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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

ST. PAUL — Southwestern Minnesota’s newest state veterans’ cemetery continued to receive key support at the State Capitol recently.


On May 6, the Minnesota House overwhelmingly approved legislation that shows our state’s commitment to our veterans. The Veterans and Military Affairs Omnibus bill was approved by the House on a 122-1 vote. State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) voted in favor of the measure.


“This was a rare opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to focus solely on the needs of those who put their country’s interests ahead of their own,” Torkelson said. “The good news locally is the state veterans’ cemetery in Redwood Falls was also prioritized.” 


Torkelson said the bill requests an $830,000 appropriation for the operation of the new Veterans Cemetery in Redwood Falls set to open in late 2022. 


In October 2020, the National Cemetery Association of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs federal government approved of a new Veterans Cemetery in Redwood Falls and approved a federal grant for $7.5 million dollars for the construction of the new cemetery. The federal grant required a 2/3 – 1/3 state match. $4.5 million was allocated in 2021 for the state match. 


Torkelson said the comprehensive veterans funding proposal passed recently also includes more than $10 million for construction cost increases for the three new veterans’ homes in Fillmore County, Bemidji, and Montevideo and more than $16 million for enhancements and furnishings to these facilities; bonuses to our post 9/11 veterans and gold star families; and funding to help combat veteran homelessness.