North Star Newsletter: Coming Together to Protect our Communities from Natural Disaster

Senator Al Franken
2013-04-25 11:09:27
North Star Newsletter | April 2013 Coming Together to Protect our Communities from Natural Disaster This has been a long, hard winter for people all over Minnesota, and unfortunately, it looks like it’s going to be a hard spring for a lot of folks in the Northwestern and Southwestern parts of the state. Earlier this month, I visited Worthington, Luverne, and other communities in the area to see the damage caused by a severe winter storm. It was encouraging to see how the community was working together with emergency management officials to get everyone back on their feet. Just last weekend, I also visited Moorhead to see how the community is preparing for what could be a record spring flood. Moorhead and communities in the Red River Valley have experienced flooding in the last 5 out of 6 years. City and county officials have improved flood control measures and are now positioned to better fight this year’s flooding with fewer sandbags. I sincerely hope that these measures keep our communities and residents safe, and I will stand beside them and support them in any way I can as we wait for the waters of the Red River basin to recede. Third Annual Minnesota Hotdish-Off Earlier this month, I hosted my third annual Minnesota Hotdish-Off with my colleagues in the Minnesota delegation. Last year, I was proud to tie for first with my “Mom’s Mahnomin Madness,” and I knew the competition would be fierce this year. I was right – the delegation showed up with some pretty incredible recipes, and this year, Rep. Tim Walz won with his “Hermann the German Hotdish.” It's made with brats, tater tots, cheddar cheese and, of course, New Ulm's own Schell’s beer. It was delicious and, as usual, we all had a great time. Once again, I was proud to welcome my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, and it was a great chance for all of us to put aside our differences and have a good time. I hope you’ll take a look at all the recipes from this year’s competition here, and I’m already working on my hotdish for next year. College Affordability Resource Tour As many parents and students all over Minnesota are well aware, figuring out how to pay for college is a complicated process. From filling out applications and financial aid forms, to understanding financial aid packages and ultimately paying for school, there are a lot of tough decisions to make. In the coming weeks, my staff will be holding a series of “College Affordability Resource Nights” in communities across Minnesota to give families the resources they need to understand all of their options and help them through the process. These events are free, open to the public, and they’re a great way to get a handle on this process. I encourage everyone who would like help to find the closest meeting and join us. You can find the list of upcoming events here. Reforming Our Immigration System Last week, the Senate started debating legislation to reform our nation’s immigration system, which is badly in need of reform and is a drag on our economy. The bipartisan bill that’s being debated in the Senate right now would establish a tough, but fair, pathway for undocumented workers to get right with the law – and eventually work toward citizenship. I’m also proud that the bill includes a provision I fought for that gives Minnesota’s dairy farmers access to a new agricultural guest worker program. Many other producers rely on this program for the workers they need, but it only allows guest workers to work seasonally. You really can’t milk cows seasonally, so our dairy farmers are struggling to get access to the workers they need. This bill isn’t perfect, and I’m going to keep working to improve it, but overall, it’s going to be very good for our economy and will improve the lives of countless Minnesotans. To unsubscribe from these newsletters, please visit the unsubscribe page here: franken.senate.gov/

North Star Newsletter | April 2013

This has been a long, hard winter for people all over Minnesota, and unfortunately, it looks like it’s going to be a hard spring for a lot of folks in the Northwestern and Southwestern parts of the state. Earlier this month, I visited Worthington, Luverne, and other communities in the area to see the damage caused by a severe winter storm. It was encouraging to see how the community was working together with emergency management officials to get everyone back on their feet.

Just last weekend, I also visited Moorhead to see how the community is preparing for what could be a record spring flood. Moorhead and communities in the Red River Valley have experienced flooding in the last 5 out of 6 years. City and county officials have improved flood control measures and are now positioned to better fight this year’s flooding with fewer sandbags. I sincerely hope that these measures keep our communities and residents safe, and I will stand beside them and support them in any way I can as we wait for the waters of the Red River basin to recede.

Earlier this month, I hosted my third annual Minnesota Hotdish-Off with my colleagues in the Minnesota delegation. Last year, I was proud to tie for first with my “Mom’s Mahnomin Madness,” and I knew the competition would be fierce this year. I was right – the delegation showed up with some pretty incredible recipes, and this year, Rep. Tim Walz won with his “Hermann the German Hotdish.” It's made with brats, tater tots, cheddar cheese and, of course, New Ulm's own Schell’s beer. It was delicious and, as usual, we all had a great time.

Once again, I was proud to welcome my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, and it was a great chance for all of us to put aside our differences and have a good time. I hope you’ll take a look at all the recipes from this year’s competition

As many parents and students all over Minnesota are well aware, figuring out how to pay for college is a complicated process. From filling out applications and financial aid forms, to understanding financial aid packages and ultimately paying for school, there are a lot of tough decisions to make. In the coming weeks, my staff will be holding a series of “College Affordability Resource Nights” in communities across Minnesota to give families the resources they need to understand all of their options and help them through the process.

These events are free, open to the public, and they’re a great way to get a handle on this process. I encourage everyone who would like help to find the closest meeting and join us. You can find the list of upcoming events

Last week, the Senate started debating legislation to reform our nation’s immigration system, which is badly in need of reform and is a drag on our economy. The bipartisan bill that’s being debated in the Senate right now would establish a tough, but fair, pathway for undocumented workers to get right with the law – and eventually work toward citizenship. I’m also proud that the bill includes a provision I fought for that gives Minnesota’s dairy farmers access to a new agricultural guest worker program. Many other producers rely on this program for the workers they need, but it only allows guest workers to work seasonally. You really can’t milk cows seasonally, so our dairy farmers are struggling to get access to the workers they need. This bill isn’t perfect, and I’m going to keep working to improve it, but overall, it’s going to be very good for our economy and will improve the lives of countless Minnesotans.

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