Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 2/14/2014

Dear Friends,

As the propane crisis continues, I am working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that resources are available for folks in the 7th District. The Small Business Administration offers loans to help small businesses struggling during the shortage. I met with the president of a Minnesota housing association that creates jobs and provides affordable housing, Steelworkers who shared their concerns about the manufacturing sector, and the Agricultural Retailers Association to discuss regulations impacting their industry.

Sincerely,

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Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

2014 Congressional Art Competition

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High-school students who live in Minnesota's 7th District are encouraged to submit their artwork for the 2014 Congressional Art Competition. The competition is open to all high-school students, and the overall winner of each participating district will be displayed for one year in the Cannon Tunnel leading into the U.S. Capitol. The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nation-wide competition.

The artwork may be:

·         Paintings - including oil, acrylics, and watercolor

·         Drawings - including pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, and markers

·         Collage

·         Prints - including lithographs, silkscreen, and block prints

·         Mixed Media

·         Computer Generated Art

·         Photography

How to Apply

See my website for further details on the guidelines and rules for the 2014 Congressional Art Competition. To submit artwork for consideration, applicants should send an email to Congressional.Art@mail.house.gov with a digital photograph of the student's artwork attached no later than Tuesday, April 29th, 2014.

Propane Shortage Update

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The propane shortage continues to cripple Minnesota households, and that is why I co-authored a letter signed by 70 Members of Congress to call for immediate action by the President of the United States.

In the letter, I joined my co-author Congressman Adrian Smith in expressing concerns about how further reduction in supply would threaten to leave many Americans without fuel to heat their homes, businesses, and livestock and poultry operations. We urged the President to take immediate action to help improve the situation and work toward responsible solutions. 

Click here to read our letter urging the President to act

National Turkey Federation President Joel Brandenberger said, "We commend Congressmen Peterson and Smith for leading this crucial effort.  It is clear the quick action of our representatives played a key role in emergency federal orders for priority propane shipments.  Pipeline regulators signaled their response to significant concerns from House and Senate pressure.  Congress stepped up and extended a lifeline of support to secure propane for barns to keep animals warm and family homes safe in isolated farmland areas – for that we are grateful."

Loans Available for Small Businesses Affected By Propane Crisis

Zero Fees Offered for Borrowers, Lenders on Loans $150,000 or less

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loans may help Minnesota small businesses squeezed by the high cost of propane this winter.  The standard SBA 7(a) loan and the SBA Express loan both offer a guaranty of at least 50% along with no collateral for loans of $25,000 or less and zero fees for borrowers and lenders on loans of $150,000 or less until September 30, 2014.

These existing SBA products, with zero fees and longer maturities can help borrowers absorb this winter’s higher than expected fuel costs while minimizing impact on cash flow.  The high guaranty percentages also minimize the lender’s risk. Both loans offer terms of up to 10 years on working capital.  There are more than 250 Minnesota lenders participating in these programs.  To find a lender in your area, please visit https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/bank%20list_3.pdf

For more information on SBA resources and programs, go to www.sba.gov/mn.

Manufactured and Modular Home Ass’n

Mark Brunner

This week I met with Mark Brunner, the president of the Manufactured and Modular Home Association of Minnesota. We discussed the home building sector in Minnesota and the rest of the country. We are thankful for all the jobs this industry creates, especially in the 7th District, where three home manufacturers are creating jobs on a daily basis: Dynamic Homes of Detroit Lakes, Friendship Homes of MN in Montevideo, and Schult Homes of Redwood Falls. I applaud these businesses hard work and for providing affordable housing for our nation.

Steelworkers

This week members of the United Steelworkers stopped by to discuss trade, unemployment insurance, and how the United States can continue to make investments that support our manufacturing sector. Manufacturing jobs traditionally have been high-skill jobs that afford workers the opportunity to secure a place in our middle class. Congress has a responsibility to do whatever it can to assist in bringing these types of jobs back to our communities.  That’s why I will continue to support legislation that provides incentives to manufacturers who produce their goods here in America.

Ag Retailers Association

Paul Keppy (American Feed Industry Association), Bob Zelenka (Minnesota Grain and Feed Association), David Hintzsche (Hintzsche Fertilizer)

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) visited my office to discuss various issues of importance such as the Water Resources Development Act conference report, Commodity Futures Trading Commission reauthorization, truck weights, and Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The ARA is a non-profit trade association for agricultural retailers and distributors around the United States.

 Military Matters

Exhibit of artwork produced by Veterans at Minneapolis VA Medical Center

Today the Minneapolis VA Medical Center hosted their annual National Salute program. The program gives community members an opportunity to thank hospitalized Veterans in VA facilities across the country for their heroic service in our U.S. armed forces. Valentines were distributed to the veterans being served by Minneapolis VA Medical Center.

Minnesota Olympians

Shabya Arena

Shayba Arena—Sochi Ice Hockey

The northwestern town of Warroad, population 1,781, has sent seven hockey players to the Olympics since 1956. Each of them has returned home with a medal. This year at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, two more Warroad-natives are hoping to continue the trend. Gigi Marvin, a twenty-six year old who won a silver medal for the U.S. women hockey team in 2010, and T.J. Oshie, a twenty-seven hockey player for the St. Louis Blues and the 8th Olympian from Warroad, will help the United States bring home the gold in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Constituents from the 7th

Rachel Malone (SLAYTON), Rodney and Linda Spronk (EDGERTON), Karmen, Shawn, and Gabe Vis (Luverne).

This Week in American History

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Every state in the U.S. Capitol is allowed to commission two statues that are placed around the building. On February 8th, 1916, Minnesota’s first statue, Senator Henry Mower Rice, was unveiled in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. Statuary Hall is also where the U.S. House of Representatives used to congregate and debate legislation from 1807 to 1857. The hall gets its name for the large number of statues that are placed throughout the room. Senator Rice was a pioneer and trader, and was an effective advocate for Minnesota statehood. The second Minnesota statue is Maria Sanford, a long-time educator and civil rights leader and her statue is located in the Capitol Visitors Center.


“Transformation”
Kaitlyn Wurst (FRAZEE-VERGAS)
2014 Congressional Art Competition