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HF 3249

1st Engrossment - 84th Legislature (2005 - 2006) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 03/07/2006
1st Engrossment Posted on 03/28/2006

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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5.1

A bill for an act
relating to veterans; natural resources; providing certain free hunting and
fishing licenses and state park permits to eligible veterans of the current war on
terrorism; appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapters 97A; 197.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [97A.467] VETERANS LIFETIME ELIGIBILITY.
new text end

new text begin (a) In accordance with section 197.791, the commissioner must issue without fee
the annual hunting and fishing licenses and state park permits to persons certified by the
commissioner of veterans affairs as being eligible veterans.
new text end

new text begin (b) An eligible veteran is not exempted from any applicable laws and rules governing
hunting and fishing licenses and state park permits, other than being exempted from all
fees for such licenses and permits.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective July 1, 2006, and applies to hunting
and fishing licenses and state park permits issued on or after January 1, 2007.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [197.791] VETERANS REVITALIZATION OUTDOOR ACT.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Short title. new text end

new text begin This section may be cited as the Veterans Revitalization
Outdoor Act of 2006.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Purpose. new text end

new text begin The state of Minnesota recognizes the sacrifices of Minnesota
residents who, as members of the United States armed forces, have served honorably
for an extended period of time directly in harm's way in the global war on terror, and
recognize that such veterans need and deserve the restorative health and wellness benefits
that result from the free and ongoing enjoyment of Minnesota's natural resources. The
purpose of this act is to provide such outdoor recreational benefits to those veterans.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the
meanings assigned them.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of veterans affairs, unless otherwise
explicitly designated.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Veteran" has the meaning assigned in section 197.447.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Eligible veteran" means a veteran:
new text end

new text begin (1) who was a Minnesota resident at the time of initial entry into the United States
armed forces, as indicated by the person's military records;
new text end

new text begin (2) who, during the program eligibility period, is serving honorably in the United
States armed forces or has served honorably and been honorably separated or discharged
from the United States armed forces;
new text end

new text begin (3) who is eligible for or has been awarded the qualifying military medal, as
indicated by the person's Department of Defense form DD-214 or other discharge paper or
by a valid written statement from the person's current or former commanding officer; and
new text end

new text begin (4) whose combat service period meets any of the qualifying levels specified in
subdivision 5.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Program eligibility period" means the time period commencing on September
11, 2001, and terminating on a future date to be announced by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin (f) "Qualifying military medal" means:
new text end

new text begin (1) the Iraq Campaign Medal;
new text end

new text begin (2) the Afghanistan Campaign Medal; or
new text end

new text begin (3) the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal for the same type of service as
would qualify for either of those campaign medals.
new text end

new text begin (g) "Combat service period" means the cumulative number of days that the person
has spent on the land area of the nations of Iraq and Afghanistan or in the airspace above
those countries during the program eligibility period, while providing honorable service in
the United States armed forces.
new text end

new text begin (h) "Eligibility certificate" means a certificate issued by the commissioner under
subdivision 4, paragraph (c).
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Determination of eligibility; certificate. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall
determine each applicant's eligibility for the benefits under this section, including the
person's qualifying level, by reference to any of the following documents as may suffice
in the judgment of the commissioner: the person's Department of Defense form DD-214
discharge papers, annual fitness reports, valid written statement or statements from the
person's current or former commanding officer or officers, and any other information that
the commissioner may require to make a valid determination of the person's eligibility
under this section.
new text end

new text begin (b) A veteran may reapply for certification if the veteran has acquired more
qualifying service or has collected more information about the person's existing service.
new text end

new text begin (c) Upon determining an applicant's eligibility and qualifying benefit level, the
commissioner shall issue to each eligible veteran a certificate, in the size of the official
Minnesota driver's license, stating the person's name, current address, eligibility status,
qualifying benefit level, and any other information deemed necessary by the commissioner
to adequately control against fraud.
new text end

new text begin (d) The commissioner shall electronically certify each applicant's eligibility and
qualifying benefit level to the commissioner of natural resources in a timely manner
and in an ongoing basis.
new text end

new text begin (e) Data collected under this section is classified as public data on individuals in
accordance with section 13.02, subdivision 15.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Combat service period; qualifying levels. new text end

new text begin An eligible veteran's
qualifying benefit level is as follows:
new text end

new text begin (1) level 1, if the person's combat service period is at least 180 days but no more
than 270 days or, for a person who had been ordered to serve at least 180 days in Iraq
or Afghanistan, if the person had been medically evacuated from the country prior to
completion of that service;
new text end

new text begin (2) level 2, if the person's combat service period is more than 270 days, but no
more than 540 days; and
new text end

new text begin (3) level 3, if the person's combat service period is more than 540 days or the
person has been injured or wounded in action during hostilities in Iraq or Afghanistan,
as indicated by the person's receipt of the Purple Heart Medal, and has been medically
evacuated from the country as a result of that wounding.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Benefit options; entitlement. new text end

new text begin (a) The benefit options from which an
eligible veteran is entitled to choose include:
new text end

new text begin (1) an annual state park permit, as defined in section 85.053;
new text end

new text begin (2) an annual resident small game hunting license, as authorized in chapter 97A;
new text end

new text begin (3) a resident firearms deer hunting license, as authorized in chapter 97A;
new text end

new text begin (4) a resident archery deer hunting license, as authorized in chapter 97A; and
new text end

new text begin (5) an annual resident angling license, as authorized in chapter 97A.
new text end

new text begin (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of chapter 85, 86B, or 97A, upon proper
application, a person who has been certified by the commissioner as being an eligible
veteran is entitled to one or more of the benefit options specified in paragraph (a), as
follows:
new text end

new text begin (1) one option if the person's qualifying level equals one;
new text end

new text begin (2) two options if the person's qualifying level equals two; and
new text end

new text begin (3) three options if the person's qualifying level equals three.
new text end

new text begin (c) The entitlement under this section is for the eligible veteran's lifetime.
new text end

new text begin (d) Each year, an eligible veteran may request one or more of the benefit options
listed in paragraph (a), up to the person's qualifying level limit in paragraph (b). Within
those limitations, there is no restriction regarding which benefit option or options the
person may select in any given year. An eligible veteran does not lose eligibility by
declining in any year or in any number of years to select any or all benefit options to
which the person is entitled. An eligible veteran who declines to select one or more
benefit options in one year may not compensate in any subsequent year by selecting more
benefit options than the person is entitled to based on the person's qualifying benefit
level. An eligible veteran is not entitled to exchange any benefit option for any other
benefit option during any year. An eligible veteran may not transfer any benefit option to
another person at any time.
new text end

new text begin (e) A person who has been certified by the commissioner as being an eligible
veteran may apply for the benefits under this section in a manner as determined by the
commissioner of natural resources under the authority provided in section 97A.467.
Separate application is required for each license or permit requested if the person is
entitled to more than one.
new text end

new text begin (f) The commissioner shall notify applicants that fraudulent application or violation
of laws or rules regulating hunting, fishing, and park privileges may result in the
permanent withdrawal of the eligibility certificate.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective July 1, 2006, and applies to licenses
and permits issued on or after January 1, 2007.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $........ is appropriated from the general fund for fiscal year 2007 and is available
until expended, as follows:
new text end

new text begin (1) $....... to the commissioner of natural resources for the cost of the licenses and
permits issued under section 1; and
new text end

new text begin (2) $....... to the commissioner of veterans affairs for implementing the program in
section 2.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective July 1, 2006.
new text end