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Congresswoman Betty McCollum's eNewsletter

September 3, 2010

September 6 Marks Labor Day 2010
Labor Day honors the contributions of America's working men and women - the most productive workers in the world - to the freedom, prosperity, and success of this country. As a strong defender of workers' right to organize and the labor union movement, Congresswoman McCollum stands with working families in Minnesota and across America in their ongoing efforts to secure fair pay, safe workplace conditions, quality health care, and a secure retirement.

With the economic recovery slowing and far too many Americans still searching for work, Congresswoman McCollum continues to fight for policies that will sustain the economy, stimulate job creation, and save jobs from being eliminated. Protecting workers' rights and reinvesting to rebuild America are priorities for Congresswoman McCollum this Labor Day and as she returns to Congress.

Minnesota Hospital Association Honors Congresswoman McCollum
The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) recently honored Congresswoman McCollum with its 2010 Public Achievement Award. MHA leaders and members recognized Congresswoman McCollum for her work in shaping health care reform legislation - specifically her efforts to correct the Medicare geographic disparity for Minnesota hospitals, doctors, and patients.

"For far too long, Minnesota was being unfairly treated by Medicare for delivering high-quality medical care at a low cost," said Congresswoman McCollum. "Thanks to the hard work and support from the Minnesota Hospital Association, Congress will ensure that Minnesota hospitals, doctors, and patients are no longer disadvantaged by Medicare."

Governor Pawlenty Works to Prevent Health Care Reform from Coming to Minnesota
Governor Tim Pawlenty decided to issue an executive order preventing Minnesota from receiving federal funds to help implement the health care reform. This action puts the well-being of tens of thousands of our state's most vulnerable residents at risk. Governor Pawlenty has already blocked Medicaid expansion, stopped funding for high-risk insurance pools, and prevented an insurance exchange for Minnesotans to shop for health coverage. The amount of these rejected funds totals over $1 billion for Minnesota.

"Governor Pawlenty's executive order truly is a political manifesto to the most extreme Republican/Tea Party elements in America," said Congresswoman McCollum. "This decision is a sad example of the governor playing political games with people's lives - denying available federal funds for health care. It is offensive to me that our governor would use his power to hurt the most vulnerable in our society."

NEA Chairman Joins Congresswoman McCollum at Community Policy Forum
On August 25, Chairman Rocco Landesman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) joined Congresswoman McCollum for a town hall meeting at SteppingStone Theatre in St. Paul. More than 300 citizens attended the public forum to hear Congresswoman McCollum and Chairman Landesman discuss the importance of arts and arts related jobs to the economy. There are more than 8,400 arts related jobs in the 4th Congressional District and 54,000 arts jobs in Minnesota, according to a survey by Americans for the Arts.

Arts education in public schools was also a topic of great interest as tight budgets have forced a reduction or elimination of arts education in some schools. As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, Congresswoman McCollum has funding responsibilities for the NEA.

Oakdale City Officials and Congresswoman McCollum Praise Improvements in Energy Efficiency
Congresswoman McCollum joined officials from the City of Oakdale on August 24th to kick off a groundbreaking event emphasizing energy improvements to the Oakdale Public Works. Congresswoman McCollum worked to secure a federal appropriation of $400,000 in fiscal year 2010 for Oakdale to help them complete essential energy efficiency improvements.

Happy Labor Day!