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Mark Dayton to tour Minnesota for job-creating ideas

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August 26, 2011

Minnesota

By David Godow

ST. PAUL, Minnesota:

Governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton made his first stop today on a tour of the state to drum up ideas to spur job growth.[1] Dayton met a group of community leaders in Fergus Falls, MN, a town about 150 miles from the North Dakota border, to listen to suggestions and, it turns out, hear some complaints.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune covered the visit, during which participants relayed a number of complaints, from lack of investment in infrastructure to the perilous position of a single mother raising two children with no health insurance. One woman decried the state government's encouragement of renewable energy, which she claimed undermined a regional power company that provided jobs to many residents.[2] Other business leaders called for more state involvement and, in the words of the Star-Tribune reporter, "deeper understanding" of local business.

It's uncertain, however, how much influence Dayton will actually be able to have on Minnesota's economic prospects, no matter how many suggestions he collects from citizens. His hands are largely tied by the budget compromise he made with the Republican-controlled legislature to end a 20-day shutdown in July. The deal, which relied heavily on new borrowing and accounting tricks to buttress $1.4 billion in new spending, could limit Dayton's options for any new job-creating measures, especially given more budgetary issues are likely to emerge in 2013 unless revenues improve.

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