Monday, December 19, 2005

Support Our Troops Plates Released Today

Gov. Pawlenty today unveiled Minnesota's newest license plate: "Support Our Troops"

The proceeds from the sale of these plates goes to assist the family members of those currently serving in the military as well as veterans.

Gov. Pawlenty commented on the new plates at a press conference today.

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"We would not have the country we have without the tremendous courage and dedication and patriotism and support of the men and women who are serving in the United States military now and in the past," he said. "They are in the end the final line of defense between us and a lot of bad things happening." (Source: Pioneer Press, Dec. 19, 2005)
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The proceeds for the new plates will go to:

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State tax exemptions for military retirement pay. When phased in over four years, these tax breaks would save approximately 15,000 veterans $15.4 million a year.

Increased funding for the State Soldiers Assistance Program. He will request an additional $3 million a year to provide veterans and their families with such services as family therapy and temporary financial aid for new veterans who experience problems in getting Veterans Administration benefits.

A one-stop Web site where veterans can get information on all the state, federal and local government programs and private, non-profit services available to them.

$3 million in training grants for county Veterans Service Officers.

Creating on-campus veterans' assistance offices at all public colleges and universities.

Requiring all public colleges and universities to grant credit for military training and experience that meets the standards of the American Council on Education.

Allowing non-resident soldiers and veterans to attend Minnesota public colleges and universities at in-state tuition rates. Currently, some Minnesota soldiers who are based outside the state have to pay out-of-state tuition when they return to a Minnesota college.

Delaying the due date of tuition payments for veterans until they receive their federal GI Bill grants
(Source: Pioneer Press, Dec. 19, 2005)
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