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IN THE STATES: Senate Democrats Highlight How They’re Fighting For Working Families During State Work Period

During the recent state work period, voters in key Senate battlegrounds were reading and watching a wave of coverage highlighting how Senate Democrats are fighting to address working families’ most pressing priorities – like lowering costs, expanding access to veterans’ healthcare, and rebuilding their state’s infrastructure

See for yourself: 

MT – Flathead Beacon: New State-of-the-Art Veterans Affairs Clinic Coming to Kalispell

  • A new state-of-the-art Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in Kalispell will soon offer increased access to healthcare for Flathead Valley Veterans after a lease was awarded earlier this month for a location near Glacier High School.

  • U.S. Sen, Jon Tester, D-Mont. … recently asked VA Secretary Denis McDonough to speed up delivery of new facilities in Montana, including to the Kalispell clinic. “This is exciting news for Kalispell-area veterans who can look forward to a new and improved clinic that’ll deliver better access to convenient, quality care,” Tester said in a press release.

  • “I’m proud to have worked with local veterans to secure this new facility for our men and women in uniform who make our country the best in the world. These folks deserve nothing less, and I’ll continue to hold VA accountable in ensuring this important project stays on track and opens its doors as quickly as possible.”

MT – KRTV: Effort underway to bring a tech hub to Montana

  • Anything tech-related, including tech-related work, may seem like all the rage these days. “Most of this work right now is being done in Silicon Valley and the northeastern part (of the country), MIT and those universities,” said U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana.

  • But Tester believes there’s a lot of untapped potential in rural areas like Montana. That’s why he’s a proponent of bringing a tech hub to the state.

  • “A tech hub is where people come together with a common goal in mind, both from education, private sector, financial industries, to develop technology that the country can use,” said Tester.
  • As of May 22, a group of people in Montana was working on developing a proposal to submit for federal funding from the CHIPS and Science Act. “We had a tech hub roundtable in Missoula in February. There was probably 75 people there, maybe a hundred people there; college folks, business folks, economic development folks to start on the planning,” Tester explained. If the proposal is approved, it will receive $500,000.

NV –  KTVN: $4.5 Million for Cleanup and Economic Development at Brownfield Sites Across Nevada

  • More than $4.5 million has been awarded to Nevada to help cleanup brownfield sites across the state. Brownfield sites are parcels of land that are abandoned or underutilized due to pollution from industrial use.

  • Cleaning up and reinvesting in these sites can help communities access new land for economic development, increase their local tax base, and create new jobs.
  • “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I helped write and pass is delivering much-needed investments in communities across Nevada and creating good-paying jobs along the way,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to have helped secure these funds to clean up and repurpose neglected brownfield sites to revitalize communities in our state.”

NV – KSNV: Senator Jacky Rosen introduces bill to guarantee paid sick leave 

  • A U.S. senator from Nevada is pushing for more workers to get paid sick leave. Senator Jacky Rosen introduced a bill allowing workers in businesses with 15 or more employees to earn up to seven paid sick days each year.
  • “Hardworking Nevadans deserve access to fair working conditions and paid sick leave to take care of themselves or a family member in times of need,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to help introduce this legislation, which will guarantee up to seven paid sick days each year for workers in Nevada and across our country.”

OH – The Times-Reporter: Senator works to get word out about PACT Act help for veterans exposed to toxins

  • U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, met with local veterans Wednesday to update them on new legislation designed to help those who were exposed to toxins while serving in the military in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and other conflicts.
  • The roundtable held at the Carl C. Stoller VFW Post 1445 in New Philadelphia was to discuss the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 that Brown helped write and negotiate and was signed into law last year.
  • “Years ago, we simply didn’t do it right as a nation with Vietnam vets and Agent Orange,” the senator said. “They had to hire lawyers and all that. We wanted to cut that red tape, making sure people get the service right away that they’ve earned.”

OH – Norwalk Reflector: Working to get the word out

  • Sherrod Brown hosted a roundtable and press availability Friday at VFW Post 2743 in Norwalk to discuss new health care and disability benefits for veterans who have been harmed by toxic exposure while serving in the military.
  • Veterans are now eligible for these benefits due to Brown’s bipartisan Sgt. First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 that was signed into law last year.
  • “This law is the most comprehensive expansion of benefits for veterans who faced toxic exposure in our country’s history,” Brown said. “We’re working to get the word out to veterans across Ohio. If you were exposed to toxins while serving our country, you deserve the benefits you earned. Period. No exceptions.”

OH – Zanesville Times Recorder: Sen. Brown discusses FEND Off Fentanyl Act in Zanesville

  • U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) recently visited Zanesville to meet with local leaders and law enforcement personnel to discuss his bipartisan Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act. It is a sanctions and anti-money laundering bill aimed at combatting the country’s fentanyl crisis and saving lives in Ohio.
  • The bill targets the illicit fentanyl supply chain, from the chemical suppliers in China to the cartels that transport the drugs from Mexico. Brown was joined by Zanesville Mayor Donald Mason and Zanesville Police Chief Scott Comstock.

  • “I hear over and over from Ohioans that we need new, more powerful tools to prevent the flow of these drugs our communities,” said Brown. “Our bipartisan bill targets these drugs at the source. We are going after the illicit fentanyl supply chain, from China through Mexico, to help stop increasingly dangerous forms of this drug before they ever reach our communities.”

  • Brown also recently reintroduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to provide state and local law enforcement with high-tech devices to detect and identify dangerous drugs like fentanyl. The Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act would establish a new grant program through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to help state and local law enforcement organizations secure these high-tech, portable screening devices.

PA – The Morning Call: Allentown to make a six-figure investment in improving pedestrian and biking infrastructure

  • In 2023 alone, Allentown has seen at least 59 traffic accidents that involved pedestrians. But now that the city has received a $312,000 federal grant to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, local officials are hoping that fewer pedestrians will be injured or killed in the future.
  • At a press conference Wednesday in front of city hall, as cars whizzed by on Hamilton Street behind the podium, local officials and Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey highlighted the city’s upcoming investment in pedestrian and bike infrastructure.
  • The $312,000 grant came thanks to the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a federal law which passed in 2021 and allocates over $550 billion toward infrastructure projects like bridges, transportation safety, public transit and clean energy.
  • “This is about safer streets and safer roadways and preventing injury and death,” Casey said. Allentown Superintendent Carol Birks said the investment is particularly important for the 16,000 children that attend Allentown public schools.

PA – The Meadville Tribune: EPA awards $1M grant toward industrial site cleanup in Meadville

  • The Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County (EPACC) has been awarded a $1 million federal grant toward ongoing cleanup efforts of an industrial site in Meadville.

  • The $1 million grant locally is part of $14 million from the EPA to clean up contaminated brownfield sites across Pennsylvania.
  • A brownfield is land that is abandoned or underused, in part, because of concerns about contamination. The grants were announced Friday afternoon by Pennsylvania’s U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman.
  • The $14 million statewide includes $9.6 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to revitalize communities suffering from economic and environmental hazards, according to the two senators.
  • “Thanks to the infrastructure law, Pennsylvania can not only clean up contaminated brownfield sites but reinvigorate communities that have suffered from job loss, environmental degradation and health problems,” Casey said.

PA – The Times-Tribune: Local social services agency opens new South Scranton center nearer clients

  • Julie Nardella, chief clinical officer for Maternal & Family Health Services, shows U.S. Sen. Bob Casey the agency’s new equipment that makes crowns for teeth during a tour May 24, 2023. The agency obtained and matched a federal grant to set up a dental office at a new location, 820 S. Washington Ave., Scranton.

  • Maternal & Family Health Services has combined its offices at a new South Scranton location.

WV – The West Virginia Daily News: U.S. Senator Manchin announces $17.3 million for seven West Virginia Rural Development projects

  • U.S. Senator Joe Manchin … has announced $17,379,983 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program for seven projects across West Virginia.

  • This funding will support renovating a building into a health clinic to expand Boone Memorial Hospital, upgrading water infrastructure in Bradshaw and Lavalette, rehabilitating a housing complex in Kermit, constructing a new health department facility in Moorefield and purchasing city vehicles for Smithers and Weston.
  • “Investing in our communities spurs economic development and creates good-paying, long-term jobs,” said Manchin. “I am pleased USDA is investing more than $17.3 million in these seven critical projects across our great state.”

WV – WSAZ: Boone Memorial Health receives more than $14 million for renovation

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program is investing millions of dollars into Boone County. Boone Memorial Health is getting more than $14 million to renovate a facility in Danville. It will become a health and wellness clinic, providing outpatient healthcare and wellness services to more than 32,000 people.

  • “If you don’t have facilities such as this, people spend an awful lot of time and effort for traveling and costs to get any quality and health care. This is going to be a major change for southern West Virginia,” said U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.The USDA investments total nearly $17 million in West Virginia.

WV – West Virginia Public Broadcasting: USDA Grant To Provide Rural Healthcare

  • Alongside policymakers and community members, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office announced Monday the construction of a new health and wellness center for Danville in Boone County. Boone Memorial Health will receive a $14.4 million loan to renovate a facility into a health and wellness clinic along with a direct grant.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin attended the announcement event and called the project “an amazing development.” “We were able to do this because of the American rescue plan. We put $8.5 billion in there to help rural hospitals,” Manchin said. “And that’s what this is really about, and I was able to get a $3 million direct grant for this facility because it was in high need.”

WI – The Daily Reporter: Sen. Baldwin announces nearly $10M for Wisconsin brownfields cleanup 

  • U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on Thursday announced Wisconsin will receive $9.5 million, including $5.5 million for Milwaukee, for brownfields cleanup projects through federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
  • That’s part of a $315 million brownfield cleanup investment across the nation, U.S. Administrator Michael Regan added while speaking in front of local government officials, business owners and the media at a news conference at the 30th Street Corridor in Milwaukee.
  • “This site is being transformed into a diverse hub for innovation, manufacturing and economic opportunity.” Regan said. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by Biden in November 2021, will invest $1.5 billion into the EPA’s brownfields program, Baldwin said. 

WI – WSAW: Wisconsin senator pushes for increased funds for farmer mental health resources

  • Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin is pushing for bipartisan legislation to increase funding for rural mental health resources.
  • The Farmers First Act of 2023 would reauthorize the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network funding, boosting it from $10 million to $15 million for the next five years. Those funds would be distributed to organizations across the country.

  • “I think as farmers and part of our farming culture is, we really feel like we should take care of everybody,” said Karen Endres, a farmer and part of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. “They don’t have access to as many resources, and it is really critical that we educate and bring these tools out to them.”

WI – WJFW: Veteran Roundtable with Senator Baldwin

  • The Marathon County Veterans Service Office hosted Senator Baldwin and veterans for a roundtable discussion regarding veterans’ benefits. In August 2022, President Biden signed the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics, or PACT Act. 

  • Senator Baldwin said, “(The law) Provides healthcare benefits and disability benefits to a whole group of veterans who’s injuries and illness have not been recognized before.” 

  • She continued, “It’s particularly focused on those who have toxic exposures, burn pits, for the post 9/11 era of veterans, but also agent orange including the presumptive or expanding the presumptive illnesses and locations where these exposures may have occurred.”

WI – WQOW: Sen. Baldwin talks benefits with local veterans

  • Senator Tammy Baldwin visited Saint Croix County-area veterans Monday, May 22 to talk about veterans’ benefits and the recently passed PACT Act. The PACT Act — a bill Baldwin voted for in 2022 — greatly expands VA Healthcare coverage for veterans who were exposed to toxic waste from open-air burn pits.

  • “This was a wonderful opportunity here in New Richmond to have a roundtable with veterans of various conflicts and generations talk about the difference that our recently passed PACT Act is making in their lives,” Baldwin said.
  • Veterans gathered to share stories of their service with Baldwin — as well as their health issues and how the PACT Act changed their struggle to be treated. County Veterans Service Officers were also present to explain how the bill made efforts to connect veterans to much-deserved benefits a lot simpler. 
  • “(It) shows a lot of support that wasn’t there before and I think it’ll be very very beneficial to everyone that puts in for it or gets approved for it,” said Steve Aza, a U.S. Marine veteran who was in attendance.

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