May 3, 2019: Weekly Update

May 3, 2019
Newsletter

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Sadie Frericks, Owner and Operator of Blue Diamond Dairy and Land O’ Lakes member farmer and her son, Dan

 

Hi all,

After spending time at home traveling around the district and hearing from all of you, I got right back to work in Washington. I met with folks working to strengthen our infrastructure, heard from my colleagues on their local transportation and infrastructure priorities, voted to pass critical legislation to address climate change, and continued to advocate for access to mental health resources.

I’m looking forward to being back in Minnesota this weekend. Today, I am holding a roundtable with Senator Tina Smith, parents, and educators in Independent School District 197 to discuss the need to fully fund special education. I’m also excited to join Mayor Jimmy Francis and the South St. Paul City Council for the grand re-opening of McMorrow Field, and Mayor Joe Julius to visit the small businesses that keep Elko New Market thriving.

In Washington:

Honoring service members: This month is Military Appreciation Month, a time for us to honor the unforgettable service & sacrifice of our nation’s military families. Follow this link to find local retailers offering discounts for current & former service members.

Prioritizing infrastructure: It was great to hear from my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing this week. I’m looking forward to coming together to pass a robust infrastructure package, because we can all agree that investing in reliable infrastructure benefits communities large and small.

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Moving equality forward: I was proud to see the Equality Act pass out of the Judiciary Committee this week! This is a critical step toward passing this legislation out of the House and ensuring that every LGBTQ American is protected under the law.

Meeting with faith leaders: I met with Rabbi Pesner, a friend and dedicated leader in the fight against hate and bigotry in all its forms, to discuss our shared goals of advancing justice in our communities.

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Advancing affordable healthcare: The CREATES Act, a bill that I am proud to cosponsor, passed out of committee this week. This critical common-sense solution to rising drug costs would allow more affordable generic drugs to enter the market and lower healthcare costs for families.

Advocating for mental health: After hearing from rural Minnesotans about the mental stress dairy farmers are facing, I spoke at an Agriculture Subcommittee hearing on why we need to fully implement Farm Bill programs to help our dairy farmers. You can watch my remarks here.

May is also Mental Health Awareness month, which is a top priority for me in Congress. We have a mental health problem in rural Minnesota caused by a lack of investment in greater Minnesota and an increasingly difficult farm economy. Farmers and rural Minnesotans are facing severe economic hardship, isolation in their communities, and serious stigma around reaching out for help.


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I’ve cosponsored several bills to find solutions to this problem - including bills to expand access to telemedicine and community mental health services. Additionally, the University of Minnesota’s Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) is launching a campaign to increase awareness and expand mental health resources across Minnesota. More info can be found here.

Climate change solutions: I was proud to vote yes on H.R.9, the Climate Action Now Act, to continue to implement the national goals we set as a nation to address climate change. We have an incredible opportunity to lead the world in clean energy, creating economic growth and reducing the extreme weather we are seeing in the Midwest.

Investing in Infrastructure: It was great to meet with the National Electric Contractors Association to discuss how we can work together to invest in the infrastructure that powers our communities.

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