North Star Newsletter: Keeping Our Promises to Minnesota Workers

Senator Al Franken
2017-05-31 13:57:36
North Star Newsletter: May 2017 Keeping Our Promises to Minnesota Workers When workers in Minnesota retire, they deserve the pensions they were promised in exchange for a lifetime of hard work. A few years back, Congress passed a misguided bill that stripped away federal pension protections and made it possible for the pensions of workers across the country to be drained. And now the retirement security of more than 20,000 Minnesotans is being threatened. I believe that we need to do everything in our power to make sure that the promises we made to our workers are kept, and that's why I helped introduce the Keep Our Pension Promises Act. The bill would help make sure workers receive the pensions they’ve earned by closing two unnecessary tax loopholes and using the funds raised to make sure pension promises are kept. It would protect a lot of workers from losing their hard-earned retirement benefits. Pension agreements should mean something—you shouldn’t be able to just rip them away from hard-working families—and this bill would uphold that promise. We need to pass it into law. Republican Health Care Bill Would Harm Minnesotans I travel around Greater Minnesota all the time. And when the Republican health care bill first came out, I heard from rural hospitals, nursing home providers, parents, seniors, people with disabilities, and adult caregivers about how this bill would be disastrous for their families and communities. It’s very clear that Minnesotans are upset, and frankly, scared. In Perham, for example, I heard from a woman who was in tears, not knowing where her mother would go if the Republicans choose to follow their plan that includes devastating cuts to Medicaid. Medicaid is critical for her mother’s nursing home care, and even though she and her husband work full-time, together they cannot afford the round-the-clock care that her mother needs. Later, at a nursing home in Moorhead, I also heard from a resident, Chrysann, who said this new plan wasn’t about taking care of people, but about, “survival of the fittest.” This is wrong. I urge my Republican colleagues to walk away from their destructive health plan, and instead, work with me and Congressional Democrats to increase competition in the health market, cut prescription drug costs, and improve access to affordable, high-quality coverage for all Americans. Spurring Career-Exploration Partnerships Between Schools and Businesses I constantly hear from businesses in Minnesota that they have jobs going unfilled because they can’t find workers with the right skills. This is called the "skills gap," and it’s something I’ve been working to close for a long time. Traveling around Minnesota, I've seen groundbreaking partnerships between schools and businesses that work, and they work well. I recently held my Advancing Career Pathways Summit in St. Paul—which drew over 350 Minnesota educators, business leaders, and policy makers—to showcase school-business partnerships at the K-12 level. The results are clear: these partnerships help strengthen businesses, are good for American job growth, get students interested in their future career options, and keep our economy competitive in the 21st century. And that’s why I want to scale these efforts up across the country. It's never too early to expose students to career opportunities—like computer programming, science, and engineering—which is why we should be supporting more programs that bring schools and businesses together. My Advancing Career Pathways Innovation Act would do just that by spurring innovative job-training and career-exploration partnerships between K-12 schools in Minnesota and all around our nation. Standing Up for Middle-Class Families President Donald Trump recently released his budget proposal for 2018, and in the clearest of terms, it would be a disaster for millions of Minnesota families. The budget would totally dismantle Medicaid as we know it, a vital program that provides care to more than a million Minnesotans—predominately children, seniors, and the disabled. President Trump’s budget would cut Social Security, betraying a campaign promise he made to the American people, and it would also rip food and nutritional support away from low-income families, put children’s health at risk, slash funding for critical medical research, attack the public education system, make college less affordable, and harm our farmers and ranchers and rural communities. The heartless spending plan attempts to balance the budget on the backs of working families and it would make life much harder for seniors. It works against families aspiring to be in the middle class, and if passed, it would likely send our country into an economic freefall. I will do everything I can to make sure this proposal never becomes law. Minnesotans deserve better. To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page here.

North Star Newsletter: May 2017

Keeping Our Promises to Minnesota Workers

When workers in Minnesota retire, they deserve the pensions they were promised in exchange for a lifetime of hard work.

A few years back, Congress passed a misguided bill that stripped away federal pension protections and made it possible for the pensions of workers across the country to be drained. And now the retirement security of more than 20,000 Minnesotans is being threatened.

I believe that we need to do everything in our power to make sure that the promises we made to our workers are kept, and that's why I helped introduce the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.

The bill would help make sure workers receive the pensions they’ve earned by closing two unnecessary tax loopholes and using the funds raised to make sure pension promises are kept. It would protect a lot of workers from losing their hard-earned retirement benefits.

Pension agreements should mean something—you shouldn’t be able to just rip them away from hard-working families—and this bill would uphold that promise. We need to pass it into law.

Republican Health Care Bill Would Harm Minnesotans

I travel around Greater Minnesota all the time. And when the Republican health care bill first came out, I heard from rural hospitals, nursing home providers, parents, seniors, people with disabilities, and adult caregivers about how this bill would be disastrous for their families and communities. It’s very clear that Minnesotans are upset, and frankly, scared.

In Perham, for example, I heard from a woman who was in tears, not knowing where her mother would go if the Republicans choose to follow their plan that includes devastating cuts to Medicaid. Medicaid is critical for her mother’s nursing home care, and even though she and her husband work full-time, together they cannot afford the round-the-clock care that her mother needs. Later, at a nursing home in Moorhead, I also heard from a resident, Chrysann, who said this new plan wasn’t about taking care of people, but about, “survival of the fittest.”

This is wrong. I urge my Republican colleagues to walk away from their destructive health plan, and instead, work with me and Congressional Democrats to increase competition in the health market, cut prescription drug costs, and improve access to affordable, high-quality coverage for all Americans.

Spurring Career-Exploration Partnerships Between Schools and Businesses

I constantly hear from businesses in Minnesota that they have jobs going unfilled because they can’t find workers with the right skills. This is called the "skills gap," and it’s something I’ve been working to close for a long time.

Traveling around Minnesota, I've seen groundbreaking partnerships between schools and businesses that work, and they work well. I recently held my Advancing Career Pathways Summit in St. Paul—which drew over 350 Minnesota educators, business leaders, and policy makers—to showcase school-business partnerships at the K-12 level.

The results are clear: these partnerships help strengthen businesses, are good for American job growth, get students interested in their future career options, and keep our economy competitive in the 21st century. And that’s why I want to scale these efforts up across the country.

It's never too early to expose students to career opportunities—like computer programming, science, and engineering—which is why we should be supporting more programs that bring schools and businesses together.

My Advancing Career Pathways Innovation Act would do just that by spurring innovative job-training and career-exploration partnerships between K-12 schools in Minnesota and all around our nation.

Standing Up for Middle-Class Families

President Donald Trump recently released his budget proposal for 2018, and in the clearest of terms, it would be a disaster for millions of Minnesota families.

The budget would totally dismantle Medicaid as we know it, a vital program that provides care to more than a million Minnesotans—predominately children, seniors, and the disabled. President Trump’s budget would cut Social Security, betraying a campaign promise he made to the American people, and it would also rip food and nutritional support away from low-income families, put children’s health at risk, slash funding for critical medical research, attack the public education system, make college less affordable, and harm our farmers and ranchers and rural communities.

The heartless spending plan attempts to balance the budget on the backs of working families and it would make life much harder for seniors. It works against families aspiring to be in the middle class, and if passed, it would likely send our country into an economic freefall.

I will do everything I can to make sure this proposal never becomes law. Minnesotans deserve better.

To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page