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U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan Celebrate First-Ever Trade Mission Focused on Indigenous Products

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan (DFL) announced the first-ever trade mission by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) focused solely on Indigenous products. Lieutenant Governor Flanagan will join Red Lake, Inc. in representing Native producers from Minnesota on this historic trade mission to Canada from June 17-20 alongside 15 Tribal agribusinesses and 13 Native agricultural leaders from across the country. “This is a historic opportunity for Native farmers and producers and Tribal businesses to access a new market for their goods.  Native farmers and producers face unique and challenging barriers, and this market access will make a huge difference,” said Senator Smith. “I pushed hard to get Tribes and Native communities represented on these trade missions. I’m delighted to see such a historic trip finally come to fruition, and it will be a great benefit to not just Red Lake Nation, but the rest of Indian Country as well.” “Native farmers and producers feed our families and the world,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “I am proud to lift up Native agriculture as a standard part of our Minnesota trade missions. I am looking forward to connecting with more Native farmers and producers and showcasing the products that Minnesota has to offer to our global partners. Indian Country has always led in agribusiness and innovation, and I am grateful for Senator Smith’s partnership and work to ensure my community is at the table for these important opportunities and conversations.” “Red Lake, Inc. honored and beyond excited to participate in

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Applauds Biden Admin Move to Eliminate Medical Debt from Credit Reports

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) celebrated a new proposed rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shielding consumers’ credit scores from being impacted by medical debt. Today’s announcement came after Senator Smith, along with 9 of her colleagues, urged the agency to take action. According to the CFPB’s own report, there is over $88 billion in medical debt on consumer credit records. “You can’t choose when you get sick – it happens whether we like it or not. You shouldn’t be punished with a lower credit score just because you needed medical care,” said Senator Smith.“This move by the Biden Administration puts the American people first, and I’m glad they listened to me and my colleagues who pushed for this new rule.” Senator Smith, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, called attention to the growing crisis of medical debt in a letter to the CFPB in 2022. The move by the CFPB compliments actions by the Minnesota State Legislature, who passed the Debt Fairness Act as part of a large omnibus bill in May of this year to address the impact medical debt has on Minnesotans.  ###

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces Funding for White Earth Nation to Increase Solar Power and Energy Storage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced $1.75 million for the White Earth Nation in Minnesota to use energy storage to increase their use of solar power and allow for greater energy flexibility. The project will expand an existing solar array at Pine Point Elementary School and Community Center to help lower electricity costs and support White Earth’s goal to be energy independent. “Tribal Nations have always been leaders in environmental stewardship,” said Senator Tina Smith. “This funding will help White Earth Tribal Nation continue building a more resilient and clean energy system for the Tribe.” The U.S. Department of Energy’s

Klobuchar, Smith Statements on Nomination of Laura Provinzino to be U.S. District Court Judge

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that President Biden nominated Laura Provinzino to serve as a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. Currently serving as an Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, Provinzino was one of the candidates sent to President Biden by Senators Klobuchar and Smith following the recommendation of a judicial selection committee. “As a widely respected Assistant United States Attorney with over twenty years of legal experience, Laura Provinzino is extremely qualified to serve as a

ICYMI: Star Tribune: Sen. Tina Smith goes to bat against Comcast for frustrated Twins fans

WASHINGTON, D.C. [7.7.24] – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Tina Smith sent a letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts urging the cable provider to return to the negotiation table with Bally Sports North and get the Minnesota Twins back on the air for Comcast customers. Star Tribune: Sen. Tina Smith takes aim at Comcast on behalf of ‘furious’ constituents In a letter to Comcast’s CEO this week, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith chided the cable company for dropping Bally Sports channels nationwide — a move that has left thousands of Twins fans without access to games.  By Michael Rand | June

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Leads Senate Agriculture Subcommittee Hearing on Expanding Opportunities for Beginning Farmers

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade, led a hearing focused on opportunities to support new and emerging farmers. According to the most recent Census of Agriculture, the average age of a producer in the United States is now 58, and in Minnesota it is 57. One of the witnesses who spoke at the hearing about challenges faced by beginning farmers was Tessa Parks, Minnesota native and owner and operator of W.T. Farms in Northfield. Tessa is a young, first-generation farmer of color who, along with her