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Senator Smith, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill Giving Tribal Colleges and Universities a Stronger Voice in Education Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), along with U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jon Tester (D-Mon.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), introduced bipartisan legislation – the National Advisory Council on Indian Education Improvement Act – aimed at giving Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) greater input over federal funding and policymaking that impacts them. “Minnesota’s Tribal Colleges are important institutions that serve Native and non-Native students alike in some of the most impoverished and geographically isolated regions of the country,” said Smith. “These institutions deserve a seat at the table when federal agencies make decisions that impact them. I’m proud of this bipartisan effort to support TCUs and their students and look forward to getting this bill across the finish line.” “The 35 accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the U.S., which together form the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, commend Senators Fischer and Tester for their leadership in introducing this important legislation. The National Advisory Council on Indian Education Act will ensure Tribal College and University voices are included and supported throughout the council’s work, thereby strengthening the K-16 pathway for American Indian and Alaska Native students. We urge Congress to swiftly pass this much needed legislation,”said Carrie L. Billy, President and CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. The National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE) advises the Secretaries of Education and Interior on programs serving Native students of all ages. NACIE releases an annual report, but neither Department has a process for considering NACIE’s

Klobuchar, Smith, Grassley Statements on Senate Passage of Bipartisan Legislation to Rename Federal Building in Minneapolis After Senator Paul Wellstone

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tina Smith (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released the statements below on the Senate passage of their bipartisan legislation to rename the Federal Building in Minneapolis the “Paul D. Wellstone Federal Building,” in honor of the legacy of the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN). This year marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Senator Wellstone, his wife Sheila, his daughter Marcia, his staff members Tom Lapic, Mary McEvoy, and Will McLaughlin, and pilots Richard Conry and Michael Guess.  “From his passionate advocacy for better mental health care to his leadership on civil rights, Paul Wellstone showed that public service is really about improving people’s lives,” said Klobuchar. “I’m proud that our bipartisan legislation to rename the Federal Building in Minneapolis in Paul’s honor has passed the Senate. I can’t think of a better tribute to Paul’s legacy of service than a building where Minnesotans gather and get the assistance they need.”  “Paul Wellstone had a profound impact on my life – and the lives of so many Minnesotans – as a public servant and as a friend,” said Smith. “From his work on mental health and campaign finance reform to his votes against the Iraq War, Senator Wellstone never wavered from his convictions or his commitment to improving the lives of working people. By naming this building after him, we hope to honor his legacy and years of service to Minnesota.” “It was an honor to work with and get to know

U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Colleagues Fight to Strengthen Rights of Public Sector Workers to Join Unions, Bargain Collectively

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/26/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and a number of her colleagues introduced bicameral legislation to protect the rights of nearly 17.3 million public workers to join a union and collectively bargain for fair wages, benefits, and improved working conditions. The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act of 2019 will guarantee the right of public employees to organize, act concertedly, and bargain collectively in states that currently do not afford these basic protections. “Hard-working Americans have a fundamental right to join together to fight for fair wages and better working conditions,” said Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate HELP Committee. “By protecting the rights of public

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Pushes Bipartisan Legislation to Help Schools Replace Outdated Kitchen Equipment that Prevents them From Serving Most Nutritious Meals

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6/25/19]— U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced bipartisan legislation to help schools in Minnesota and across the country replace inefficient and outdated kitchen equipment that may prevent them from serving students the most nutritious meals possible.    The School Food Modernization Act would provide grants, loan guarantees and technical assistance to schools in need of replacing outdated equipment.   “Nutritious meals in schools don’t just keep kids from going hungry; they make it so students can focus and develop a love of learning,” said Senator Smith, a member of the Senate Education Committee. “Yet,

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Secures Bipartisan Support for Her Legislation to Ensure Millions of Americans with Diabetes Aren’t Forced Into Dangerous Practice of Rationing Insulin

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/25/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s (D-Minn.) legislation to hold insulin manufacturers accountable for excessive increases in the price of life-sustaining insulin—announced last week in Minneapolis and set to be introduced later this week in remembrance of Minnesotan Alec Smith—secured bipartisan support thanks to Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) cosponsoring the Emergency Access to Insulin Act. “Thank you to my colleague and neighbor Senator Cramer for supporting my legislation to provide Minnesotans and Americans with the insulin they need to survive, and to put us on a path to bring down the cost of insulin,” said Sen. Smith, a member

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Pushes Education Secretary DeVos to End Delays in Loan Forgiveness for Students who Attended Now-Defunct For-Profit Colleges

 WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/19/19]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is calling on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to quickly process the claims of thousands of defrauded students in Minnesota and across the country seeking to get their federal student loans discharged.  Thousands of pending discharge applications from students who attended now-defunct colleges – including more than 2,700 from Minnesota – have languished at the U.S. Department of Education for an average of 882 days.     Sen. Smith — along with Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), and 19 of their Democratic colleagues — wrote Wednesday to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy

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