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Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Historic Investment in Minnesota Climate-Smart Commodities and Rural Projects

WASHINGTON [9.27.22] – Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced historic federal funding that will expand climate-friendly agriculture in Minnesota and around the country. “Our farmers and agricultural communities are critical to our state economy,” said Klobuchar. “These investments will help create new markets for our agricultural products and encourage voluntary farming practices that help protect our environment.” “From educational institutions to Fortune 500 companies and producer groups to technology startups, a broad range of Minnesota organizations are at the cutting edge of research into climate-smart agriculture,” said Sen. Smith. “These investments will accelerate the growth of environmentally sustainable agriculture in our state and around the country while taking important steps to reduce emissions and fight climate change.”  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making historic investments in 70 selected projects around the country under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity. Projects from the second funding pool will be announced later this year. The investments will create market opportunities for American commodities produced using climate-smart production practices. These projects will expand markets for climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production and provide direct, meaningful benefits to production agriculture, including for small and underserved producers. The selections announced this week reflect a broad set of applicants, from non-profits and government entities to farmer cooperatives and environmental groups. Many of the recipients are based in Minnesota or partner with Minnesota businesses and organizations such as Land O’ Lakes, Minnesota Board

Senator Smith Applauds Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Ensure Minnesotans Aren’t Forced to Pay Ex-Spouses’ Student Debt

WASHINGTON [9.22.22] – U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that legislation she co-led to provide relief to individuals with consolidated loan debt with a spouse – including victims of domestic violence and financial abuse – has passed the House of Representatives and will be signed into law by President Biden. The bipartisan, bicameral bill will allow individuals to sever joint consolidation loans with a former spouse, which will provide long overdue financial freedom for vulnerable individuals who are being unfairly held responsible for the debt of a former partner.  “It’s not fair for Minnesotans to be left on the hook for the students loans of a former spouse.  Survivors of domestic violence and financial abuse should not be tied to their abuser by student loans,” said Sen. Smith. “Sixteen years ago Congress ended a misguided loan program, but it did nothing to allow those who already had these loans a fair and appropriate way to cut ties. This bill will allow individuals to sever their joint consolidation loans that links them to a former partner – an especially important step for victims of domestic abuse.  I am thrilled to announce the passage of this common sense bipartisan legislation and look forward to seeing it signed into law by President Biden.” While Congress eliminated the program to allow spouses to consolidate their loans in 2006, it did not provide a mechanism for severing existing loans, leaving thousands of people forced to pay the students loans of their former partners.  These loans also locked

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Significant Investment in Minnesota Childcare Programs on College Campuses

Washington, DC [9.21.22] — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced significant federal funding that will help provide childcare for low-income parents who face additional challenges in accessing postsecondary education. The grants, which total over $650,000, will support four years of campus-based childcare programs at St. Cloud State University and Minneapolis Community & Technical College. “For far too many parents across our state, the struggle to find high-quality, affordable childcare serves as a barrier preventing them from pursuing higher education or reentering the workforce,” said Klobuchar. “This funding will enable parents attending St. Cloud State University and

Senators Smith, Shaheen Introduce Legislation to Protect Thousands of Low-Income Families in Rural Areas from Losing their Homes

[WASHINGTON, DC]— U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced legislation in the Senate this week to ensure that thousands of low-income tenants in rural areas are able to maintain access to safe and affordable housing. The Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2022 would protect access to affordable housing for families that are largely elderly, disabled and live in rural areas, who are at risk of losing rental assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service (RHS).   “Without access to housing, nothing else in your life works. Not your job, your

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces Hearing Aimed at Improving Rural Housing Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. [9/16/22] — Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) – Chair of the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development (HTCD) – announced she will be leading a hearing on rural housing programs. Members of the committee will hear from several stakeholders including Elizabeth Glidden, the Deputy Executive Director of the Minnesota Housing Partnership, about ways to improve the availability of rural housing, help keep rural seniors afford their homes, and reduce red tape for home owners and renters. The hearing will take place on September 20, 2022 at 2:30 pm ET. “Without access to housing nothing else in your life

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Funding to Strengthen Meat and Poultry Supply Chains

Washington, D.C. [09/14/22] – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN), announced that $400,000 in federal grants have been awarded to Minnesota meat producers as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG). The funding will help strengthen food supply chains, develop new market opportunities for meat and poultry processors, and generate economic opportunity for farmers in Minnesota. “I’m thrilled to see this grant program, created through my bipartisan RAMP-UP Act, is delivering for local meat processors across Minnesota,” said Klobuchar. “These critical investments will help strengthen our food

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