Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 11/9/2018

November 13, 2018

Veterans Honor Flight in May

Dear Friends,

Veterans Day is on Sunday, November 11, and it is a day to thank and honor the brave men and women who have served in the United States armed forces. I hope you will take a moment to acknowledge military veterans in your community for their dedication to protecting our national security and values. Over the past year, I have met with veterans in Washington and across Minnesota and I will highlight some of those great meetings here. This week, I am also honored to have been reelected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. I look forward to representing the values of everyone in western Minnesota during the 116th Congress.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Meeting with Veterans in 2018

Top Row: St. Paul Army Corps of Engineers, World War II veterans Henry Tweten and Bernie Lieder, David Kivisto’s (DASSEL) appointment to the Air Force Academy
Middle: Sioux Falls Veterans Town Hall
Bottom: Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion

I have met with many veterans organizations this year to stay up to date on the important issues affecting our nation’s servicemembers and veterans. This Congress, I have supported legislation to ensure our veterans have access to quality health care including the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, the CARE for All Veterans Act and the Improving Oversight of Women Veterans’ Care Act. Local officials and I have been working to secure federal funding for new veterans homes in Montevideo and Bemidji, and I will continue to monitor those projects until they are completed. Our veterans have sacrificed a great deal in the service of this country, and I am proud to advocate for them in Washington.

This year, my office joined as a Commemorative Partner to the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration, a Congressional initiative meant to thank our Vietnam veterans. Vietnam veterans fought in some of the worst conditions imaginable, but many were not welcomed home in the manner they deserved. Minnesota has 125,800 Vietnam Era veterans that need to be properly honored for their service. As a symbol of appreciation, I have been presenting special Vietnam Commemoration Pins to Vietnam veterans who served on active duty between 1955 and 1975.

Mr. Kermit Paananen (OLIVIA)

I was honored to send Kermit a Vietnam Commemorative Lapel Pin and letter to honor his sacrifice and service during the Vietnam War. Kermit was presented this special Pin at his retirement party after 34 years of military and civilian service. I was glad to send this special recognition to him and I wish Kermit the best in his retirement.

Blue Ribbon School Awards

Top Row: Principal Nathaniel Messick and Heidi Benson (Fertile-Beltrami Elementary School) / Superintendent Ryan Nielsen, Marylee Glese, Principal Ryan Arndt (Canby Elementary School)
Middle Row: Jody Weis, Melanie Rudeen and Principal David Hansen (Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Elementary School) / Principal Phil Goetstouwers (Red Rock Central School)

Representatives of the 7th District’s 2018 Blue Ribbon Schools were in Washington this week to accept their awards. The prestigious distinction recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools for their overall academic performance and progress in closing achievement gaps among students. I sincerely thank each school for investing in student development and productive school environments.

Livestock Hauling Petition

I recently led a bipartisan letter with Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in support of a petition to waive livestock haulers from certain provisions of Hours of Service (HOS) rules. The letter, which was signed by 57 of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, requests increased driving hours for livestock haulers in exchange for additional training designed by FMCSA. Current hours of service regulations do not accommodate the unique needs of livestock haulers, and I’m confident that this petition will allow them to deliver agricultural products to market more effectively while maintaining their proven record of safety.

Farm to Table Dinner in Crookston

The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) invited members of my staff to experience a Farm to Table dinner. The experience began with a student horse show at the Equestrian Center and then a dinner featuring foods grown by University of Minnesota students, alumni and friends. This inaugural Farm to Table dinner featured local ingredients prepared by talented chefs and was served with wine from Fantesca Estate and Winery, which is owned by Duane and Susan Hoff. Duane is the son of longtime Crookston residents and UMC faculty Dave and Irene Hoff.

The different courses of dinner were highlighted by several students talking about their UMC experiences. Currently, UMC delivers 35 bachelor’s degrees, 22 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 16 online degrees.

Grow Our Own Summit in Marshall

My staff aide Jacki Anderson joined the Southwest Initiative Foundation at their Grow Our Own Summit in Marshall. Speakers from around the country talked with leaders in southwest Minnesota about disparities among youth and what we could do to give our children a better start in life. We know that family, geography and community dynamics directly impact a child’s potential for success. I will continue to work with local organizations and do everything I can at the federal level to create more opportunities that help our kids succeed.

UMC Campus Advisory and Advancement Board Meeting

The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) Campus Advisory and Advancement Board met new members and heard a campus report from Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause this week. There were several other presentations including federal and state legislative updates and a report on UMC’s delivery of online programs. UMC was one of the first campuses in Minnesota to give students laptops and online programs.

Retirement Plan and IRA Contribution Limits Increase for 2019

Each year, cost-of-living adjustments are made to contribution limits for 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts. For 2019, the 401(k) contribution increases to $19,000, and the IRA limit increases to $6,000.

For more information about how these changes could affect your retirement plan click here.

This Week in American History

The Kensington rune stone

On November 8, 1898, the Kensington rune stone was discovered on Olof Ohman's farm, near Alexandria. The stone tells of a group of Vikings who traveled to Minnesota in 1362, but its authenticity has long been the subject of debate.

The English translation of the stone’s text is as follows:

“Eight Goths (Swedes) and twenty-two Norwegians upon
a journey of discovery from Vinland westward. We had a
camp by two skerries one day's journey north from this stone.
We were out fishing one day. When we returned home we
found ten men red with blood and dead. A V M (Ave, Virgo
Maria), save us from evil.

(We) have ten men by the sea to look after our vessel four-
teen days' journey from this island. Year

What’s the Story?

In 2005, I performed for American servicemembers with my band The Second Amendments during a congressional delegation tour across Europe and the Middle East. The band was made up of a bipartisan group of my fellow Congressmen and we were happy to show our support for our troops at military bases in Germany, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. I have the shirt shown above hung in my Washington, D.C. office to commemorate the tour.

Blue Ribbon School Principals and their guests toured the U.S. Capitol with our office Friday
(Left to right) Catherine and Phil Goetstouwer, Nathaniel Messick, Heidi Benson, Jody Weis and Melanie Rudeen