Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 10/27/2017

Oct 30, 2017 Issues: Congressional Issues, Education, Health

Snow in Detroit Lakes this morning

Dear Friends,

The ongoing opioid crisis in our country has devastated families and rural communities and it is past time for strong action to be taken to keep our communities safe and healthy. This week, I worked to call attention to the continuing need for solutions to combat drug abuse. I joined Senator Klobuchar at a roundtable discussion in Thief River Falls last Friday to hear from local health professionals on treatment programs, and talked to Joel Heitkamp on KFGO News and Views Thursday morning to talk about effective policies that combat addiction. This issue will continue to grow unless we work together to find long-term solutions. You can read more about the issue in my letter-to-the-editor that was sent to local newspapers around the Seventh.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Opioid Roundtable

Senator Klobuchar and I heard from multiple state and local agencies as well as healthcare and treatment providers this week at our joint opioid roundtable. Opioid abuse continues to be a large-scale problem in our communities, and I am committed to finding workable solutions to combat this issue.

National Sheriffs’ Association

John Thompson, Deputy Executive Director

On Tuesday, I met with John Thompson of the National Sheriffs’ Association and discussed the importance of allowing domestic violence victims to bring their pets with them to shelters. Pets are members of the family and can provide great comfort to domestic violence victims. Currently, most shelters do not have the resources to house pets, but I fully support legislation that would give shelters access to grants to build pet amenities.

Minnesota Telecom Alliance

This week, the Minnesota Telecom Alliance (MTA) visited my office to thank me for leading a letter urging the FCC to address the budget shortfall in the High-Cost Universal Service Fund (USF). A lack of sufficient funding for rural broadband development continues to put millions of Americans at a significant disadvantage. I appreciate the perspective of MTA as Congress works to connect rural residents, businesses, producers, and providers to each other and the world.

Farm and Community Listening Sessions

Senator Klobuchar and I were pleased to join many farm commodity groups in Red Lake Falls for a listening session hosted by the wheat and barley growers. We addressed a wide range of questions, from the status of the next Farm Bill, to individual programs. Representing the needs of my constituents remains my top priority, and I’m appreciative of all who came out to talk about how we can best support our farmers and growers.  

Radio Interview with KFGO

I was a guest on KFGO News and Views with Joel Heitkamp on Thursday morning to talk about how the United States is facing an unprecedented opioid epidemic. It is critical that Congress develops effective policy to combat addiction. The opioid epidemic needs our immediate attention, and I am committed to ensuring that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Department of Justice are equipped to fight it. You can listen to our discussion online here.

Felling Trailers

My staff met with members of the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) this week. Pat Joenniseen of Felling Trailers in Sauk Centre highlighted the recurring challenges of finding and hiring skilled workers. In order for our businesses to expand, they need assurance that there will be skilled workers to hire. This is a common fear I hear from business owners in Minnesota. Being that this is a problem fairly unique to Minnesota, we should first look for a solution at the local level. A coordinated effort by the state, schools, unions, and businesses will be required in order to solve our shortage of skilled workers. I look forward to continuing conversations on supporting our local businesses.

Cooperative Health Plan for Farmers

This week, my staff was briefed on a new Cooperative Health Plan for Farmers by 40 Square Cooperative Solutions. 40 Square is a cooperative dedicated to providing health plan options owned and governed by Minnesota farm families and the agricultural community. You can learn more on their website.

Minnesota Department of Human Services

My staff attended Department of Human Services “Connections: Community Listening Event” discussing the needs in the community in the area of Mental Health, Housing, and Addictions.  Information gathered at these sessions with help determine future efforts to supporter healthier communities.

United Way of Southwest Minnesota

My staff aide, Meg Louwagie, participated in the United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s joint effort with Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record” nationwide campaign. The campaign aims to draw attention to the importance of early literacy by mobilizing adults and children to set a record for the largest shared reading experience. You can learn more online here.

Legislative Update

This week, the House passed two pieces of legislation targeted at increasing transparency in federal government settlements and to stop the “sue and settle” process of agency activism. One of these included the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017, which I was the lead Democratic sponsor. The legislation seeks to stop the practice of the DOJ requiring donations to be directed towards certain groups, often politically motivated, as part of settlements. Finally, the House passed the Senate’s budget, which I voted against. This budget will increase the debt by over $1.5 trillion, and I cannot support a bill so financially irresponsible.


National FFA Convention

The 90th National FFA Convention will be held in Indianapolis this week. More than 64,000 FFA members from across the country are expected to attend the event. The National FFA Organization has record membership numbers this year, with 653,359 FFA members, more than 8,500 FFA chapters and more than 344,000 FFA Alumni members and 2,051 FFA alumni chapters across the country.

Child Care Provider Grants Available

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is requesting proposals for grants to local communities to increase the supply of quality child care providers in order to support regional economic development. Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m., November 3, 2017. To apply, send a copy of the proposal in PDF format via email to with the subject line "Child Care Grant Proposal – [Organization Name]". You can find more information available online here: Grant and Contract Opportunities website

This Week in American History

On October 25, 1941, author Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis. She published over 20 popular novels including The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, and Breathing Lessons, for which she was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Spotted in the Seventh

Can YOU guess what was Spotted in the Seventh? Each week, the newsletter will feature a landmark or site somewhere in Western Minnesota. The first person to name the location wins! The location of the photo as well as the winner will be revealed in the next newsletter.

This week’s landmark is run by 30 brave volunteer fireman and won the Minnesota State Fire Department Association’s 2014 Fire Department of the Year award…

Congratulations to Dan Sartell of Wadena, who was the first to correctly identify our last location as the home of Sinclair Lewis in Sauk Centre!

Share your guess on our website –

Carlie Swart (RENVILLE)