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U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) continues to travel the state on her 99 County Tour for 2020 to hear directly from Iowans. Following public health guidelines, Ernst visited over a dozen counties last week. Ernst met with folks to discuss the COVID-19 relief she’s helped secure at the federal level through the CARES Act – including expanded telehealth services, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), mental health support, and relief for Iowa’s agriculture community.  

The senator had the opportunity to hear from small businesses and local leaders in Woodbury, Plymouth, O’Brien, and Emmet Counties and discuss her continued efforts to support Iowa’s local employers. The senator also reiterated some of her priorities in the next COVID-19 relief package – including her proposal to allow front line workers to keep more of their hard-earned dollars, support for child care providers, and relief for the biofuel community.

KMEG in Sioux City covered the senator’s visit to Woodbury County: “We would love to see additional supports in place for ethanol and our biofuels industry, and additional supports for our egg producers, our poultry producers and of course working continuously with our dairy farmers as well,” Ernst said.

KIWA Radio covered Ernst’s stop in Sheldon and her visit to Premium Iowa Pork in Hospers. Here Ernst discussed her efforts to support pork producers. In Palo Alto County, Ernst heard from a local biofuel producer about their challenges and successes during COVID-19.

At Community and Family Resources (CFR) in Fort Dodge and Grand Avenue Outreach in Spencer, Ernst heard from health care and nonprofit leaders about the services they provide to Iowans struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. Through the CARES Act, Ernst helped provide critical support for the state’s mental health system.

Ernst also visited Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn High School in Cherokee County to hear how the school district is harnessing renewable energy to power their school and save on energy costs. The senator discussed the benefits of solar and other forms of renewable energy in Iowa. KCAU in Sioux City covered the Ernst’s visit to Marcus.

In Polk County, Ernst met with Iowa state Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad at Creative Visions to discuss solutions for combatting racial injustice in the United States. Ernst thanked Abdul-Samad for his work in helping to pass bipartisan police reform legislation through the Iowa Legislature and urged Congress to do the same.

KCCI covered the senator’s visit to Des Moines and her meeting with Black community leaders. “When George Floyd was calling out to his mother in heaven, that broke my heart. I have a daughter and I can’t imagine if somebody had done that to her. We should all recognize this was so horrifically wrong,” Ernst said.