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Memorial Day monetary cap contribution could be lifted

Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the military.

Throughout Minnesota, it is commonplace for community get-togethers on the national holiday.

However, counties are currently capped at $3,500 annually for what they can provide for the observances and exercises and $300 to a military service organization or society to help defray their Memorial Day costs.

Those limits would be eliminated under a bill approved Thursday by the House State and Local Government Finance and Policy Committee and sent to the House Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee.

Rep. Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne), sponsor of HF4201, said the change would help offset costs, such as because of inflation, if the county board chooses.

John Baker is the executive director of the Minnesota Association of County Veterans Service Officers.

“Oftentimes when my county veterans service officers work with veterans service organizations — like the Legion, VFW, DAV — my CVSOs will have to pull money out of their own pocket just to make sure that veterans and family members, anybody that is participating in a Memorial Day ceremony, gets a cup of coffee, or a sandwich or something like that,” he said.

“There is nothing we shouldn’t do for our veterans. We’re all sitting here today because of them,” said Rep. Kaela Berg (DFL-Burnsville).

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