ST. PAUL, MINN – In Beltrami County, the closest veterans nursing home is nearly 100 miles away. With an aging population of around 31,000 veterans living in the state’s 16 northern most counties, veterans services are in high demand. It’s for these reasons Senator Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids) made funding for a Bemidji veterans home his very first bill this legislative session. The legislation calls for $30 million in bonding funds to help pre-design, build and fully equip a new veterans nursing home in Bemidji.
“More than three-quarters of veterans in northern Minnesota are age 55 or older. This means services for them will be even more strained in the coming years. These men and women deserve to be taken care of in a facility that is close to home. A Bemidji veterans home is centrally located and will help a huge population of people who have served our country,” said Senator Saxhaug.
While the veterans nursing home is the seventh Senate bill introduced this legislative session, Senator Saxhaug is also supportive of the first six bills which were announced on Thursday, especially those relating to education. A higher education tuition relief bill was introduced, which calls for two years of free college tuition at any state community or technical college. Another bill calls for free of charge pre-K programming to be available for all Minnesota 4-year-olds, if their parents choose. This expansion of early learning education is necessary, and is backed by research which finds that at the start of kindergarten, fewer than half of Minnesota’s children are fully equipped with the basic skills they need to be successful in school.
“These pieces of legislation help to address the entire range of education in the state – 4K for all 4-year-olds is a proven method to help close the achievement gap. Likewise, addressing student loan debt by offering two years of free college tuition is incredibly helpful to both young people entering college and the state’s economy,” said Senator Saxhaug.
Senator Saxhaug has also introduced legislation to address concerns in his district. The bills deal with the Forests for the Future program, the Mississippi Headwaters Board and the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council.
For more information on the Bemidji veterans nursing home or any other legislative concerns, Sen. Saxhaug can be reached at Sen.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling his office at (651) 296-4136.