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Minnesota National Guard
Bill dealing with veterans preference for road contracts will be refined, brought back later

District 52A Rep Bob Dettmer is seeking a civil immunity provision for volunteers in the state's Yellow Ribbon campaign associated with the Minnesota National Guard and is also looking to improve the chances for veteran-owned small businesses to win state road construction contracts

Dettmer, R-Forest Lake, brought his bills before the House Veterans Service Committee on Monday, Jan 30

The civil immunity provision, Dettmer explained, grew out of concerns voiced in the Yellow Ribbon initiative in Washington County

Under Dettmer's provision, civil liability immunity protections are afforded Yellow Ribbon volunteers pursuing activities helpful to veterans' families

Judy Seeberger, of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network, testified that her husband recently returned from a year's oversea military deployment While gone, Yellow Ribbon volunteers assisted her with such tasks tree trimming and household chores

"The people were there to help me," she said

The committee advanced the civil liability immunity provision to the House civil law committee

A more controversial bill Dettmer is pursuing deals with changing state law - and offering the chance for counties to change their contracting practices - to allow more veteran-owned small businesses to win road construction contracts

As proposed, Dettmer's bill would create a stand-alone construction bid preference program for veteran-owned small business

It would mandate the transportation department award up to a six percent preference to these small businesses That is, a veteran-owned small business could be determined to be the low bidder on a given contract, even though the bid is six percent higher than the next lowest bid Other provisions are included in the bill

"This is the least we can do for them (veterans)," said Ralph Donais, of the Military Affairs Group, a national veterans organization backing the legislation

Dettmer noted that proposed budget cuts to the Department of Defense could mean 100,000 troops could be laid-off "They're going to be coming home," he said

And they want the soldiers from Minnesota to stay in Minnesota, he said

Currently, about 5 percent of state transportation construction contracts are awarded to veteran-owned business, according to Minnesota Department of Transportation official But the contracts are going to a relatively small number of contractors, they noted

Associated General Contractors of Minnesota official Tim Worke expressed several concerns with the legislation The construction industry has been enduring a near Great Depression-like loss of work, he explained

Bids are coming in low and close And the six percent provision in Dettmer's bill is "really creating some concerns" and questions with contractors on how bids are determined, he said

Moreover, smaller construction companies do not have human resources departments and are concerned about increased amounts of paperwork the legislation could bring, he said

And beyond this, simply finding veteran-owned small business has been difficult, Worke said

Dettmer motioned to table his veteran-owned small businesses bill, indicating that he intended to refine the legislation and bring it back

After the committee hearing, Dettmer said that he could have bill back before the committee within a couple of weeks

By TW Budig, ECM Capitol Reporter
Article source
http://mcrecord.com/archives/501414/dettmer-introduces-veterans-legislation-in-house/



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Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.



Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



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