Listed below are the 7 legislative initiatives the DAV of MN, as part of the CTF, has committed to supporting for the upcoming year. This commitment in no way hinders us as an organization from being able to propose and support additional legislative initiatives. If you have any additional ideas, please contact me ASAP. It is not too late to start the groundwork on additional ideas/initiatives, but the clock is ticking.
Military Pension Tax Exemption – The DAV of MN will once again support an effort to make military retiree pensions tax exempt in the state of MN. This is currently being done by our surrounding states and in 22 states total all of the military retiree pay is not taxed (9 of these states have no income tax). An additional 19 states offer at least a partial tax exemption. If Minnesota wants to continue to add military retirees and retain those who gain their pensions from service in the National Guard/Reserves it must enact a tax benefit.
Free Deer Hunting and Fishing Licenses for 50% disabled veterans and above – Currently the DNR appears to support an effort to get more disabled Veterans to use the outdoors. It looks like this year we will work with the DNR, Legislatures, MDVA and other Veterans Service Organizations to create a work group to generate a recommendation on how this can best be accomplished in the future.
Disclosure Statement that must be signed by veterans if they are seeking those benefits from a for profit private provider that essentially states they understand veterans can receive free advocacy from CVSO’s –The DAV of MN supports an effort to ensure all Veterans are informed they can receive free advocacy from their local CVSO’s prior to signing a contract with a for-profit Veterans provider. The state of MN has CVSO system that provides the highest level of advocacy to our Veterans at no expense to the Veteran. We support this effort to ensure they are informed of those invaluable services before signing a contract with an entity that will charge them for similar work.
MnSCU Instate Tuition Waiver for 100% SC Disabled Veterans – The DAV of MN has supported an effort to see college made more accessible for our 100% SC Veterans. A survey of other state’s benefits shows this is offered in many forms throughout the country.
Currently the DAV of MN is supporting an effort to have MNSCU be a last dollar in round down. What that means is a 100% SC Veteran would work with a Veteran Benefits person at the college and they would activate any current funding sources available i.e. GI Bill, MN GI Bill, Non-debt creating FAFSA monies and additional funding sources. Once any current funding sources were utilized we ask that MnSCU eliminate any remaining amount owed by the 100% SC Veteran.
Permanent Homestead Market Value Exclusion for Widows/Widowers of >70% Service Connected Veterans – The DAV of MN would like to see the current Homestead Market Value Exclusion made permanent for Widows/Widowers of 70% Service Connected Veterans, with the exceptions for remarrying and moving remaining in place. The current programs has an 8 year expiration and we would see that extended to the lifetime. This would also extend the exclusion for spouses of service members who die on active duty.
Expanded Use of the Minnesota GI Bill – paying for licensing, etc… – This would allow for the MN GI Bill to cover the expenses for professional testing and some additional costs incurred by Veterans who choose to use their GI Bill benefits to pursue something other
than a four year degree.
Removal of Guardianship language from the Commissioner’s Duties – The MDVA has requested our support for a change in language for the Commissioner’s duties.
More information to follow.