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The commissioner of veterans affairs shall have charge of activities as provided in this section, and may employ assistants and incur other expenses as may be necessary for the administration of the state soldiers' assistance fund and carrying out the provisions of sections 197.03 to 197.07. No expense shall be incurred under the provisions of sections 197.03 to 197.07 in excess of the moneys available to the state soldiers' assistance fund.

The duties and powers of the commissioner of veterans affairs, in addition to those provided elsewhere by law, shall be to:

(1) administer the state soldiers' assistance fund;

(2) cooperate with national, state, county, municipal and private social agencies in securing to former soldiers and their dependents the benefits provided by national, state, and county laws, municipal ordinances, or public and private social agencies;

(3) establish and provide assistance to former soldiers and their dependents who are in need of assistance with optical, dental, or other emergency medical needs; and

(4) cooperate with United States government agencies providing compensation, pensions, insurance or other benefits provided by federal law, by supplementing the benefits prescribed by federal law, when exceptional conditions in an individual case make it necessary.