America's Largest Veterans Service Organization

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Sharon Thiemeke

6th District Legislation Chairman

10491 Alcott Drive  |  Sauk Centre, MN 56378

218-209-1124 | Sharon.6thdistala@yahoo.com 


Have you been in contact with your legislators? Have you called, written or emailed a congressman regarding the veterans in your community, state or nation? Has your Unit hosted a meet and greet? Maybe you are not sure where to start. Remember the Auxiliary Legislative Advocacy Guide, the Legionnaire, the Dispatch, and previous Unit mailings. Here is a good place to look for the information. Go to www.legion.org/legislative this page has a place to sign up for “take action” alerts. You will also see the current priorities of The American Legion. Here is an abbreviated list of their priorities.

  1. Increase the state grant for congressionally chartered veteran's service organizations-these have not been updated since 2009.
  2. Pay a bonus to post 9/11 veterans-We have paid bonuses to past conflict veterans. Iraq and Afghanistan have not had a bonus and we would be in the same after conflict the other veterans were paid. We propose paying combat veterans $1000, era veterans $500 and next of kin of service members who died as a result of military action $1500.
  3. Align the state definition of a veteran with the federal definition of a veteran. Some veterans are being denied benefits due to outdated language in the statute.
  4. Provide property tax exemptions to veteran's service organizations. We and the Commander's Task Force would like to see the state give 100% tax relief to Posts that own buildings open to their communities.
  5. Reduce or make free the fees for hunting, fishing and trapping for disabled veterans. We are working with the DNR on this and after coming to an agreement with the DNR, we will urge the Minnesota Legislature to pass this proposal.  We feel this will give the DNR an increase in license fees and give veterans the health benefit that comes from being in the great outdoors.
  6. Require high school students to pass a citizenship test. In 2015 the Department of Minnesota advocated for a bill requiring high school students to correctly answer 60 out of 100 questions on a civics test to graduate. This is the same test a new citizen is expected to pass. The push-back at the time was against Rote Learning. Who should our students not know as much as a naturalized citizen about governance?
  7. Create an Omnibus bill for veteran related legislation. Having such a bill would keep our important causes away form partisan politics and in the political neutral space veterans organizations prefer.
  8. Allow military recruiters to enter schools and meet with students. Giving students a better idea what military service is about is in the best interest of the graduates and best interests of the country.
  9. Allow Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations access to schools for two weeks in September. This bill passed in 2018 but that was the year Gov. Dayton didn't sign any bill into law. This includes any youth group listed as a patriotic society under U.S. Code Title 36, which includes The American Legion.
  10. Require County Recorders to document discharge papers from all branches of the military. Currently they only document Army, Navy and Marines. This would add Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force.
  11. Pursue a Legacy Fund grant for Legionville repairs. We qualified for a grant in 2017 for $200,000 in repairs as veteran related heritage funding. We seek similar funding this year for an amount to be determined.
  12. Provide a percentage based Homestead Market Value Exclusion. To improve the current benefit and expand the benefit to more of our service-connected disabled veterans in Minnesota.
  13. Provide a Homestead Market Value Exclusion for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation recipients.
  14. Work with Allied Charities to reduce taxes on gambling and protect our e-tab business. Gambling funds many of our operations and programs.

Remember to email or mail me with the cover sheet there was one in the Nov/Dec and the Jan/Feb Unit mailing (make copies for each program). Include photos and a narrative after your Unit has a legislative function and send a copy to your District's Legislative Chairman (me) and also a copy to the Department Office. Because I am the 6th District and the Department Legislative Chairman you only need  two instead of three as for the other programs. You no longer need to wait to report. Report right after your event so you don't forget. Email or regular mail your Legislative report so that I have it early. After April 15 it is late and does not count. Here is my regular mailing address: 10491 Alcott Dr., Sauk Centre, MN 56378

One last thing! Vets On The Hill is April 20, 2022 save the date! We are gathering near the Veterans Service building in St. Paul! Details coming soon!

Sharon Thiemecke

Legislative Chairman

218-209-1124   sharon.6thdistala@yahoo.com