I am happy to announce we are currently scheduled to have Veterans Day on the Hill (VDOTH) 2020 on April 20th, 2020. I am well aware this is the latest date to hold the event since I have been involved with the planning, and I want to assure the setting of a date was not without reasons:
- This is the session leading up to an election, I fully
suspect that the pace will go something like this: Initial committee work,
two months of issues based politicking to appeal to elected official’s
base, final weeks to complete the work necessary and govern.
- The later date is partially based on my belief that the combined efforts of the Veteran’s community can push our supported legislation through the first couple of stops in the committee process which is the first part of how I suspect the session will go.
- Historically, interest in the process has been high
early on when the path for bills is relatively predictable; original
committee, subsequent committee, etc.. with regularly scheduled committee
hearings. However, once the process starts to “breakdown” into legislation
being “held over for possible inclusion”, entire bills become small parts
of a ‘monster’ omnibus bill, etc.. it becomes hard to explain the process,
difficult to coordinate responses, and our advocacy suffers as a result at
the most important times.
- A later date will allow for a clear statement of current position in the most confusing part of the process.
- We can focus our advocacy on the bills that actually have a chance. It’s harsh to say, but many of our groups will support many pieces of legislation but the honest truth is very few of them have a chance based on the priorities set during the session.
- As a community we can make it clear that by holding Veterans Day on the Hill this late we would gladly make it into a celebration if our elected officials get their work done for Veterans within the first three months of session. If they decide to keep Veteran’s issues moving, and above the predictable partisan fighting, they can all enjoy a day of being cheered for a job well done.
- However, if the more likely scenario happens where politicking is taking the place of progress, this later date will have us positioned to make a strong call for our officials to “Get it DONE for our Veterans” (or some better tagline).
- This is Minnesota and the weather can suck earlier in the session.
Additional details will emerge as the CTF, UVLC, and MACVSO work toward their vision of the formal VDOTH proceedings. The DAV MN does intend to offer funding busses and providing a lunch prior to the formal event again this year. Details will be shared as they become available.
Please feel free to reach out me with questions or concerns. The gavel will drop before we know it and it is important we continue to work together for our Veterans.
Trent C Dilks
Disabled American Veterans, Dept. of Minnesota
20 West 12th St., 3rd Flr, St. Paul, MN 55155
O: (651) 291.1212 C: (651) 788.3186