The men and women who have honorably served our nation in uniform deserve our utmost respect, and when they return home we need to make sure our veterans get the benefits and care they earned. Sen. Tina Smith believes this includes ensuring they’re able to pursue higher education, find housing and good jobs, and helping them heal from the wounds of war and access health care. It also means making sure veterans receive quality, timely care, and that we actively seek out legislative fixes when we find gaps in the law that prevent them from receiving the benefits they’ve justly earned.
In order to do this, Sen. Smith encourages you to reach out to her when you hear about a veteran who needs assistance. Whether it be helping to connect them to services, advocating on their behalf, or working to fix a legislative issues, Sen. Smith is here to help.
U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces Significant Investment to Help Minnesota Veterans Pursue Careers in Agriculture
WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/19/22] — U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced $750,000 in federal funding to support training, mentorship and other opportunities for veterans looking to transition into agricultural careers. The investments will create jobs and strengthen Minnesota’s agricultural workforce by providing hands-on training and mentorship for veterans pursuing opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness. “The men and women who serve our country deserve our utmost respect. That means when they come home, they get the benefits and care they earned and have the opportunities and training they need to pursue good jobs,” said Sen. Smith. “This funding will help connect Minnesota veterans with the hands-on training and assistance they need to transition into agricultural careers. I will continue working to ensure our veterans get the support and training they need to find good-paying careers when they come home.” The investment, which will support the AgVets program in Little Falls Minnesota, is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Support Military Veteran Agriculture Training Program. The program supports the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. AgVets projects offer hands-on training and classroom education, which helps veterans build a comprehensive understanding of successful farm and ranch operations and management practices. The program also connects veterans interested in pursuing a career in agriculture with mentoring and other resources. Senator Smith has advocated for veterans and strengthening Minnesota’s agricultural workforce since coming to the Senate. As part of the 2018 Farm Bill, Smith secured provisions
Washington, D.C.— Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith (both D-MN) and the entire Minnesota delegation sent a bicameral, bipartisan letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough urging the agency to improve veterans’ ability to receive emergency care. Specifically, the letter asks VA Secretary McDonough to revise existing rules to treat all emergency transport reimbursements the same way, regardless of a veteran’s service-connected disability rating. “By processing emergency transportation services as beneficiary travel, the VA leaves a large group of veterans with unpaid emergency transportation bills,” wrote the lawmakers. “This places an unjust burden on a population already facing rising medical costs across the board. From 2017 to 2020 alone, the cost to cover charges for emergency transportation services has risen at a rate of almost 18 percent.” “In light of the sacrifices our veterans have made, we must fulfill our obligation to provide those who have served this country with a high standard of care,” they continued. “While the VHA has played a critical role in providing necessary benefits for veterans, we call on the Administration to amend [these] regulations to provide the coverage of emergency transportation services that was intended under the VA Mission Act.” Under the 2018 VA Mission Act, emergency transportation and treatment at in-network, non-VA facilities became eligible for reimbursement. However, the VA is currently processing emergency land or air ambulance service claims as beneficiary travel, which restricts coverage to veterans with a disability rating (that is, the designation given to the severity of a
U.S. Senators Tina Smith, John Boozman Push New Measure to Improve Mental Health Services for Veterans
WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/04/21]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) continued their push to ensure that veterans across the country – especially those in underserved areas – get the mental health services they need. On Thursday, the Senators introduced their bipartisan “Vet Center Support Act,” which would provide better identification, intervention, and effective care to veterans struggling with mental health issues in underserved areas. The measure also removes barriers preventing the construction of Vet Centers. The bipartisan legislation is also supported by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Tim Kaine (D-VA). Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN2) introduced
U.S. Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce $100 Million Federal Investment to Build, Improve Electric Infrastructure in Rural Minnesota
WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/25/21]—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced a federal rural electric loan package totaling more than $100 million to build and improve electric infrastructure in Minnesota. Minnkota Power Cooperative will receive a $80,560,000 loan to fund improvement projects. Minnkota Power is headquartered in Grand Forks, and provides wholesale electric power to 11 distribution cooperatives serving nearly 137,000 households in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. Minnesota Valley Cooperative Light and Power will receive a $22,817,000 loan to connect 132 consumers. This loan will also help expand smart grid technologies and build and improve 137 miles of line. “When we
U.S. Senators Tina Smith & Thom Tillis, U.S. Representative Grace Meng Lead Bipartisan Push to Support Health Care for Veterans Exposed to Radiation
WASHINGTON, D.C. [3/3/21]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and U.S. Representative Grace Meng (D-NY 6), reintroduced their bipartisan bill in the Senate and the House to secure health care benefits for “Atomic Veterans” who were exposed to harmful radiation when they cleaned up nuclear testing sites during the late 1970s. The Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act would allow veterans who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll on the Marshall Islands to receive the same health care and benefits given to other servicemembers who were involved in active nuclear tests. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S. military conducted more than 40
U.S. Senator Tina Smith Presses VA for Answers After Hearing From Minnesota Veterans to be Hit by Bills for Medical Expenses Incurred During Pandemic Billing Moratorium
WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/22/20]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is pressing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for answers after hearing from veterans who are set to receive medical bills for accrued copay and medical costs incurred during a VA billing moratorium issued in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Earlier this year, the VA suspended copay and other medical billing through December 31 to help veterans weather the hardships of COVID-19. Now, Sen. Smith is hearing from veterans who say they have received word from the VA that come January, they will receive bills for costs during the billing