S.F. 1316 is the veterans and military affairs omnibus bill. Article 1 provides appropriations to the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs. Article 2 includes policy changes to the Support Our Troops account and burial fees.
Article 1. Veterans and Military Affairs Appropriations
Section 1. Appropriations. Appropriates money for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.
Section 2. Military affairs. Provides appropriations to the Department of Military Affairs. For more specific information, please refer to the spreadsheet.
Section 3. Veterans affairs. Provides appropriations to the Department of Veterans Affairs. For more specific information, please refer to the spreadsheet.
Section 4. Military affairs; transfer authority. Transfers $2,000,000 from a 2015 appropriation for maintenance and training facilities to the enlistment incentives program.
Article 2. Military and Veterans Affairs Policy
Section 1. Subd. 2. Uses. Authorizes the Department of Military Affairs to use up to $500,000 per fiscal year from the Support Our Troops account for National Guard bonus programs. Clarifies eligibility for individuals seeking grants through the Support Our Troops account. Current members of the Minnesota National Guard or a reserve unit must be in good standing and discharged service members must have served honorably. An eligible individual no longer needs to demonstrate that the current financial need is directly related to his or her service. Increases the maximum grant amount from $2,000 to $4,000.
Section 2. Subd. 2a. Uses; veterans. Authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to use funds from the Support Our Troops account for any uncompensated burial costs for:
eligible dependents who receive a no-fee or reduced-fee burial in a state veteran cemetery; and
grants up to $3,000, for any disabeled veteran, to make accesibility improvements to their home.
Section 3. Subd. 9. Burial fees. Requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop an application process and policy for waiving or reducing burial fees for eligible indigent dependents. Authorizes the commissioner to waive or reduce burial fees for eligible indigent persons.