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Senate Votes for Memorial to Wellstone

November 15, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Thursday to help establish a "living memorial" to the late Sen. Paul Wellstone and his wife through the creation of an immigrant community center in St. Paul, Minn.

"Paul, this is our first step toward finishing your work," said the measure's sponsor, Sen. Dean Barkley, an independent from Minnesota who is filling out the term of Wellstone, a Democrat.

The House was expected to take up the bill late Thursday.

The legislation authorizes $10 million in federal funds toward a $25-million "Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center for Community Building." It would be part of Neighborhood House, a century-old social service agency for immigrants.

Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) said the legislation was a fitting tribute to Wellstone's "undying compassion" for new Americans.

The Wellstones were killed in a plane crash last month along with their 33-year-old daughter, Marcia Wellstone Markuson, and five others.

Neighborhood House already has a $5.5-million commitment from the city of St. Paul; it hopes to raise the remaining $10 million from the state and private sources next year.

The social service agency hopes to begin construction next year and open in 2004.

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