We are now at the point of the 2022 legislative session where negotiations get serious as we try to find agreement on this year’s major issues over the next week and change before adjourning May 23.
Massive differences remain between what the House and Senate majorities propose, particularly with how to appropriate the state’s historic surplus. While deadlines often have a way of spurring action, the state is fully funded for the biennium so there is no state shutdown hanging in the balance if things remain at an impasse a week from this Monday.
Watch for more as we work toward the finish line. For now, I would like to note the Legislature recently provided overwhelming approval of legislation to support our military veterans.
The bill includes more than $10 million for construction cost increases for the three new veterans’ homes in Bemidji, Montevideo, and Preston, and more than $16 million for enhancements and furnishings to these facilities. As chair of the House Capital Investment Committee, in 2018 I helped deliver state funding to construct the three veterans’ homes.
I’m glad we passed this bill to keep these veterans homes on track, especially the one in Montevideo. The hope is to open all three of these homes next year and the funding in this bill will help with that goal. It was good to see the Legislature provide such strong support for veterans by approving this bill with broad, bipartisan support.
Overall, the veterans and military affairs package (S.F. 4233), appropriates an additional $2.2 million to the Department of Military Affairs and an additional $52.351 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans and Gold Star families who served post-9/11 will receive a combined $24.8 million in post-service bonus payments. The bill also includes funding to address veteran homelessness, money for the State Veterans Cemetery in Redwood Falls, and other veterans related programs.
Until next time, have a good weekend and enjoy the fishing opener if you plan to get out on the water.