Veterans bravely serve us and the promise of democracy, yet they face immense challenges as they reintegrate into our communities. We must fulfill our promise to veterans and ensure they have access to housing, healthcare, and employment. During my time on the House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, I worked tirelessly to serve our veterans,
One of my proudest accomplishments was passing my bill to extend tax benefits to the spouses of veterans. This bill came after a conversation with a constituent at his home. He was terminally ill and because his property tax benefits would end when he died, his wife would be left with an additional $300,000 in taxable income. We worked across the aisle to pass this bill through a Republican-controlled legislature, providing this benefit to his wife and thousands of military spouses around Minnesota.
We know that veterans have specific needs in our communities, whether they returned home 50 years ago or last week. I was proud to author the Helmets to Hardhats bill to assist veterans in transitioning into new apprenticeship jobs through the Department of Labor and Industry after they get home. There are also clear health and mental health needs that many veterans have. I authored bipartisan legislation to address these needs, including a bill to allow for alternative treatments for conditions like PTSD, and a substance use recovery program that impacts veterans.
Veterans experience an unacceptably high rate of homelessness, in large part due to our government’s inaction in connecting them with the resources they need to succeed. I authored the Veterans Journey Home bill to connect veterans directly with housing, and an expansive veterans support bill to connect them with resources including housing, substance abuse and mental health treatment. And, of course, our dedicated veterans homes need renewed funding at the state level. I was proud to author legislation supporting the Hastings Veterans Home, and I will pursue robust funding for veterans homes and housing support in the State Senate.