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Tracking Minnesota’s political scene and keeping you up-to-date on those elected to serve you

Dayton appoints six members to Minnesota State Board of Trustees

Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday announced six new appointments to the Minnesota State Board of Trustees.

The board is charged with Minnesota State's system planning, fiscal management, setting tuition and fees, among other responsibilities. Minnesota State, formerly known as the Minnesota State Colleges and University System (MnSCU), consists of 37 schools throughout the state.  

The appointees include two college students, a former state legislator, a former college professor, and two business executives.

They are Basil Ajuo of Brooklyn Park, Amanda Fredlund of Mora, Jerry Janezich of Side Lake, Rodolfo Rodriguez of Maple Grove, Cheryl Tefer of Andover and Michael Vekich of St. Louis Park.

Ajuo and Fredlund, the two students appointed, will serve until summer 2018. The other four appointees will serve until summer 2022.

“These Minnesotans are well equipped to help guide the future of MnSCU, and ensure its students receive world-class educations,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement. “These members, and the entire Board, will help further MnSCU’s mission of providing Minnesotans with high-quality learning opportunities that prepare them for success in the workplace and in life.”

Dayton releases two years of tax returns, made $385K last year

Gov. Mark Dayton reported total income of $385,000 last year and $380,000 the year before that in tax returns he voluntarily released on Thursday. 

Dayton, a department store heir, derived his largest portion of  income from dividends and capital gains on investments. He reported earning $115,000 as governor in 2014 and $118,000 in 2015. 

The governor paid $105,000 in state and federal taxes in 2014 and $106,000 in 2015.

A note from Dayton's press office accompanying the tax release said he made more than $10,000 in charitable contributions in 2015 but did not report them to his tax preparer. It did not disclose recipients of his giving. 

Dayton typically released tax returns during his first term but had refrained from doing so since his second term started. He said in a statement that he did so in conjunction with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's recent release of her tax returns. Clinton has been critical of Republican Donald Trump for his refusal to do likewise.

"The people of Minnesota and the nation should know how their public leaders earn a living," Dayton said.