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State Representative Jeff Howe

527 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4373

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

Posted: 2017-11-09
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Legislative Update

Thank you, veterans


 

Greetings,

I hope you will join me in taking time to thank a veteran for their service as we observe Veterans Day this Saturday.

Programs will be taking place throughout the state this week, including Paynesville (9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Friday at the Paynesville High School Auditorium) and St. Cloud (1:30 p.m. Saturday in Building 8 at the St. Cloud VA, veterans, their families and the public are invited). I hope you are able to attend and show your support.

As someone who has personally served our great state and nation in the military for decades, veterans are a top priority of mine at the Legislature. A number of bills I authored this year to support veterans became law. They include:

  • Authorizing Support Our Troops grant funds for veterans spouses at state veterans cemeteries.
  • Eliminating the requirement that a disabled veterans annually apply for a homestead exclusion.
  • Expanding the criminal definition of impersonation of military officer (“stolen valor”) to include any military member for the purpose of financial gain.

From a more general standpoint, the new state budget we implemented provides a $1.449 million operational funding increase for Veterans Affairs Department programs and services. Here is a look at some other important veterans-related bills which passed into law this year:

  • Minnesota GI Bill is expanded to include apprenticeship and on-the-job training benefits; and increases educational as well as apprenticeship and on-the-job training benefit amounts.
  • Increased Support Our Troops individual grant eligibility amounts from $2,000 to $4,000.
  • $500,000 to the Humanities Center for Veterans Defense Project grants.
  • $700,000 for Veterans Journey Home grants.

Those accomplishments are on top of the historic progress we made in the 2015-16 biennium to assist veterans. The crowning achievement of those bills is a new law which exempts military retirement pay from being taxed. That very beneficial provision became effective for the 2017 tax filing year, making our state a more welcoming place for veterans.

On a final note, here is a link to some discounts and freebies businesses are offering veterans this weekend if you are able to take advantage yourself or want to treat someone who has served.

Good luck,

Jeff

 

Rep. Jeff Howe
527 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-4373
rep.jeff.howe@house.mn

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