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RELEASE: Rep. Quam Statement on State Government Bill Prioritizing Veterans Homes

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Excess funds from 'The People's Stadium' will be used to fund 'The People's Veterans Homes'

ST. PAUL, MN—The House State Government Finance Committee has announced plans to fund three critically-needed veterans homes across Minnesota. Using excess funds from the Vikings Stadium Reserve Account, the bill funds veterans homes in Preston, Bemidji, and Montevideo.

"Veteran's in our area of the state will benefit greatly from having a veteran's home in Preston," said Rep. Duane Quam, R-Byron. "The southeast corner of our state has been lacking a veteran's facility like the ones included in the House's proposal and I am pleased we can provide our veterans with the care they earned serving our country."

With financial backing from the state and local communities, the federal government will cover 65 percent of the veterans homes’ cost. Though the House State Government Finance bill included funding for these homes last year, Governor Dayton vetoed the bill.

The Vikings stadium reserve used to fund the veterans homes currently has an excess balance of $58 million. The reserve is expected to grow to $120 million by the end of fiscal year 2021. Under the bill, the stadium reserve account would be capped at 125% of the annual payments of the stadium bonds. The House bill ensures excess funds are put to use rather than sitting idle while still protecting against a drop in revenues. Currently, there is no cap on the amount of the reserve.

The bill has been posted to the State Government Finance Committee home page, which can be found here. Legislators plan to hold a press conference with stakeholders from the involved communities Wednesday morning.