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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeNewsRep. Skraba: Minnesota House provides bipartisan support for veterans package

Rep. Skraba: Minnesota House provides bipartisan support for veterans package

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House of Rep­resentatives unanimously approved a veter­ans and military affairs finance package on Tuesday. House File 1937 funds Minnesota’s National Guard members and veterans after their service to our state and nation con­cludes, with omnibus appropriations for the state’s next two-year budget cycle. It passed on a 131-0 vote and is now in the hands of the Senate.

“Taking care of our Veterans has and always will be a top priority for lawmakers in St. Paul and I am pleased to see that yet again, we approved this bill on a strong, ful­ly bipartisan basis,” said Rep. Roger Skraba, R-Ely. “This bill shows that we can accom­plish great things for Minnesotans if we set aside our partisan differences and work together for Minnesota.”

A local provision of note in the bill is a $50,000 a year grant to Veterans on the Lake near Ely.

Overall, the bill provides $367.7 million for programs to help veterans over the 2024- 25 biennium, a $167 million (52%) increase. This includes $73.3 million for the Dept. of Military Affairs and $294.3 million for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. This includes operational funding for three new veterans homes constructed in Bemidji, Montevideo, and Preston.

Other provisions include expanding the eligibility for free burial in Minnesota state Veterans cemeteries to spouses and depen­dent children of Veterans and Service Mem­bers who die on active duty, prohibiting the MDVA from charging burial fees and authorizing Support Our Troops funds as an eligible use.

The bill also expands the Veteran Bonus program to veterans who currently live in Minnesota, even though they may not have lived in the state when they enlisted, as well as veterans who served in the Inherent Re­solve Military campaign. Additional funding for veteran bonuses also is included in the package.

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