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Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Significant Investment in Minnesota Childcare Programs on College Campuses

Washington, DC [9.21.22] — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced significant federal funding that will help provide childcare for low-income parents who face additional challenges in accessing postsecondary education. The grants, which total over $650,000, will support four years of campus-based childcare programs at St. Cloud State University and Minneapolis Community & Technical College. “For far too many parents across our state, the struggle to find high-quality, affordable childcare serves as a barrier preventing them from pursuing higher education or reentering the workforce,” said Klobuchar. “This funding will enable parents attending St. Cloud State University and Minneapolis College to access convenient child care services, allowing them to continue their education and providing their children with the foundational care they need.” “Parents in Minnesota tell me all the time how limiting a lack of affordable childcare can be.  I’ve heard from families who have to drive 50 miles to take their kids to childcare, and others who are paying almost one-third of their income toward the cost of childcare for just one kid,” said Sen. Smith. “A lack of affordable childcare should not be a barrier for parents who want to go back to school.  This funding for campus-based childcare programs will go a long ways towards supporting student parents enrolled at St. Cloud State and MCTC.” The funding was made available through the Department of Education’s Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program, which provides grants to support the participation of low-income parents in

Senators Smith, Shaheen Introduce Legislation to Protect Thousands of Low-Income Families in Rural Areas from Losing their Homes

[WASHINGTON, DC]— U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced legislation in the Senate this week to ensure that thousands of low-income tenants in rural areas are able to maintain access to safe and affordable housing. The Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2022 would protect access to affordable housing for families that are largely elderly, disabled and live in rural areas, who are at risk of losing rental assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service (RHS).   “Without access to housing, nothing else in your life works. Not your job, your health, your education or your family,” said Senator Smith. “As Chair of the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development, I have worked with stakeholders to expand access to affordable housing, but we also need to make sure that people who already have a place they call home can keep it that way. And that’s what this bill does. Our measure would help families and elderly Minnesotans stay in their homes.”  “Affordable housing is one of the biggest issues impacting New Hampshire families, especially as we work to recover from the pandemic which exacerbated a pre-existing, serious concern,” said Senator Shaheen. “This legislation targets our most vulnerable populations affected by housing insecurity or those who are at risk for experiencing it by enhancing the USDA’s ability to provide rental assistance. This is a commonsense bill that would make a real difference for rural Granite State communities in need.”  Specifically, the

Senators Smith, Merkley, Colleagues Sound Alarm on Unlawful Charges for PrEP Patients

Washington, D.C. [9.8.22] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) led a group of their colleagues in a letter pushing health insurance companies to explain their continued practice of unlawfully charging people for PrEP, a popular drug that’s prescribed to prevent HIV. The Senators’ letter follows a deeply flawed court ruling on Wednesday that further threatens access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) on the basis of religious freedom. As the legal process moves forward, the Senators pressed the health insurance industry to abide by current law to provide medication and ancillary services without charge. “It has been

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Significant Investment in Rochester Travel and Tourism Industry

WASHINGTON, [09/08/2022] – Today, Senators Klobuchar and Smith announced nearly half a million dollars in federal investment that will support the travel and tourism industry in Rochester. Specifically, the investment will support the city of Rochester with building renovations and improvements to the Mayo Civic Center and the Historic Chateau Theatre. The project will support around 300 jobs while boosting the tourism industry and advancing economic resilience in the region. The investment is made possible by the American Rescue Plan, which Klobuchar and Smith helped pass earlier this year. “This funding will create good-paying jobs and make infrastructure improvements to

Sens. Smith, Murphy Introduce Bill to Fine Insurance Companies that Skirt Law to Provide Mental Health Coverage

WASHINGTON [9.8.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn) introduced legislation that would allow the Department of Labor to levy fines against insurance companies who don’t provide coverage for mental health issues—as they are required to do by law.  This new authority would incentivize compliance and strengthen the protections of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. “We need to treat mental health with the same urgency we treat physical health, and that means making sure everyone has access to the care they need,” said Sen. Smith. “This bill would help make mental health care

Sen. Tina Smith Announces Up to $550 Million in American Rescue Plan Funding for Projects Supporting Underserved Producers, Career Development Opportunities for Next Generation of Agricultural Professionals

WASHINGTON, [9/7/22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced up to $550 million in funding to support projects that enable underserved producers to access land, capital, and markets, and train the next, diverse generation of agricultural professionals. These investments are made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act, which Senator Smith helped pass earlier this year.  “Agriculture is the backbone of Minnesota’s diverse economy,” said Sen. Smith. “With food shortages, supply chain snags and a tight labor market around the world, it’s vital we support and grow our farming sector here at home. This funding, which is made possible