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May is Mental Health Month

During Mental Health Month, I want to call special attention to the tenth leading cause of death in the United States: suicide.  More than 100 American lives are lost to suicide each day. That means in the next hour, four people will commit suicide. One will be a veteran.

In our state, suicide is the second leading cause of death among Minnesotans ages 15-34.

These staggering numbers are part of a larger trend. From 2000-2010, suicides increased 16 percent. In that same 10 year period, deaths from causes like stroke and heart disease declined. While we have made progress in reducing deaths from physical diseases, we have left those dealing with substance use and mental illness behind.

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Delivering on Small Business Week

Last week, the United States celebrated Small Business Week to honor the 30 million small businesses that keep this country running. In Minnesota, there are more than 500,000 small businesses employing over one million Minnesotans.

Yesterday the National Federation of Independent Business reported historic numbers thanks to Republicans’ pro-growth policies like tax cuts and deregulation. Small business optimism is the highest it’s been in 30 years while reports of improved earning trends were the highest in survey history.

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A Boost for Minnesota’s Airports

Last week the House passed, and I supported, a major boost for American infrastructure.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act is the first major installment in a larger infrastructure plan to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges. Among other important advancements, the bill:

  • Reauthorizes the Airport Improvement Program;
  • Extends and reforms the Federal Contract Tower Program, like the one in Saint Cloud, allowing for new contract towers, and improves the cost benefit analysis for existing towers;
  • Reauthorizes funding for many small airports used by general aviation, such as the Saint Cloud Regional Airport and the Anoka County–Blaine Airport;
  • Improves FAA safety workforce training; and
  • Prohibits bumping passengers that have already boarded the plane.

These needed improvements are critical to job creation, economic growth, and our daily lives. Additionally, the long term reauthorization provides certainty to the aviation industry, which is especially important for the region with Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport and for local airports in the Sixth District.

It Doesn’t Add Up

This month, the National Center for Education Statistics released results from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress.  It is an assessment of American students in the core subjects of reading and math.

Disappointingly, American students showed no improvement. What’s worse: the lowest performers fell even further behind.

Minnesota is no different.  We generally perform better than others, but our state’s scores remained nearly flat.

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“Hotdish of Champions” Recipe

Here is the recipe for my award winning entry in this year’s Annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish competition.

Hotdish of Champions 

Ingredients:

  • Tater tot crowns –30 oz package
  • One can of Cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Vegetable oil
  • 6 Eggs
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Cups of Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 Cup of Cooked crumbled bacon
  • 1 1/2 Cups Cooked crumbled sausage
  • Your choice of cereal (such as General Mills Chex or Total) for topping

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