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Klobuchar and Smith Announce Significant Federal Funding to Help Minnesotans with Heating and Energy Costs this Winter

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that Congress  approved more than $18 million in federal funding to help Minnesotan families afford their heating costs and utility bills this winter.  “As Minnesota prepares for winter, families shouldn’t have to choose between heating their homes or buying other necessities,” said Klobuchar. “This federal funding will be critical to helping families and seniors across our state pay their energy bills and keep their homes warm. I’ll keep working to ensure Minnesotans have the support they need to stay safe this winter.” “As global energy markets respond to the pandemic and Putin’s war in Ukraine, we need to make sure Minnesotans have the support they need to heat their homes this winter,” said Smith. “For low-income families, high energy prices can force an impossible choice between heating their homes and other essentials like rent, food, or medicine. I’m proud of our work to secure this funding, which will help families in Minnesota afford their heating costs and utility bills in the coming months.” These resources will support the Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides families with payment assistance to support their home energy needs. More than 127,000  households in Minnesotans received assistance with heating and cooling costs through LIHEAP  last winter, with households receiving an average assistance benefit of $1,615.  More information can be found by calling Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program at 1-800-657-3710 or by visiting the website energyhelp.us.

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Significant Investments to Support Economic Recovery for Tribal Nations in Minnesota

WASHINGTON – Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced significant funding to help Tribal communities in Minnesota recover from economic dislocation caused by the pandemic. Nearly $5 million in grants will go towards projects that help people most impacted by the pandemic in the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe – White Earth Band.  “This federal funding will make a real difference for Tribal communities across our state, helping connect them to high-quality job opportunities in high-demand sectors,” said Klobuchar. “I’ll keep pushing to ensure our Tribal communities have the economic resources they need to thrive.” “The pandemic took an economic toll on communities throughout Minnesota and disproportionately hurt people in disadvantaged communities,” said Smith. “These grants will help boost local economies in Native communities and help people who have been hit hardest by the pandemic get back on their feet. I will continue working to support Tribal communities and families across Minnesota as we enter a new phase in our economic recovery.” “Mille Lacs Band families were hard hit when the pandemic economy in rural Minnesota pushed many mothers and fathers off the payroll,” said Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. “We are very appreciative of this grant because it will help our Tribal Government to empower our citizens who have been anxiously looking for new opportunities to rejoin the workforce.” These Quality Jobs, Equity, Strategy and Training (QUEST) Disaster Recovery grants

U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Senate Democratic Colleagues Push Measure to Protect Elections from Foreign Interference

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/20/19]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is pressing for the protection of our elections from foreign interference by pushing a measure to require candidates, campaign officials, and their family members to notify law enforcement if offered illegal assistance by a foreign national.   Sen. Smith—along with a number of her Senate colleagues—filed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to impose a legal duty on campaigns, candidates, candidates’ family members, and PACs to report offers of assistance from foreign nationals—including material, non-public information—to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the FBI. The legislation also

U.S. Sens. Tina Smith, Todd Young Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Push Coordinated “One Health” Approach to Improve Public Health Preparedness

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/19/19]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced their bipartisan Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act, which would improve public health preparedness by ensuring federal agencies advance a “One Health” approach—the idea that human and animal health are linked, and that they should be studied together—to prevent and respond to disease outbreaks.   The bill would improve coordination among those studying animal and human health by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Agriculture Department (USDA) to adopt a One Health framework with other agencies.  “Minnesota was hit by an

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith Say Minnesota Dairy Producers Can Sign up for Improved Dairy Margin Coverage Starting June 17

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/17/2019]—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (D-Minn.)—both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee—said starting June 17, Minnesota dairy producers are eligible to sign up for the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, which helps dairy producers more affordably manage the volatility of milk and feed prices. The senators encouraged producers to sign up at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Sens. Klobuchar and Smith said the new DMC program replaces the old Margin Protection Program (MPP), and offers higher coverage levels at more affordable rates for small and medium-sized dairy farms, along with greater flexibility in

U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Bipartisan Group of Indian Affairs Committee Senators Introduce Bill to Address Law Enforcement, Public Safety Needs in Native Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/14/2019]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and a bipartisan group of her colleagues on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee—led by Vice Chairman Tom Udall (N.M)—this week introduced the Bridging Agency Data Gaps & Ensuring Safety (BADGES) for Native Communities Act, which would address critical public safety needs in Indian Country. The bill aims to address federal inefficiencies that hurt Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement recruitment and retention, increase the effectiveness of federal missing persons resources, and give Tribes and States resources to coordinate responses to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis. In addition to Sens. Smith

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