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State Representative Jim Knoblach

453 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-6612

For more information contact: Chad Urdahl 651-296-5520

Posted: 2017-11-09
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Legislative Update

Legislative report from Rep. Jim Knoblach


Dear Neighbor,

Please join me in offering a most sincere word of thanks to the brave men and women who have served our armed forces as we celebrate Veterans Day this Saturday.

Public ceremonies will take place throughout the state to honor these true American heroes, including one I plan to attend at the St. Cloud VA (1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Building 8 auditorium). I hope you can attend and encourage you to bring friends and family – especially children, so they can learn valuable lessons about the sacrifices our soldiers have made to protect us and uphold the freedoms we enjoy every day.

Support for veterans is a priority at the Legislature and we have gained some major achievements in recent years. The 2015-16 biennium was historic in terms of pro-veteran bills we led to enactment. For example, I was proud to assist fellow Reps. Bob Dettmer and Josh Heintzeman in championing legislation to exempt military retirement pay from being taxed. That provision – included in the 2016 Supplemental Tax Bill I authored – became effective for the 2017 tax filing year, making our state a better home for veterans.

We followed by successfully leading to enactment during the 2017 session many more bills to help veterans. Some of the highlights include:

  • $1.449 million operational funding increase for Veterans Affairs Department programs and services to veterans.
  • Minnesota GI Bill expanded to include apprenticeship and on-the-job training benefits; and increases educational as well as apprenticeship and on-the-job training benefit amounts.
  • Increases Support Our Troops individual grant eligibility amounts from $2,000 to $4,000.
  • $500,000 to the Humanities Center for Veterans Defense Project grants.
  • Expansion of penalties for impersonation of military an officer (“stolen valor”) to include any military member for the purpose of financial gain.
  • County boards authorized to appropriate money for veterans memorial anywhere in county.
  • $700,000 for Veterans Journey Home grants.

There is more work to do in ensuring veterans receive the support they deserve as they return from service and become reacquainted with civilian life. The aforementioned Veterans Journey Home program is an example of work we are doing to bolster efforts in that regard.

Thanks again to all those who have served our state and nation as we honor you on Veterans Day. Please feel free to contact me if there are any veterans-related issues you would like to discuss.

Sincerely,

Jim

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