The Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee passed its omnibus budget bill (SF 485) today on a unanimous vote. The bill provides $8 million in new funding for the Department of Military Affairs and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and provides a total of $208.22 million.
“Taking care of and supporting our veterans is one of the most important responsibilities we have as policymakers, and I am proud to see the bipartisan support to move this bill forward,” said Senator Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood). “We must continue to put our service members and veterans first, and this bill will help ensure they have the support and resources they need.”
In addition to the budget provisions, the bill includes several policy proposals co-authored by Senator Wiger, including SF 1511 the establishment of Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day, SF 364 permitting a Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Representative, and SF 363, to allow the establishment of a Veterans Stable Housing Initiative.
The bill also includes funding through the Minnesota Humanities Center for the Veterans Voices Program, an initiative to educate communities empowering Veterans to speak in their own voices through plays, discussions, literature, and the Veterans’ Voices Award.