As the Dayton Administration strives to get Minnesota working again, Governor Mark Dayton today proposed expanding the Minnesota GI Bill to provide thousands of Veterans access to new job training. The announcement was part of a two-part Veterans proposal made today with Minnesota Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito.
"Minnesota Veterans have served our state and nation with courage and dedication. It is our duty to ensure they have the support they need to get back to work when their service ends. Expanding the GI Bill to all Minnesota Veterans will help Veterans get the education and training they need to find good jobs," Governor Mark Dayton said.
In a highly-competitive job market, Veterans often need additional education and skills training to reenter the workforce. This need for continued educational development is not limited to recent Veterans and by expanding the Minnesota GI Bill; Governor Dayton will make sure all Veterans have access to the job skills they need to be successful in today's economy.
"This initiative will open the door for Veterans of all eras to gain relevant, contemporary job skills and training to meet the demands of today's changing marketplace. The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to looking ahead and anticipating the needs of tomorrow's Veteran," said Commissioner Shellito.
Currently the MN GI Bill applies only to Veterans who served after 9/11 and the families of deceased or qualifying disabled Veterans. These funds are only offered if no other financial aid is available. The money can be used for any diploma or certificate program. Those receiving funds through the Minnesota GI Bill are capped at $1,000 per semester or term of enrollment; $3,000 per state fiscal year; and $10,000 in a lifetime.
In addition to these efforts, Governor Dayton also announced that he will work with the legislature to provide permanent funding for the military honor guard program.
The Honor Guard program was originally started in 2007, but the current appropriation expired in June. This year the agency is funding the program through discretionary funding. The Governor's proposal for 2011 ensures that military burial honors will be accorded for all Minnesota Veterans.