The Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis, which overlooks the Mississippi River near Minnehaha Falls, was built to serve veterans of the Civil War.
It provides beds and skilled nursing care for several hundred veterans, but there is a waiting list, and it can take a year or longer to get in.
Sponsored by Rep. Emma Greenman (DFL-Mpls), HF2374 seeks to help by appropriating $18.8 million in fiscal year 2024 to rehabilitate and remodel one of the campus buildings and make it operational again.
The bill, as amended, was approved by the House Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee Monday. It will now move to the House Capital Investment Committee.
The Department of Veterans Affairs would use that money to pay for 35% of the project’s estimated total cost and apply for federal funding to cover the rest.
Greenman said demand is greater than the supply of beds in veterans homes around the state, and renovating the building is a key step to filling that gap in the Twin Cities.
“It can’t sit empty, and right now because of the HVAC issues, the plumbing issues, the infrastructure is shot,” Greenman said. “It’s sitting empty.”
Rep. Jerry Newton (DFL-Coon Rapids), the committee chair, said the project is something he has been concerned about for a number of years.
“It’s so important to get that home up and running with the number of veterans that we have on the waiting list to get in,” Newton said.