Today freshman Senator Roger Reinert dedicated his first floor speech in the Minnesota Senate to the defense of veterans’ services.
The Republican budget cut bill (HF130) conference committee report was debated on the Senate floor before being passed 37 to 28. During that debate, Senator Reinert moved that the bill be sent back to conference committee to explicitly protect veterans’ programs.
“This bill directs the administration to find $100M to cut,” Senator Reinert said. “Items on the table include several programs meant to help veterans integrate, adjust, and train upon return to the community from military service.”
HF130 requires state agencies to reduce their FY2011 appropriations by $100M. While some veterans’ programs are excluded from the cuts, nearly $3M in veteran funding is left on the chopping block. This includes funding for veteran home repairs, higher education assistance, and military funeral honors.
“Let’s fix this bill for veterans,” said Senator Reinert, “Let’s protect those who have voluntarily agreed to protect us.”