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U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Rep. Katherine Clark Reintroduce Legislation to Improve School Climates

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and House Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA5) reintroduced legislation to improve support for youth in schools. The bill, called the Trauma-Informed Schools Act, would support training for teachers and staff in the development of positive school culture and help schools support young people struggling with adversity. The bill is co-led by Congressmen Mike Quigley (D-IL5) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA1) and Congresswoman Andrea Salinas (D-OR6). “Young students are experiencing unique challenges in school as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased social media use, and lack of access to mental health care. More than 1 in 5 young people today struggle with their mental health, and that number is rising. We need to do more to provide them with the support they need to succeed,” said Senator Smith. “I’m proud to reintroduce this legislation, which will help schools address childhood trauma and build positive school cultures so that all students and adults are welcome and supported in school buildings.” “America is in the throes of a mental health crisis, and our kids are experiencing the worst of it,” said Democratic Whip Katherine Clark. “Overcoming this epidemic means equipping our schools with trained, trauma-informed professionals who can help students navigate whatever challenges they may encounter, both in and out of the classroom. The Trauma-Informed Schools Act makes that possible — giving the next generation a fair shot by providing the emotional and social support they need to succeed.” “Trauma is difficult for anyone to process, but for children and teens, it can be especially life-changing and impact their ability to succeed

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Leads 29 Colleagues in Push for Robust Rural Housing Funding

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) led 29 of her Senate colleagues in a push for more funding for rural housing programs in the FY2025 Appropriations bill. In their letter, the Senators noted that rural communities saw only a 1.7% increase in the number of housing units between 2010 and 2020, with almost half of states seeing a decrease in the number of rural units. According to the Minnesota Housing Partnership, every county in Minnesota has a shortage of affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income households. 79% of counties have a shortage that exceeds 100 homes, and 31% have a shortage exceeding 500 homes. “Without a safe, decent, affordable place to call home, nothing in your life works – not your job, your health, your education or your family,” said Senator Smith. “While the housing crisis is hurting communities across the country, the burden has been especially hard on small towns and rural communities. The severe shortage of affordable housing is hurting rural America’s ability to prosper, and it is imperative we direct more funding to address this housing shortage and finally bring our communities some relief.  “Against this backdrop, federal rural housing programs have shrunk to the point that only about 3,500 direct loans are available for low-income families to purchase or build their own home, the lowest level since 1957. Funding to preserve rental and farm labor housing is meager by any standard and by no means adequate to provide new housing opportunities or preserve existing housing resources,” wrote the Senators. “In the coming years, the number of maturing Section 515 mortgages will

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Funding for New Child Care Center in Warroad

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they secured $322,000 in funding in the Fiscal Year 2024 federal budget for a new child care center in Warroad. This project will bring a high-quality, sustainable child care option to Northern Minnesota and will be built adjacent to the Warroad Senior Living Center, enabling intergenerational care. “For far too many parents, the struggle to find high-quality, affordable child care is a barrier to reentering the workforce. This project will address a key issue that impacts working families every day. With the federal grant we secured, Warroad

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Funding for Infrastructure Projects in Stearns County

ASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they secured federal funding in the Fiscal Year 2024 federal budget for road and wastewater infrastructure projects in Stearns County. The projects include road improvements in the cities of Sartell and Waite Park, and wastewater system upgrades in St. Cloud. Klobuchar and Smith requested the funding along with U.S. Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN). “From critical road improvements to upgrading a sewer system, these projects will bolster important infrastructure in Stearns County and surrounding areas,” said Klobuchar. “We worked with local leaders to secure these resources and move these projects

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Jerry Moran Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Save Rural Hospitals

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced bipartisan legislation to expand a lifeline for rural hospitals facing closure. The Rural Emergency Hospital Improvement Act would remove barriers for Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and rural hospitals to convert to a Rural Emergency Hospital designation under Medicare. These changes would help rural hospitals facing closure to receive federal financial assistance to remain open and serving their communities through emergency stabilizing care and obstetric care, rather than closing and forcing community members to travel further distances for emergency care. In Minnesota, more than one-third of rural health care systems were in the red

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Chris Murphy Introduce Bill to Forgive Student Loan Debt for Beginning Farmers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) reintroduced the Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act, legislation to create a loan forgiveness program for beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as women, veteran, and minority farmers. Student loan debt is a major hurdle for beginning farmers, and this legislation would incentivize farmers to enter—and stay—in the agricultural industry, and strengthen opportunities to grow successful businesses. The average age of a farmer in the United States is 58 years old. Smith and Murphy’s legislation will reduce barriers for