Walz signs veterans bill

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Minnesota Governor Tim Walz possesses signed a veterans act aiming to end and prevent homelessness among veterans, provideding Gold Star Veterans and Family Service Awards, and Fundsing veterans’ homes and veterans’ cemeteries.

The bill includes nearly $27 million over the next two years for the construction of new veterans homes in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston (MN).

It also reserves $500,000 for a facility that provides comfort to the families of people receiving care at the Fargo VA Medical Center.

Moreover, tThe bill includes funding for enlistment incentives for service members in the Minnesota National Guard.

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Statement from Governor Walz:

Governor Tim Walz today signed into law a comprehensive veterans bill that will urge the state to end and prevent veteran homelessness, provide service bonuses to veterans and Gold Star families. and fund veterans’ homes and cemeteries. The bill also includes funding for enlistment incentives for service members in the Minnesota National Guard.

“This bill fulfills our duty to protect and support our veterans during and after their service – and it demonstrates that we can come together in a bipartisan way to honor the sacrifices of our veterans and their families,” says Governor Walz. “As a 24-year National Guard veteran, this is a bill close to my heart. I know this is going to have a real impact for our veterans and I am proud to sign it into law.

“Those who raised their hands to serve deserve not only our thanks for their service, but our full support here at home,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “In a divided legislature, the overwhelming bipartisan support this bill has received demonstrates that our veterans are and will continue to be a priority on Capitol Hill.”

“Minnesota’s more than 304,000 veterans know their voices have been heard and their service honored with the historic passage of this first-ever omnibus veterans bill,” said Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Herke. “This support allows us to continue to serve those who have served, end veteran homelessness and recognize our GWOT (Global War on Terror) veterans, support ongoing operations at our cemeteries State Veterans Homes and three new State Veterans Homes scheduled to open in mid-2023.”

Highlights of Chapter 54, SF 4233 include:

Service bonuses

The bill includes nearly $25 million for FY23 for service bonuses to post-9/11-era veterans and Gold Star families.

Homeless Veteran

In FY23, $5.4 million will go to a grant to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans to provide assistance to veterans and ex-service members and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless . The bill also includes $1.7 million per year to fund temporary housing options for homeless veterans and ex-service members and to increase outreach to end homelessness.

veterans homes

The bill includes funding of $10.3 million in FY22 and $16.5 million in FY23 to design, build, furnish and equip new homes for veterans to support aging veterans in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston, Minnesota.

National Guard retention

$4 million will go towards enlistment incentives designed to retain trained and ready members of the Minnesota National Guard in fiscal year 23-25.

veterans cemeteries

The bill includes $830,000 a year to operate state veterans cemeteries, including operations in Redwood County.

The bill passed the Minnesota House and Senate with near unanimous support.

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