DAV MN & DAV Ch. 13 Grand Rapids Partner for Town Hall

On December 8, 2016 the DAV of MN and Chapter 13 partnered up for a town hall event in Cohasset.

This was an excellent event where local Veterans got the opportunity to discuss state issues with their legislators. In attendance were the newly elected State Senator and both Representatives for District 5. This was a great opportunity for these new legislators to transition from campaigning to governing.

The local chapter did a great job securing an excellent venue at the community center and supplied a free meal to all Veterans and family members in attendance. Even with some rough weather we had 50 Veterans in attendance.

There was an active conversation about the DAV of MN’s legislative priorities for the upcoming session. After those were presented each legislator had an opportunity to introduce themselves and discuss their legislative priorities for Veterans. We then transitioned into the Q&A session where the local Veterans were able to ask questions and express their concerns.

This was the 4th such town hall and the events continue to be a major success for the chapters who host these. The hosting chapter works closely with Legislative Chairman, Trent Dilks to coordinate the event. Trent takes care of contacting legislators, invites, promotional fliers and conducting the town hall. The hosting chapter is responsible for venue, meal/refreshments and getting the word out to the local Veteran’s community.

If any chapter is interested in more information about hosting an event like this please contact Trent: 651-788-3186 or [email protected]

Legislative Update 6/17/16


 I want to clear up some confusion about the Military Retirees Pension Tax Exemption.

1) It DID pass.
2) It was signed into law by Gov. Dayton as part of the Supplemental Budget Bill.
2a) To be exact it was signed by Gov. Dayton June 1, 2016 at 11:04 a.m.
3) It was NOT part of the Omnibus Tax Bill that was “pocket vetoed” by Gov. Dayton
4) The pertinent wording from HF 2749, 3rd Engrossment(final) and Session Law, Chapter 189 is:

to the extent included in federal taxable income, compensation received from a pension or other retirement pay from the federal government for service in the military, as computed under United States Code, title 10, sections 1401 to 1414, 1447 to 1455, and 12733

 It can also be found at the top in the description of the Bill, “A bill to enact… providing an income tax subtraction for military retirement pay;”

5) Beyond reading the text of HF 2749, 3rd Engrossment(final), I have confirmed (for the second time) this information with Legislative Staff.
6) If you would like to see where I got this information from you can look at HF 2749, 3rd Engrossment, Line 259.30 thru Line 259.34. The text can be found at: 


I hope this clear this up for you. I have been contacted by numerous Veterans in regards to this subject since I sent out our initial release and I understand the confusion.

If you use logic it would seem a tax exemption would be in the tax bill…. This is politics; we can’t always use logic and reason.

Please forward this to all of your Veteran contacts for maximum dissemination. If you do copy and forward please leave my contact information, I am always skeptical of anything forwarded without someone putting their name behind it. Minnesota Veterans scored a HUGE victory this session and they should know about it!

Keep your eyes and ears open for updates on a possible upcoming special session….

As always please contact me with any question or concerns. I can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 651-788-3186.


Trent Christian Dilks
DAV of Minnesota
Legislative Chair
Ph: 320-255-6480 ext 6676

End of Minnesota Legislative Session


Now that the legislative session has come to an end I wanted to take a moment to share with our members some great news. After nearly two decades Minnesota has finally passed a tax exemption for military retirement benefits. The tax exemption was included with the supplemental budget bill Gov. Dayton signed into law last week.

I reached out to Rep. Dettmer’s office for comment. Here is what he sent:

“This measure was the result of many people working over the last two decades, and persistence in negotiations with the Senate. There are approximately 18,000 retired veterans who live in our state, and this bill will encourage them to stay in our communities and workforce once they retire from service. Minnesota is now the 46th state to exempt military retirement benefits. In my mind, this provision was not just a good thing to do, it was the right thing to do, and I am so happy that this measure finally passed this year.” -Rep. Bob Dettmer

I would like to thank Rep. Dettmer for his tireless work on behalf of Minnesota’s Veterans. If he is your representative I would encourage you to reach out and show your appreciation.

The new subtraction for military retirement pay is effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015.

I was heartened to see the tax exemption was truly a bipartisan effort, this is especially notable because overall it does not appear this was a particularly effective session.

I would like to give a very special thank you to some of our members who reached out to their lawmakers as the session was coming to its chaotic close. I had received word that some instrumental lawmakers may have been flagging in their support of this important legislation. I made several calls on behalf of the DAV of MN, however, I have no doubt it was the calls from our members in the specific districts that helped to push this important legislation through.

I will continue to comb through the legislation from this past session, as well as keep an eye on any potential special session. We still have some very important legislative initiatives that gained zero traction this past session so our mission is far from accomplished.

In the coming weeks I will be reaching out with several initiatives to ensure we are ahead of the curve for the next session.

As always if you have any questions, suggestion or concerns you can reach me at: [email protected] or 651-788-3186.

Trent Christian Dilks
DAV of Minnesota
Legislative Chair
Hospital Service Coordinator/Dept Service Officer
Ph: 320-255-6480 ext 6676

Call to Action!

Greetings Members,

I am writing to you to ask you assistance with a pending legislative issue. This has directly to do with one of the DAV of MN’s top legislative priorities:

 Military Retiree Tax Exemption– 39 states have some form of tax benefit, or no state income tax, for their retired Service Members, Minnesota does not. It is time for MN to join 39 other states and become as competitive as our neighbors in getting these Veterans to move back to the state.

The argument about how much this would cost is ineffective. We are talking about service members in their late thirties or early forties, many with families, who will join the workforce and become highly desired assets in our communities. Looking at the simple cost calculation is narrow sighted, in that it does not take into account the additional revenue, community benefits, leadership and entrepreneurship these highly desired individuals would bring to Minnesota with them.

The tax bill is currently in a conference committee that has yet to meet. However, if you look at the legislative calendar, if they are going to meet it will have to be soon. The House, to their credit, passed a provision to provide for a tax exemption for Military Retirees, the Senate did not. That means this Conference Committee will have the power to include/remove this long awaited for provision.

I am asking for your assistance in making it clear to our elected officials this is a top priority for the entire Veteran’s community in Minnesota.

Who is on the Conference Committee-


Sen. Skoe – District 02 – 651-296-4196

Sen. Rest – District 45 – 651-296-2889

Sen. Koenen – District 17 – 651-296-5094

Sen. Dziedzic – District 60 – 651-296-7809

Sen. Gazelka – District 09 – 651-296-4875


Rep. Davids – District 28B – 651-296-9278

Rep. Drazkowski – District 21B – 651-296-2273

Rep. Barrett – District 32B – 651-296-5377

Rep. Swedzinski – District 16A – 651-296-5374

Rep. Pelowski – District 28A – 651-296-8637

If you are represented by one of these members, you can contact them at the listed number. If you are unsure of who your local legislators are, or how to contact them, you can click on the below link:


Please take a moment to let the Legislature know the Veterans community in Minnesota believes it is time for us to join 39 other states in giving a tax incentive to our Military Retirees.

If you have any questions, would like information or to provide feedback you can contact me at: [email protected]


Trent Christian Dilks
DAV of Minnesota
Legislative Coordinator
Ph: 651-788-3186