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Minnesota House Passes Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs Policy Bills

Friday, April 5, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House passed HF 3454, the Military Affairs Policy bill, and HF 4334, the Veterans Affairs Policy bill.

The Military Affairs bill includes referral bonuses for the National Guard, adjustments to help the National Guard investigate and prosecute crime, and language to broaden the definition of trespassing on National Guard facilities.

“I’m happy we were able to put forth a straightforward and bipartisan bill which enhances military affairs in Minnesota,” said Rep. Matt Norris (DFL - Blaine), author of the Military Affairs policy bill. “These are common sense changes that will improve the operations and outcomes for our National Guard.”

The House also passed the Veterans Affairs Policy bill. The legislation aligns state law with a federal law making veterans ineligible for benefits if they are convicted of fraud, treason, or subversive activities. It would also eliminate language mandating veterans homes administrators report directly to the commissioner of Veterans Affairs, and establish an additional state veteran cemetery in northwestern Minnesota.

“This is a solid bill which implements needed changes brought forth by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Rep. Jerry Newton (DFL - Coon Rapids) chair of the House Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee. “This bill will help our state better serve our veterans and thank them for their service.”

These policy bills build on last year's success when lawmakers expanded eligibility for the bonuses to veterans, removed the state burial fee at state-operated veterans cemeteries for spouses and qualifying family members, and made investments to reach “functional zero” for veterans homelessness.

Video of Thursday’s floor session is available on House Public Information Services YouTube channel.


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