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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Matt Grossell (R)

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RELEASE: $10 million for veterans homes included in budget bill

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

ST. PAUL – State Reps. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook, and Matt Bliss, R-Pennington, are pleased the State Government Finance Conference Committee Report included $10 million in funding for veterans facilities to be built in underserved regions of Minnesota, with the Bemidji facility being a possible recipient. Grossell and Bliss are co-authors on HF1109 which would have utilized bonding funds for the construction of the veterans homes. The funding included in the House and Senate Conference Committee would utilize general fund dollars to potentially fund each of the proposed veterans homes.

“I’m glad the House and Senate were able to come to an agreement to fund these badly needed veterans facilities,” said Rep. Grossell, himself a U.S. Army veteran. “Now it’s up to Governor Dayton to show he also recognizes the importance of prioritizing veterans who live in Greater Minnesota and come to a final agreement that includes this funding. This facility will serve veterans from sixteen Northern Minnesota counties, including four reservations. All of these veterans have earned and deserve the best care we can give them.”

"The veterans home project is crucial to the Bemidji area and I am pleased to see the House and Senate reach an agreement on funding that could be used to help get it off the ground," said Rep. Bliss. "This is positive step and I hope to see it enacted in the end, but we also know things remain subject to change as budget negotiations continue between the Legislature and the governor."

Federal and local contributions also are involved. The Bemidji facility would be constructed on land donated by the Sanford Health campus.