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U.S. Senator Tina Smith Leads Efforts to Address the Rural EMS Crisis with Statewide Tour

MINNESOTA [4.16.24] – As access to emergency medical services continues to be a top issue for leaders in the Minnesota State Legislature, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) has been active in working toward federal solutions to the crisis. She and her staff have held meetings across Minnesota, from Hibbing to Barnesville, Blackduck, and New Richland, where local EMS leaders conveyed that first responders are in dire financial straits. Senator Smith has been urging Congress to act on this crisis and is an original cosponsor of a bill to provide Medicare reimbursement for care provided by EMS when no transportation to the hospital is provided, called the Emergency Medical Services Reimbursement for On-Scene Care and Support (EMS ROCS) Act. Senator Smith stressed that joint efforts with state and local governments will be essential to fully address this crisis and is committed to ensuring all Minnesotans can live safe and healthy lives wherever they choose to live. In recent years, several states have passed laws to make EMS an essential service – Minnesota is not one of them, meaning the state government isn’t required to fund them. At the Minnesota State Legislature, there is a bipartisan EMS Task Force that is working to address the EMS crisis at the state level. “Everyone deserves a timely, fully equipped response in times of crisis. EMS workers also deserve a fair and decent wage, regardless of where they live,” said Senator Smith. “While the Minnesota Legislature continues to work toward state solutions, I’m going to keep pushing

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Significant Federal Funding for Infrastructure Improvements Along I-94 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded $13,736,000 in federal funding for the I-94 Blowing and Drifting Snow Control Project in West Central Minnesota. The project will install 24 miles of snow fence across 38 sites to address snow control along nearly 120 miles of I-94 between the cities of Moorhead and Alexandria. The project will reduce snow traps along the economically vital I-94 corridor, enhancing safety, minimizing winter maintenance, and boosting the reliability of the heavily traveled highway. “I-94 is one of the most heavily used highways in our state but its driving conditions can be impacted during winter storms,” said Klobuchar. “With this federal grant, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will install snow fences to reduce snow traps along the highway and ensure I-94 remains safe for drivers.” “In Minnesota, we have to keep moving even when there’s snow, and this stretch of I-94 is notoriously unsafe in snowy conditions,” said Smith. “This grant from the Federal Highway Administration will help keep Minnesotans safe on I-94 in snowy conditions.” The funding was secured through the USDOT Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) Grant program. PROTECT provides funding to ensure surface transportation resilience to natural hazards including climate change, sea level rise, flooding, extreme weather events, and other natural disasters through support of planning activities, resilience improvements, community resilience and evacuation routes, and at-risk coastal infrastructure. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides funding for PROTECT. 

U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Colleagues Urge the Department of Justice to Improve Public Safety on Tribal Lands

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined her colleagues in sending a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland inquiring about the high rates of criminal cases on Tribal land that U.S. Attorneys’ Offices decline to prosecute. The letter was led by Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and was signed by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM). The Senators ask a series of questions to better understand the reasons behind the high rates of declinations. Specifically, the letter asks about the lack of evidence in these cases and the Department’s “prioritization of

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Debbie Stabenow, Reps. Paul Tonko, Brian Fitzpatrick, David Trone Reintroduce Legislation Expanding Mental Health Care Access, Increase Medicaid Reimbursement Rate

WASHINGTON – Today,  U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Health Committee, joined by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, to announce reintroduced legislation to expand access to mental health services for low-income families and children, the elderly, and people living with disabilities. The Medicaid Bump Act would increase the federal reimbursement rate for mental and behavioral health care services under Medicaid, which covers one fifth of all Americans with mental health disorders. A House companion bill was introduced by U.S. Representatives Paul D. Tonko (D-NY-20), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) and David Trone (D-MD-06).  “Too many people don’t have access to the mental

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith Announce Funding for Meat Processing Facility in Waseca

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN), members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, announced federal funding to increase the meat processing capacity of Morgan’s Meat Market LLC in Waseca. The grant funding will go towards adding a smokehouse and vacuum stuffer, which will increase worker safety, reduce cleaning time from 3 days to only 4 hours, and increase processing capacity while saving time. “Agriculture is key to our state’s economy and to stay ahead, we must continue investing in our farms and food businesses,” said Klobuchar. “This federal grant will go toward bolstering capacity, improving worker safety,

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins Colleagues in Urging Biden Administration to Address Humanitarian Crisis in Ethiopia

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator and Tina Smith (D-MN) joined her colleagues in sending a letter to the Biden administration regarding the mounting humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia. The letter was led by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and was also signed by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The Senators urged U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power to work with partners to ensure continued international humanitarian support for the people of Ethiopia as the country confronts an ongoing humanitarian crisis exacerbated by armed conflict

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