Veterans services funding bill heads to Walz

Legislation to address veteran homelessness and other veteran services is headed to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk.

The Minnesota House of Representatives approved the bill Friday, a day after the Senate passed it.

The bill includes over $52 million in funding for veterans affairs in Fiscal Year 2023, including $16.5 million for veterans’ homes and $24.8 million for bonus programs. Part of the bonus programs includes up to $2,000 for the approximately 48,000 eligible post-9/11-era veterans in Minnesota.

Lawmakers say the state has previously recognized veterans’ service in major wars. Gold Star families are also eligible for the bonuses.

The bill also increases funding for county veteran services officers and funds grants to veteran service organizations, such as the American Legion, the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, and the Order of the Purple Heart.