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Legislators seek veterans home funds

Local legislators have introduced bills that would advance efforts for a Bemidji-based veterans home.

Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, has asked for $10 million in bonds to build a 90-bed home which would be built on land donated by Sanford Health adjacent to its Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, according to the nonpartisan House Information Office.

If constructed, the Bemidji veterans home would be the sixth Minnesota veterans home. There now are homes in Minneapolis, Fergus Falls, Hastings, Luverne and Silver Bay,

Rep. David Hancock, R-Bemidji, has requested $250,000 in bonding money for pre-design work.

Both bills were approved by the House Veterans Services Division and referred them to the House State Government Finance Committee.

Sen. John Carlson, R-Bemidji, sponsored their companion bills, which await action by the Senate Capital Investment Committee.

About 30,000 military veterans could be served by the facility, according to the House Information Office.