Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 3/7/2014

Dear Friends,

This week the city of Roseau received great news from the Army Corps of Engineers. A wide array of advocates from organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Barnes-Aastad Association, and the MN Medical Association came to my Washington Office to talk about issues important to their members. City, township and county leaders from the 7th District stopped in to discuss the need for a transportation bill. The House passed a bill this week that will address the propane fuel crisis in the Midwest.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Spring Forward

Do not forget to move your clocks forward one hour on Sunday, March 9th, 2014 at 2:00 a.m.

White House Easter Egg Roll

The ticket lottery for this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll is open from Friday, March 7th at 10:00 a.m. EST and will close on Monday, March 10th at 10:00 a.m. EDT. This event opens up the South Lawn for children ages 13 years and younger and their families. The tickets are free, and all the lottery participants will be notified by email of the results by Friday, March 14th.

Click here find information entering the lottery.

Roseau Flood Project

2002 Roseau Flood

This week the City of Roseau received long-awaited news that the Army Corps of Engineers 2014 Work Plan will include the final piece of federal funding for their flood diversion project. Since the devastating flood in 2002, community leaders in Roseau have worked tirelessly to get a project in place that would protect their community from flooding events. Throughout the process, Mayor Jeff Pelowski, Community Development Director Todd Peterson, and many other community leaders have shown tremendous leadership in their efforts to ensure that their community would have flood protection. I am so pleased that this project is on track for completion.

Veterans of Foreign Wars

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with our VFW Minnesota representatives. We had a great meeting discussing the GI Bill, health care, advance appropriations, and other veteran issues.

Army Corps of Engineers

Aaron Snyder, Colonel Koprowski, and Judy DesHarnais

The St. Paul District Army Corps of Engineers delivered their biannual briefing this week. I received an update regarding all of their projects in the 7th District, including the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion, Marsh Lake Restoration, and the projects in the cities of Roseau, Breckenridge, Montevideo and Granite Falls. The Corps was very positive about the outlook of funding for the region and for completing many of the projects. I encouraged the Corps to continue to work with local officials and residents to ensure that all their projects are well supported in their communities.


Sue Dieter and Dean Meischsner (MORRIS)

Sue Dieter and Dean Meichsner of the Barnes-Aastad Soil & Water Conservation Research Association visited with me about the accomplishments of the North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory this past year and the importance of agricultural research in general.  The lab’s mission is to enhance productive conservation of agricultural and natural resources base, improve environmental health, and contribute to national food security through diversified, competitive, and resilient agro-ecosystems in the upper Midwest. 

National Ass’n of Towns and Townships

Executive Director Gary Pedersen (St. Michael) and Loren Ingebretsen (FELTON)

The National Association of Towns and Townships held their annual meeting this week and I had the privilege of meeting with Minnesota Township representatives Loren Ingebretsen and Gary Pedersen. We discussed tax reform, the need for a long term transportation bill, and the need to support our volunteer emergency responders. Town and township officers play an important role in our communities by making sure our local roads and bridges are maintained while serving as leaders in their local communities. 

MN Funeral Directors

Shawn Kirby (Le Sueur), Judy and President Mike Dahl (MONTEVIDEO), past president Roger Bengtson (WILLMAR), Ashley Hoff (Rochester), Leif Larsen (International Falls)

The Funeral Directors of Minnesota stopped by to discuss regulatory reform that affects their industry. They support legislation that updates the Funeral Rule to include all for-profit sellers of funeral goods and services that are not currently covered.

Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Ass’n

Steve Williams (FISHER), Perry Skaurud (GARY), and Nick Sinner (Fargo)

Minnesota Members of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association came to Washington to discuss Farm Bill implementation and how sugar programs will evolve moving forward.

Renville County

Renville County Commissioner Bob Fox

I sat down with Renville County Commissioner Bob Fox during the Association of Minnesota Counties annual conference this week. I congratulated Bob on receiving the 2013 Association of Minnesota Counties’ President’s Award for his dedication to public service and his exemplary leadership in county government. We discussed the implementation of the Farm Bill, the need for a long term transportation bill, and the City of Olivia’s efforts to build a new hospital.

MN Medical Association

Dr. Douglas Wood (Rochester) and Dr. Cindy Firkins-Smith (WILLMAR)

I met with Dr. Cindy Firkins-Smith, the President-elect of the Minnesota Medical Association and a Willmar physician, and Dr. Douglas Wood, a Trustee of the Minnesota Medical Association who practices at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. We discussed the perils of not replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) on public programs beneficiaries and rural communities, as well as the need for better diabetes prevention programs. Replacing the SGR is a top priority for this Congress and I will continue to work with Minnesota providers to find the right solution for Minnesota. 

House Passes Bill Extending Emergency Propane Exemption

Supplies of propane and home heating fuel remain tight, and this week I was glad to see Congress take action. On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that provides a guaranteed extension of the U.S. Department of Transportation's emergency declarations for the purpose of transporting propane and home heating fuels until May 31, 2014.

This guaranteed emergency exemption will allow us to continue to ship propane and heating fuels quickly and efficiently to make sure it gets to the folks who need it most in these tough times. It also provides the certainty needed to address transportation and distribution of these critical heating fuels during the ongoing crisis. I am very concerned about the difficulties that the spike in propane fuel costs have caused for homeowners and businesses across the 7th District, and that's why I joined my Midwestern colleagues in calling for public hearings to fully investigate all resources available to moderate propane supply and relieve skyrocketing prices.

This Week in American History
Lucky Lady II

On March 2nd, 1949, Melrose native and U.S. Air Force Captain James Gallagher completed the first nonstop flight around the world with a crew of thirteen. Captain Gallagher flew Lucky Lady II, a giant B-50 Superfortress bomber assigned to the 43rd Bomb Group. During the 23,452-mile trip, the crew had to refuel four times in the air and spent ninety-four hours and one minute off the ground.

2014 Congressional Art Competition

I am currently accepting entries for this year’s art competition. Click here for more information on how to apply.

Jase Pederson (WARREN)
2013 Congressional Art Competition