St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- With limited state resources available, Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul) would like to know where dollars could best be spent when it comes to things like workforce development.
Held over by the House Jobs and Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee Tuesday for possible omnibus bill inclusion, this bill would provide $300,000 in fiscal year 2014 for the Department of Employment and Economic Development to conduct an annual study to determine the basic cost-of-living needs both statewide and in each of the state’s 87 counties.
“(The study) must include the analysis of employment and job vacancy data and provide recommendations for assisting economic development planning for the state,” Mahoney said. “I think it is something we need to do and find out what the cost-of-living is on a regular basis across the state so that we have a better idea of where we should and should not put our services and where we need to put more of our services.”
Bernie Hesse, director of special projects at United Food Commercial Workers, said that too often when wages are discussed there isn’t a clear picture of what it costs to live at various places in the state.
“We feel it’s appropriate to chart how much income is required to meet basic needs: that’s how much for food, housing, health care, child care, clothing (and) transportation," says Hesse.
He also said it’s important for government entities to know when a business wants to develop in its area — especially when it asks for financial assistance — that the jobs it would create will pay enough to meet the needs of the workers.
Mahoney said much of the information may already be available through various state agencies, but not in one place.
Posted to the web by Krista Burns