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Klobuchar, Smith Announce Minnesota as Recipient of Nation’s First FEMA Resiliency Program Grant

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the Minnesota Department of Public Safety the nation’s first Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program grant. This $171,000 award will update hazard mitigation plans for Jackson, Kittson, Marshall, Pope, and Red Lake Counties. “We can’t control natural disasters, but we can ensure our state has the resources to prepare for and mitigate damages,” Klobuchar said. “This federal funding will help Minnesotans plan ahead for extreme weather to protect their communities. I’m glad FEMA’s first grant of this type is heading to our state, and I will continue working to strengthen Minnesota’s infrastructure resiliency.”   “As we work to prevent the worst effects of climate change, we must recognize the harsh reality that extreme weather events will continue to get worse before they get better,” Smith said. “That’s why it’s essential to prepare for climate related disasters before they happen, not just clean up after. This program will help ensure communities in Minnesota are safer, stronger, and more prepared in the face of these challenges.” “FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities or BRIC program seeks to shift the focus from reactive disaster spending toward proactive investment in community resilience,” said Moises Dugan, acting regional administrator of FEMA’s Region 5. “As the first project to ever be funded under this program, we’re proud to support the state of Minnesota and their efforts to take action against

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith Push HHS to Help Protect Families This Winter During Energy Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/23/21]—With home heating costs set to rise by 30 percent this winter, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-Minn.) are pressing top federal officials to ensure that hard-hit families in Minnesota and across the country continue to have access to adequate home heating assistance. On Wednesday, the lawmakers joined a bicameral letter urging U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to address the ongoing energy crisis and its impact on families served by the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The lawmakers pointed out that the expected winter spike in home heating costs will rise to a level not seen since 2014, and would impact 61 million households that use natural gas to heat their homes. As a consequence, the purchasing power of LIHEAP funding currently available could drop by as much as 30 percent. The letter presses Secretary Becerra to detail steps he is taking to ensure that all eligible low-income families receive much-needed heating assistance.  “As the world economy recovers from the pandemic, global energy markets are struggling to keep up with a surge in demand and prolonged supply shortages,” the Members wrote. “For low-income families, these price increases are unsustainable and will force them to choose between heating their homes and other essentials like rent, food, or medicine. As state agencies and grantees prepare their winter programs, it is crucial that they have strong support from your department to assist low-income households.” LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith: Federal Judge’s Decision Threatens Vital Health Care Coverage for Millions of Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/14/18]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement after a federal judge in Texas deemed provisions of the landmark Affordable Health Care Act unconstitutional. “The ruling by a federal judge in Texas today to undermine historic health care legislation—if the decision is allowed to stand—would be catastrophic. This ruling would rob millions of their health care coverage, and would return us to the days when Americans could be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, like cancer or diabetes, or allow women to be charged more for health insurance. Americans made their voices heard to stop repeal last year, and

Tina Smith Sworn in as U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Wednesday

WASHINGTON, D.C. [1/03/19]—Today, Tina Smith (D-Minn.) was sworn in as U.S. Senator for Minnesota. Sen. Smith was elected to the seat in November, giving her a new term that runs until January, 2021. “It’s been an honor to represent Minnesota in the U.S. Senate for the past year and I’m excited to continue my work on behalf of all Minnesotans as the new Congress begins today,” Sen. Smith said.  “After traveling across Minnesota for the past year and hearing from people, I know that we still have a lot of work to do to bring economic opportunity to families, businesses and

U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Colleagues Plan to Introduce Legislation to Ensure Low-Wage Federal Contract Employees Receive Back Pay

WASHINGTON, D.C. [01/04/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), along with her colleagues Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), pledged to stand up for low-wage federal contract workers by announcing plans to introduce legislation to secure back pay for the contractor employees who have gone without pay during the government shutdown. Each day, thousands of contractor employees provide critical services to support the federal government, often at low wages, and many have been furloughed or forced to accept reduced work hours as a result of the government shutdown. Many

In Floor Speech, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Shares Stories From Minnesota Air Traffic Controllers Hurt by Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON D.C. [01/10/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), took to the Senate floor to share letters from Minnesota air traffic controllers hurt by the ongoing government shutdown. Sen. Smith had asked Minnesotans to share stories on how the shutdown has affected them, and received dozens of letters from air traffic controllers not receiving pay.  Among the several letters she read on the Senate floor, Sen. Smith shared a letter from a new father named Joseph from Lakeville, MN. Joseph said that his son Oliver was born on New Year’s Eve and has been in intensive care since, and said that both he and

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