The Veterans and Military Affairs omnibus bill was heard in the Senate Finance Committee this week and was laid over for inclusion in the State Government and Elections omnibus bill. The bill contains increased funding for enlistment bonuses for the National Guard, as requested by Governor Walz, and delivers $26.883 million to complete and upgrade the Veterans homes in Preston, Bemidji, and Montevideo.
While these three provisions are beneficial, the bill, unfortunately, falls short of what Minnesota’s veterans need. In comparison, the House DFL bill invests in holistic health and fitness programs for members of the National Guard and provides funding for the commissioning of the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The Department of Veterans Affairs would also see an additional $24.9 million in new funding to support post-9/11 veterans and Gold Star families in the House DFL veterans’ bill. It also includes $8.8 million for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans to assist veterans, former service members, and their families who are homeless or in danger of losing their home with an additional $1.71 million to support temporary housing options and $1.1 million to support tenancy and landlord engagement.
As one can see, when DFLers hold the gavel we invest in our veterans and in Minnesota. Senate DFlers will continue to fight to do just that as the bill works its way through the legislature during the second half of session. (SF 3875)