Legislature secures more funding for Bemidji Veterans Home – Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — The Minnesota Legislature has passed a bill that includes funding for the Bemidji Veterans Home with near-unanimous bipartisan support.

Signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, May 10, the bill includes funding for three veterans homes across Minnesota in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston.

“Veterans have been a top priority of mine in the House, and it’s good to see overwhelming support for them in the legislature,” said District 5A Rep. Matt Bliss.

The bill’s funding includes $26 million for the veterans homes, $16 million of which is set aside for furnishings and other additions to complete the homes.

“I am the son, father and brother of veterans. I am a veteran,” said District 2A Rep. Matt Grossell. “The sacrifice of veterans is deserving of every dollar we can provide.”

The Bemidji Veterans Home, which is currently under construction after breaking ground in August 2021, will house 72 veterans and is expected to open in 2023.

“I am grateful our northern Minnesota veterans will be able to be taken care of in this outstanding new facility,” said District 5 Sen. Justin Eichorn. “Our veterans fought for our country and they deserve to be honored.”

The bill received bipartisan support, passing unanimously in the Senate and 122-1 in the House.

“This bill makes good on our duty to protect and support our veterans during and after their service, and demonstrates that we can come together in a bipartisan way to honor the sacrifices of our veterans and their families,” Walz said.

The importance of bipartisan support was echoed by Lt. gov. Peggy Flanagan, who also reaffirmed the state’s commitment to veterans.

“The overwhelming bipartisan support this bill received demonstrates that our veterans are and will continue to be a priority at the Capitol,” Flanagan said.

The bill was also supported by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, which has been managing the veterans home projects.

“This support allows us to continue serving those (who) have served,” said DVA Commissioner Larry Herke. “Minnesota’s more than 304,000 veterans know that their voices were heard and their service honored with the historic passing of the first-ever Veterans Omnibus Bill.”

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