North Star Newsletter: Bringing Minnesota's Energy Leadership to Washington

Senator Al Franken
2013-02-27 12:31:37
North Star Newsletter | February 2013 Bringing Minnesota's Energy Leadership to Washington Earlier this month, I was honored to be named the Chairman of the Energy Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. It’s a long title, but it means I’ll be able to do even more to bring Minnesota’s energy ideas back to Washington, and to make sure that our laws are moving the country toward energy independence. Minnesota has a long history of job creation in biofuels, clean energy, and energy efficient technology, and I hope to use this new role to bring that innovation to the rest of the country and create jobs here in Minnesota. I look forward to hearing directly from Minnesotans in the coming months about what they would like me to address in my new role. Protecting Health Care Coverage for Minnesotans In early February, I successfully pressed the Obama Administration, including the President himself, to help 130,000 Minnesotans in need – and millions more across the country – to keep the affordable health coverage they currently have. Under the health care reform law, MinnesotaCare, which provides quality health insurance to Minnesotans who are low-income and do not have other insurance, should receive federal funding. Unfortunately, the Administration was slow in implementing this part of the law, which will ensure that families all over Minnesota can continue to count on the coverage they get now. I personally pressed President Obama and top members of his Administration to protect this coverage, and I’m proud to announce that they have finally taken action. I’m pleased that President Obama listened to the concerns of Minnesota and I'm relieved that MinnesotaCare will be protected. Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act Earlier this month, I helped the Senate pass legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act – a critical law that protects women from domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. I was proud to have authored two key provisions in the bill. This important, bipartisan legislation provides support to law enforcement officers and prosecutors so they can respond more effectively to domestic violence, and it funds support services and crisis centers for victims. One of the provisions I successfully fought to include will make sure that survivors of sexual assault will never again suffer the indignity of paying for their own rape kits. The other will ensure that a woman can’t be evicted from federally subsidized housing just because she is a victim of domestic violence. Both of these provisions passed with bipartisan support and I’m going to keep fighting to make them law. Encouraging Innovation by Repealing the Medical Device Tax The medical device industry supports more than 30,000 jobs in Minnesota, and more than 400,000 nationwide, and it’s responsible for saving countless lives every year. So it’s important that our nation’s laws encourage innovation and job creation in this industry. During the health care reform debate, I fought to cut a proposed tax on medical devices in half, resulting in a $20 billion reduction in the tax and a one-year delay in its implementation. But we have to go further and get rid of the tax altogether. That’s why this month, along with Sen. Klobuchar and a bipartisan group of cosponsors, I’ve introduced legislation that would repeal the medical device tax, ensuring that our medical device industry continues to create jobs and produce life-saving devices. This isn’t going to be an easy fight, but it’s an important one, and I’m going to work hard to get this bill passed. To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page here: franken.senate.gov/

North Star Newsletter | February 2013

Earlier this month, I was honored to be named the Chairman of the Energy Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. It’s a long title, but it means I’ll be able to do even more to bring Minnesota’s energy ideas back to Washington, and to make sure that our laws are moving the country toward energy independence. Minnesota has a long history of job creation in biofuels, clean energy, and energy efficient technology, and I hope to use this new role to bring that innovation to the rest of the country and create jobs here in Minnesota.

I look forward to hearing directly from Minnesotans in the coming months about what they would like me to address in my new role.

In early February, I successfully pressed the Obama Administration, including the President himself, to help 130,000 Minnesotans in need – and millions more across the country – to keep the affordable health coverage they currently have. Under the health care reform law, MinnesotaCare, which provides quality health insurance to Minnesotans who are low-income and do not have other insurance, should receive federal funding. Unfortunately, the Administration was slow in implementing this part of the law, which will ensure that families all over Minnesota can continue to count on the coverage they get now. I personally pressed President Obama and top members of his Administration to protect this coverage, and I’m proud to announce that they have finally taken action. I’m pleased that President Obama listened to the concerns of Minnesota and I'm relieved that MinnesotaCare will be protected.

Earlier this month, I helped the Senate pass legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act – a critical law that protects women from domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. I was proud to have authored two key provisions in the bill. This important, bipartisan legislation provides support to law enforcement officers and prosecutors so they can respond more effectively to domestic violence, and it funds support services and crisis centers for victims.

One of the provisions I successfully fought to include will make sure that survivors of sexual assault will never again suffer the indignity of paying for their own rape kits. The other will ensure that a woman can’t be evicted from federally subsidized housing just because she is a victim of domestic violence. Both of these provisions passed with bipartisan support and I’m going to keep fighting to make them law.

The medical device industry supports more than 30,000 jobs in Minnesota, and more than 400,000 nationwide, and it’s responsible for saving countless lives every year. So it’s important that our nation’s laws encourage innovation and job creation in this industry. During the health care reform debate, I fought to cut a proposed tax on medical devices in half, resulting in a $20 billion reduction in the tax and a one-year delay in its implementation. But we have to go further and get rid of the tax altogether.

That’s why this month, along with Sen. Klobuchar and a bipartisan group of cosponsors, I’ve introduced legislation that would repeal the medical device tax, ensuring that our medical device industry continues to create jobs and produce life-saving devices. This isn’t going to be an easy fight, but it’s an important one, and I’m going to work hard to get this bill passed.

To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page here: