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Walz weekly roundup -- July 25-29, 2022
Fergus Falls Daily Journal - 8/1/2022
Aug. 1—In a busy week for Gov. Tim Walz, he celebrated the passage of Americans with Disabilities Act on its 32nd anniversary, as well as outlining a ten year economic expansion plan, and celebrated the lowest unemployment rate that any state has ever reported.
Walz officially proclaimed July 26 as ADA Day to commemorate the anniversary of the ADA and reflect on the strides Minnesota has made while recommitting to listening to and supporting Minnesotans with disabilities to build a more inclusive state. According to adata.org, "ADA became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation and all public and private places that are open to the general public."
Walz also proclaimed July 26 as Rev. Marlene Whiterabbit Helgemo Day in honor and remembrance of Marlene Whiterabbit Helgemo, recognizing her work as a faith leader, mentor and tireless advocate for Indigenous rights.
Walz posted his thoughts on Twitter, "As a faith leader and mentor, Rev. Marlene Whiterabbit Helgemo's fierce and passionate advocacy for Indigenous rights inspired hope and changed lives. With our deepest gratitude, we recognize Marlene Whiterabbit Helgemo for her many contributions to the people of Minnesota."
On July 27, Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan unveiled a ten-year economic expansion plan at Wyoming Machine in Stacy, Minnesota. The Governor's Council on Economic Expansion released the 28-page report, which offers long-term steps to continue improving Minnesota's economy.
"In September of 2021, I launched the Governor's Council on Economic Expansion. Bringing together 15 leaders in our state, along with three of my commissioners, I asked this council to take on a big task: to seize a unique opportunity in a moment of disruption to imagine an economy that is equitable, inclusive, sustainable, resilient, and centered on Minnesota's greatest strength — our people. I asked the council to bring forward big ideas, not just for your government, but for Minnesota as a whole. Ideas that could build a new, equitable foundation for the economy," stated Walz.
The entire plan can be found online at this link: mn.gov/deed/assets/governors-council-economic-expansion-roadmap-acc_tcm1045-535818.pdf
Also on July 27, the Commission on Judicial Selection announced a vacancy in Minnesota'sEighth Judicial District. This vacancy will occur upon the retirement of the Honorable Charles C. Glasrud. This seat will be chambered in Morris, in Stevens County.
Individuals wishing to apply may request an application by contacting the Office of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor via e-mail at Judicial.Selection@state.mn.us . Application materials are due by 4:00 p.m. on August 17, and should be addressed to the Chair of the Commission, Erin Sindberg Porter . The commission expects to hold interviews in early September.
On July 29, Walz announced that for the first time since 2003, Moody's has rated Minnesota as AAA, the highest rating achievable. In a separate release, Standard & Poor's (S&P) confirmed its AAA rating for Minnesota as well.
"Minnesota is in a strong financial position," said Walz. "Getting upgraded by Moody's is an incredible achievement at any time and particularly on the heels of a historic pandemic that has created uncertainty in the global marketplace. Careful fiscal management, a diverse economy, record low unemployment, and strong financial reserves put us at the threshold of what relatively few states have, AAA bond ratings across the board."
Moody's credited its upgrade to a track record of prudent governance that has driven growth in financial reserves and strong management of long-term liabilities, such as improved pension contributions, that will keep Minnesota's leverage and fixed cost burdens among the lowest of all US states. Also supporting the rating are, strong, long-standing economic fundamentals including above average incomes, a diverse industrial mix, high levels of workforce participation and low unemployment rates.
In affirming Minnesota'sAAA rating, Standard & Poor's cited the state's deep and diverse economy, history of strong financial results, moderate debt levels and ability to raise revenues and reduce or defer expenditures to maintain a balanced state budget.
Also, last week, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that the state's unemployment rate change made history with the lowest monthly unemployment rate that any state has ever reported. In June, Minnesota's unemployment rate reached 1.8%, down two-tenths of a percent from May and just half the size of the nation's unemployment rate. Walz stated that over 91,000 jobs have been created in the past year, with the state's labor force participation rate growing to 68.5%.
"We're building a state with more opportunity for Minnesotans. I am proud to break another record with these historically low unemployment rates," said Governor Walz. "During a period of global economic worry, Minnesota's economy is stable and thriving. We will continue working to provide all Minnesotan's security and financial relief and ensure that this growth continues."
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