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Military reservist loans, benefits

Published (4/25/2008)
By Mike Cook
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A plan to help businesses financially impacted by someone called to active service, and another to help veterans struggling to find work received House approval.

Sponsored by Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia), HF3722 would establish a revolving loan account in the Department of Employment and Economic Development, and would permit the commissioner to make one-time, interest-free loans of up to $20,000 to eligible businesses that “have sustained or are likely to sustain substantial economic injury” by the call to active service of at least 180 days by an essential employee.

It also adds to the definition of a dislocated worker a veteran who has been “discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions within the last 36 months and is unemployed or is employed in a job which pays less than what the veteran could verifiably earn.”

Each program would be funded with $500,000 in Fiscal Year 2009 from the General Fund. Rukavina said both provisions have been proposed by the governor.

Approved 130-0 by the House April 23, it now awaits action in the Senate, where Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) is the sponsor.

“The dollars are in different parts of the budget bill (HF1812), but I’m just worried that, perhaps, if something happens, I wanted to be able to guarantee that these programs would be able to start,” Rukavina said.

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