Democrats in the Minnesota House say they're trying to steer the focus of the 2012 Legislative session back to jobs and the economy.
They released three new initiatives Wednesday that build on an earlier DFL jobs plan.
One proposal would create a pilot program to help the long-term unemployed get on-the-job training for new careers. Another would give greater preference to Minnesota businesses in state contracts and purchases. The third bill beefs up an existing loan program for small business expansion.
Rep. Tim Mahoney, DFL-St. Paul, said he hopes the proposals get more attention than constitutional amendments or other partisan issues.
"If we can focus this legislative session on jobs, rather than rhetoric, we can actually help the state of Minnesota," Mahoney said, adding that a budget deficit will face lawmakers next session.
Republicans are pushing their own jobs agenda, which includes tax breaks and regulatory relief for businesses.