Latest Releases

Senators Klobuchar, Smith and Rep. Craig Announce Applications Set to Open for Internet Expansion Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.9.22] – This week, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith, and Representative Angie Craig (all D-MN) announced that the ReConnect Program, aimed at expanding high-speed internet access in rural communities, will begin accepting Round 4 applications on September 6th. The program, which received new funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that Klobuchar, Smith and Craig helped pass earlier this year, will invest more than $1 billion to increase access to high-speed internet in small towns across the nation. “In 2022, we should be able to deliver high-speed internet to every community in our country, regardless of their zip code,” said Klobuchar. “This historic investment in the ReConnect program, which helps bring high-speed, affordable broadband to all corners of our country, will ensure rural Minnesotan communities can access work, school, and business opportunities online. I urge those that are eligible to apply.” “Broadband is the infrastructure of the 21st Century – it isn’t just nice to have, it’s necessary if we’re going to build an economy that works for everyone,” said Smith. “ReConnect funding helps connect communities in greater Minnesotan who have been left out of the digital economy. I am proud of our work to secure this funding and I encourage all eligible Minnesotans to apply.” “Right now, many rural communities in Minnesota simply don’t have the high-quality internet access that they need and deserve – and there’s no doubt that this is holding them back,” said Craig. “So I am thrilled we have been

Senator Smith Presses Postal Service for Answers on Missing and Delayed Mail in Minnesota

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.4.22] – This week, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy seeking answers about missing and delayed mail deliveries in Minnesota. Sen. Smith’s office has received numerous calls from constituents reporting inconsistent and missing mail, and mail delays of over a week have been reported on by KTTC in Rochester. “I am deeply concerned about these reports, as many Minnesotans, especially the elderly, disabled people, veterans, and rural communities, rely on the Postal Service as a lifeline,” wrote Smith in her letter. “The Postal Service is an essential service and as such is required by law to maintain a six-day per week delivery schedule with rare exceptions for geographically remote areas, natural disasters, and federal holidays… When service is inconsistent and unreliable, these Minnesotans face late payment fees, days without vital medications, and other serious consequences.” In her letter, Smith pressed DeJoy to answer the following questions by September 4, 2022: Are you aware of irregular, inconsistent, or missing mail deliveries in Minnesota? If so, in how many zip codes have these issues occurred in the last six months? What is causing these unreliable deliveries? What steps are you taking to address critical delivery delays, such as delays of medicine? What is the national Postal Service doing to address these root causes? When can Minnesotans expect a return to reliable, six-day mail service? Will you provide me with regular updates regarding any significant mail delays in Minnesota? You can access the full

Senator Smith’s Bipartisan Legislation to Secure Health Care for Veterans Exposed to Radiation Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that her bipartisan legislation securing health care benefits for “Atomic Veterans” who were exposed to harmful radiation has passed the Senate and is headed to President Biden’s desk. The bill was passed as part of the historic Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, which ensures millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits. It is co-led by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). The Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act would allow veterans

Senator Smith Announces Passage of Historic Bill to Ensure Veterans Receive the Health Care They’ve Earned

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced the Senate passed the most significant expansion of benefits and health services for veterans in more than 30 years. The historic Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act ensures millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits.  The bill’s passage comes after Senate Republicans voted to block the bipartisan deal last week, which many of them had previously voted for. The bill will now head to President Biden’s desk where it will

Senators Smith, Booker Introduce Legislation to Affirm Federal Regulation of Reproductive Health Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.2.22] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced legislation that affirms the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) long standing preemptive authority over state law for all FDA-approved reproductive health products, including drugs used in medication abortion. The U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause prohibits states from interfering with the federal government’s power to regulate drugs. The Protecting National Access to Reproductive Care Act codifies this preemptive power and the Department of Justice’s authority to enforce federal laws and regulations. It also provides private individuals, and health care providers an avenue to sue states with laws

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Reintroduces Bill to Help Schools Overcome Teacher Shortages in Minnesota, Across the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. [08.02.22] – Today, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.)—a member of the Senate Education Committee—reintroduced legislation to help schools and districts in Minnesota and across the country facing teacher shortages.  More than 40 percent of the nation’s small, rural school districts struggle to adequately staff their schools, and shortages are most acute in certain subject areas. There is a growing need for STEM, foreign language, and special education teachers. Additionally, there is a severe lack of racial diversity—nationwide teachers of color compromise only 18 percent of the teacher workforce.  “I’m hearing from Minnesota school superintendents about the many vacancies they’re struggling to fill. More than 40 percent of our nation’s small, rural school districts report that it’s

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