal could extend mortgage refinancing opportunities to millions of homeowners, but it faces plenty of opposition. The plan is intended to help qualifying borrowers refinance into lower-interest-rate loans, saving them $3,000 a year on average.

Minn. gets $280M for mortgage aid

Certain borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure could get a $2,000 refund, and banks have been ordered to speed up the notoriously slow short-sale process.

A refinance benefit allows borrowers to refinance at a lower interest rate if they are current on their mortgage and have no delinquencies in the past 12 months, are “underwater” on their mortgage (owe more than the home is worth), originated their loan prior to Jan. 1, 2009, and are paying an interest rate of at least 5.25 percent. Minnesota’s portion is valued at about $36 million.

If you might qualify for any type of relief you should contact the Attorney General or the Minnesota Commerce Dept. for more info.  Also, let your friends know about these possibilities.


Bill: teacher evals overrule seniority in K-12 schools

A proposed bill in the state Legislature could drastically change how schools make staffing decisions in tough times by basing layoff on teacher evaluations. However, how to evaluate teachers have yet to be decided upon.

Area superintendents pleased to have ‘No Child’ waiver

Minnesota to be granted waiver from NCLB law

Minnesota schools excused from controversial No Child

Minnesota will be among 10 states freed from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law, allowing the state to move ahead with a new accountability system for schools that focuses not just on test scores but also on other measures of student growth.

Minnesota Legislature: Charter schools would gain levy funding from district under bill

The Republican-backed plan would allow local referendum dollars to follow students if they attend a charter within their district boundaries. It would take about $20 million from local school districts and transfer it to charters, which are public schools that operate outside the traditional district structure.

State integration task force adopts plan to close achievement gap

A bipartisan task force approved a plan Tuesday that begins to spell out how Minnesota schools can better spend $108 million in funds to integrate schools and close the ever-widening achievement gap. Two members of the 12-member task force voted against the plan and will be submitting separate reports to lawmakers.

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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Community news, Legislative


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2012 legislation of interest (so far)

SF 1556 (Lourey; Higgins; Marty; Hayden and Sheran) (Companion to HF

Referred to the Health and Human Services committee. Restores the 20% wage cut for family members providing personal care assistance (PCA) services.
HF 1953 (Abeler and Hilstrom)

Referred to the Education Reform
committee. Prohibits bullying and retaliation against bullying in public schools and requires public and charter schools to provide bullying prevention programs for all K-12 students.

HF 1986 (Gottwalt)

Referred to the Health and Human Services Reform committee. Reduces the income eligibility criteria for the Healthy Minnesota Contribution Program, which provides MinnesotaCare enrollees with vouchers to purchase health insurance on the private market, from 200% to 150% of the federal poverty level. Extends the period of time the person on the program has to choose a health insurance plan from three to four months before they lose their eligibility and have to reapply. Allows MinnesotaCare enrollees who are eligible for MCHA (Minnesota’s high-risk pool) to enroll in MCHA without first being denied coverage by a health plan.

Council on Affairs of Chicano/Latino People, Council on Black Minnesotans, Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, Indian Affairs Council, and Council on Disabilities continued existence provided.

Collaborative grant program to reduce minority populations unemployment and appropriation

SF1672 and HF1888
Expands medical assistance eligibility to include qualified noncitizens that entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996 and noncitizens that are not legally “qualified noncitizens” as they work toward citizenship. (this repeals the new provision passed in 2011 that cut off EMA for non-citizens).

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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Legislative


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New Americans in Minnesota, a fact sheet from the Immigration Policy Center

Immigration stats


Originally posted at

Immigrants and their children are growing shares of Minnesota’s population and electorate.

  • The foreign-born share of Minnesota’s population rose from 2.6% in 1990, to 5.3% in 2000, to 7.1% in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Minnesota was home to 378,483 immigrants in 2010, which is more than the total population of New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 44.7% of immigrants (or 169,246 people) in Minnesota were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2010—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
  • 4.3% (or 126,034) of registered voters in Minnesota were “New Americans”—naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were raised during the current era of immigration from Latin America and Asia which began in 1965—according to an analysis of 2008 Census Bureau data by Rob Paral & Associates.

Roughly 1 in 11 Minnesotans are Latino or Asian.

  • Asians comprised 2.0% (or 56,000) of Minnesota voters in the 2008 elections, and Latinos accounted for 1.3%(or 35,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In Minnesota, 86.3% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • In 200988.3% of children in Asian families in Minnesota were U.S. citizens, as were 90.3% of children in Latino families.

Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Minnesota’s economy.

  • The 2010 purchasing power of Minnesota’s Asians totaled $5.9 billion—an increase of 662.1% since 1990.
  • Minnesota’s 11,371 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $2.4 billion and employed 16,950 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available.

Minnesota’s diverse immigrant population adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s economy.

  • In the Twin Cities metro area, 138 immigrant-owned businesses created 386 new jobs and spent $5.6 million on payroll, rent, and supplies in 2002, according to a study from the University of Minnesota.
  • More than 16,000 Asian-Indians living in Minnesota accounted for $500 million in consumer purchasing power, paid $5.2 million in real estate taxes and $2.3 million in rent, and owned 400 companies that employed more than 6,000 people, according to the same report.
  • Minnesota was home to 60,000 Hmong, whose businesses generated an estimated $100 million in revenue, according to the same report.

Immigrants are integral to Minnesota’s economy as workers.

  • Immigrants comprised 8.3% of the state’s workforce in 2010 (or 243,842 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Immigrants accounted for 8% of total economic output in the Minneapolis metropolitan area as of 2007, according to a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 2.1% of the state’s workforce (or 60,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Minnesota, the state would lose $4.4 billion in economic activity, $2.0 billion in gross state product, and approximately 24,299 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.

Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.

  • Unauthorized immigrants in Minnesota paid $81.7 million in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes:
  • $15.6 million in state income taxes.
  • $7.6 million in property taxes.
  • $58.4 million in sales taxes.

Immigrants are integral to Minnesota’s economy as students.

  • Minnesota’s 11,550 foreign students contributed $276.3 million to the state’s economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses for the 2009-2010 academic year, according to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

Naturalized citizens excel educationally.

  • In Minnesota, 35.3% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2009 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 29.7% of noncitizens. At the same time, only 21.2% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 35.1% of noncitizens. 
  • The number of immigrants in Minnesota with a college degree increased by 71.2% between 2000 and 2009, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
  • In Minnesota, 79.1% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • The English proficiency rate among Asian children in Minnesota was 74%, while for Latino children it was 84.8%, as of 2009.
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Press Release


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