Latest Releases

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces Significant Federal Funding to Combat Extreme Heat, Create More Green Spaces in Minnesota

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced over $33 million in federal funding to plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat and climate change, and improve access to nature in cities, towns, and suburbs throughout Minnesota. The funding is made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act, which Smith helped pass. “As climate change fuels record-breaking heat waves across the country, we need to be doing more to increase tree cover and improve access to nature,” said Smith. “Extreme heat strains our energy systems and has negative effects on public health and overall well-being. These investments, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, will increase access to green spaces and help communities become more resilient to extreme heat thanks to the cooling effects of tree cover.” The grants are made possible by investments from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment in history. Studies show that trees in communities are associated with improved physical and mental health, lower average temperatures during extreme heat, and increased food security, and create new economic opportunities. This historic funding will help support projects that increase tree cover in disadvantaged communities, provide equitable access to the benefits of nature, and deliver tangible economic and ecological benefits to Minnesota. The grants include:

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Mike Rounds Announce More Bipartisan Support for Legislation to Modernize and Reform Rural Housing Programs

Washington [9.19.23] – This week, Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) announced growing support for their bipartisan legislation to improve federal rural housing programs, cut red tape, and strengthen the supply of affordable housing. Their updated bill would represent the most significant Rural Housing Service reforms years, and has the support of a large bipartisan group of senators including eight members of the Banking Committee. New cosponsors include Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Steve Daines (R-MT), and John Fetterman (D-PA). “Without a safe, affordable place to live, nothing else in your life works. Not your job, not your education, not your health,” said Smith. “We know that the housing crisis is hurting communities across the country, and the problem is particularly acute in rural places. This legislation is the direct result of bipartisan hearings and conversations with stakeholders who helped identify ways we can make federal rural housing programs work better for people struggling to find a safe, affordable place to live. I’m excited about the growing support for this package of rural housing reforms”  “I am pleased with the bipartisan coalition that is building around this commonsense legislation to update USDA’s Rural Housing Service,” said Rounds. “Homeownership is part of the American dream and a key to building wealth. This legislation makes important improvements and updates that will create and preserve affordable housing opportunities in South Dakota. As we face an affordable housing crisis across the nation, I

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Applauds Senate Passage of Her Bipartisan Bill to Help Small Businesses Access Capital, Create Jobs in Rural America

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) applauded the Senate’s passage of her bipartisan Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act. The legislation, which is co-led by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), would help eliminate hurdles small businesses in rural areas disproportionately face when they try to access capital. “Access to capital is essential to the economic health and growth of rural communities in Minnesota and across the country,” said Sen. Smith. “Rural small businesses often face disproportionate obstacles when trying to secure capital to develop and grow their businesses. This legislation would help rural small businesses overcome these

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Legislation to Tackle Drug Shortages, Improve Public Health Preparedness Advances Through Key Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.4.23] –U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that two of her legislative priorities, aimed at addressing drug shortages and improving public health preparedness, took a major step forward.  “Drug shortages are hurting patients, pharmacists, and physicians across the country,” said Senator Smith. “I have heard directly from Minnesotans who are facing shortages of ADHD medications like Adderall, cancer-fighting drugs for chemotherapy, among other things.  These drug shortages can be life-threatening, and I’ve made it a priority to tackle this problem. In addition, I’m focused on ensuring we are prepared for future public health threats. My bipartisan legislation will

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith Reintroduce Legislation to Improve Fire Safety in Public Housing

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.23] – U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar (both D-MN) reintroduced legislation to help install sprinkler systems in older public housing buildings. Companion legislation was also introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ 15) and John Rutherford (R-FL 05) with support from Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN 5). Smith originally introduced the Public Housing Fire Safety Act following the tragic Cedar High Apartments fire, which took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2019. The upper floors of the building, where the fire erupted, did not have sprinkler systems installed. “In the wake of the tragic

Sen. Smith, Rep. Spanberger Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Strengthen Popular Program to Lower Energy Costs, Expand Clean Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill to strengthen the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). A version of the bill was introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and David Valadao (R-CA-22). REAP provides financial assistance to farmers, producers, and rural small business owners to install renewable energy systems and adopt energy efficiency measures. Since 2021, REAP has leveraged more than $1.2 billion in public investment to stimulate more than twice that amount in private investment — delivering more than $3.4 billion in energy