Last session, lawmakers representing Fillmore County squared off with lawmakers representing Olmsted County over the issue of where a new veterans cemetery should go. In the end, it was the Olmsted County lawmakers who prevailed.
Former state Rep. Andy Welti, DFL-Plainview, and former Sen. Ann Lynch, DFL-Rochester, both backed a bill that would require all of southeast Minnesota be considered for a new state veterans cemetery. The argument was that all of southeast Minnesota should be examined for a possible site to make sure the best location was picked. That could potentially include land near Stewartville.
Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, and former Sen. Sharon Erickson-Ropes, DFL-Winona, had backed a bill that would require the new cemetery be built in Fillmore County. The county and city of Preston have offered to donate land for the project.
But in the end, the broader language passed last year. But Davids is bringing the issue back up sponsoring a bill to require the cemetery be built in Fillmore County. There is a hearing at 12:30 p.m. before the Veterans Services Decision on his bill, HF 226. Sen. Jeremy, Miller, R-Winona, is sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate.
The bills rely on $500,000 in funding already appropriated for veterans cemeteries. That isn't much, given that there are three proposal in the works in Minnesota — one in southwestern Minnesota, one in northeastern Minnesota and one in southeast Minnesota.