U.S. Sen. Al Franken visited the Fergus Falls Senior Center Monday afternoon, voicing his support for the Older Americans Act and maintaining the 65-year-old standard for receiving Social Security.  Go to fergusfallsjournal.com for more photos from Franken’s visit.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken visited the Fergus Falls Senior Center Monday afternoon, voicing his support for the Older Americans Act and maintaining the 65-year-old standard for receiving Social Security.
Go to fergusfallsjournal.com for more photos from Franken’s visit.

Archived Story

Franken visits Fergus Falls

Published 11:19am Tuesday, April 15, 2014

U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s visit to Fergus Falls Monday afternoon included a stop at the Senior Center and a flag presentation at the Otter Tail County Federal Courthouse.

Franken, D-Minn., spent 50 minutes at the Senior Center, meeting with people and taking a handful of questions. During his visit, he spoke of his support for keeping the age at which people become eligible for Social Security at 65, rather than moving it to 67 as has been proposed in a bill from the House of Representatives.

“I want to keep Social Security and Medicare strong,” Franken said to the large crowd at the Senior Center.

He also spent time discussing the Older Americans Act, first instituted in 1965 and reauthorized by Congress in 2011.

The act includes programs such as Meals On Wheels and is aimed at helping support elderly citizens and keeping them as independent as possible.

After cuts to the act in 2013, the 2014 Omnibus Spending Bill passed by Congress restored much of its funding. The act received $1.6 billion in the 2014 spending bill.0415.Franken.3

But Franken thinks more can be done. His is promoting his bill, dubbed the RIDE Act, which would fully reimburse volunteers who drive senior citizens to doctors appointments or on errands. The federal government currently reimburses those volunteers only for the miles when the senior citizen is in the car.

“I’m moved by the people that we meet across the state,” Franken said.

The crowd seemed receptive to Franken during his visit, laughing at a story about how Franken met his wife, Frannie, and giving him a few rounds of applause during his speech.

After leaving the Senior Center, Franken made a quick stop at the County Federal Courthouse to present local officials with an American flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of the courthouse being renamed for Judge Edward J. Devitt later this month.

The courthouse, at 118 S. Mill St., serves more than 610,000 people over a 25,000 square mile area of northwestern Minnesota.0415.Franken.1

President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Devitt to the federal bench in 1954. Devitt served for the next 38 years, including 22 years as the Chief Judge of the District.

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