Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


McCollum seeking closed hearing to air Capitol workers’ concerns over asbestos case

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Minnesota’s 4th District Democratic Rep.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Minnesota’s 4th District Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum called this week for a special closed-panel meeting regarding 10 workers who claim they were exposed to asbestos in the utility tunnels underneath the Capitol, according to Roll Call.

The workers raised the issue two years ago. Although they received a settlement in 2007, it was not for chemical exposure but for harassment they endured after making the claims. Many are still pursuing compensation for medical expenses.

“I want to know for myself whether or not in my mind things were handled in the most expedient way and to the highest moral standard,” McCollum said at a hearing of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, according to Roll Call.

The St. Paul representative succeeded Bruce Vento, who died in 2000 from mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure.

Article continues after advertisement

McCollum has been meeting periodically with the tunnel workers since they raised concerns about the condition of the Capitol’s tunnels.