Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Veterans on the Hill Day

Today is invasion of the respect thefunny hats* at the state capital- the annual lobbying day for the collective veterans service groups.  Represented together by the Commander's Task Force, this group is made up of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMETS, Disabled American Veterans, Jewish War Veterans, Marine Corps League, Military order of the Purple Heart, and the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Unlike the dozens of lobbying groups lined up to demand a chunk of the budget surplus announced last week, the Veterans groups have no big funding requests this year.  Instead, the agenda is about technical fixes to previous legislation, such as relaxing the rules on where dollars raised by Support our Troops funds can be spent, and improving the Veterans Preference process for hiring by Minnesota companies.

Not on the official agenda but showing support from the legislature this year is the idea of making military retirement pay non taxable.  Minnesota is one of only a handful of states that treats military pay just like ordinary income, giving us a competitive disadvantage when veterans are planning out their retirements.

So watch out for the funny hats at the capital today, and take the chance to thank a veteran for their service.

*'Funny hats day' was the phrase coined by Rachel Stassen-Berger a few years back, and changed at her request to 'Respect the funny hats day'.  If you get a chance, ask one of the funny hat brigade where all of the pins came from on their hat.  You'll get a two minute history lesson.

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