State Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell)
This time of year brings about remembrance, reflection and displays of gratitude for our military members and veterans. While we should honor our veterans daily, every Veterans’ Day on Nov. 11 presents a special opportunity to thank those who worked to keep our nation free.
As a member of the Veterans Affairs Division in the Minnesota House of Representatives, I’m proud of what we accomplished in 2015 for our service men and women. This session, I authored a bill to aid veterans in de-escalation situations. My bill was included in the Public Safety Omnibus Bill and signed into law by the governor. I also supported increased funding for health care in Veteran Homes by almost $17 million – an increase of more than 16 percent. Beyond the increased funding, we simplified the application process for veteran-owned small businesses to receive state certification – a provision to assist our veterans in life after their military service.
Furthering the desire to help our service men and women in civilian life, the Veterans Affairs Division also approved quicker licensing procedures for those veterans entering a number of engineering, health-care and service professions. We also created a day of recognition – “Military Spouses and Family Day” – to honor the families of current and former military members. Assisting veterans is an important part of what we do in St. Paul, and I welcome any suggestions for veteran-related legislation for the 2016 session.
Again, please join me in thanking our active military and veterans for helping protect the freedoms we hold dear.