Local Views: Something is Missing this Veterans Day in Minnesota

Want to go beyond thanking veterans for their service this Veterans Day and do something more to recognize the service of Minnesota’s veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Did you know that Minnesota recognized its veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War with veterans  bonuses, but Minnesota is yet to recognize its Afghanistan and Iraq vets with this same type of bonus?

So how do we fix this? It’s pretty easy. All we need is one Minnesota state legislator to author a bill in the 2018 legislative session to provide for this bonus.

Here’s what you can do to help make that happen:

  1. Like or tweet this post
  2. Sign the petition at change.org to ask Governor Dayton, Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka to make this bonus a priority in the 2018 legislative session.
  3. Email your state legislators, share this post with them, and ask if they will author a post-9/11

    Veterans Bonus bill in the 2018 legislative session. Don’t know who represents you? Go here.

  4. If you’re interested in collecting petition signatures in person this Veterans Day weekend, please email me at thomasjcorbett01@gmail.com

Together let’s make November 11, 2017 the last Veterans Day in Minnesota where we have not yet acted to recognize this generation of veterans with the same type of bonus the state has provided to veterans for almost a century. Thank you for your help and support!

Want to know more? Policy wonks please read on . . .

Minnesota’s veteran bonuses have also included beneficiaries of Minnesotans who served in uniform and perished in these wars.

So how does a veterans bonus bill become a law? There are two ways.

If the state finances a veterans bonus via an appropriation from its general fund—as was the case with the WWI and Korean War veterans bonuses—the legislature can use the normal legislative process (i.e., a bill passed by both houses and signed into law by the governor).

If the state needs to borrow to finance a veterans bonus—as was the case with the WWII, Vietnam War and Persian Gulf War veterans bonuses—a voter-approved amendment to the Minnesota constitution is required.

Each time a proposed veterans bonus amendment has been put to Minnesota voters, it has been approved with strong support.

 

 

 

If an Afghanistan and Iraq veterans bonus bill goes the amendment route, article VIII, section 8 of the Minnesota Constitution could simply be tweaked like this:

The state may pay an adjusted compensation to persons who served in the armed forces of the United States during the period of the Vietnam conflict, or the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War, or the Afghanistan War. Whenever authorized and in the amounts and on the terms fixed by law, the state may expend monies and pledge the public credit to provide money for the purposes of this section. The duration of the Vietnam conflict, and the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War may be defined by law.