Below you’ll find the bills proposed that concern our military veterans. Click here to see all proposed bills for the 2024 legislative session.
House Bill 1008
Title: An Act to modify the eligibility for admission to the state veterans’ home and repeal the residency requirement.
Sponsors: The Chair of the Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs at the request of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Section 1. That § 33A-4-25 be AMENDED:
33A-4-25. AnyA veteran, as defined by § 33A-2-1, who has an honorable discharge, who has maintained a residence in the state at any time in the five years preceding the date of the application, and who has no income in excess of one thousand dollars per year above the maximum income limitation for pension benefits as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, is eligible for admission to the State Veterans’ Home. For the purposes of this section, a residence is a physical structure in which a person resides and the term does not include a post office box or address of another mail service purchased by the veteran. A veteran who meets the residence requirements and has a rating of total disability as defined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for pension and compensation purposes is also eligible for admission. Membership, is eligible for admission to the State Veterans Home if the veteran is eligible for the payment of per diem for domiciliary care or nursing home care in a state home.
A veteran domiciled in this state within the past five years shall receive admission preference, contingent upon the veteran meeting all admission criteria. A veteran who is a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe shall receive admission preference, contingent upon the veteran meeting all admission criteria.
Residency status at the State Veterans’ Veterans Home is not affected because of a medical leave of absence either in a United States Department of Veterans Affairs facility or other hospital. Any veteran who is an enrolled member of a federally recognized Indian tribe located wholly or partially in the state meets the residency requirement.
Underscores indicate new language.
**My thoughts: It looks like they simplified this and require the veteran residency requirements to be just that the veteran has lived in the state for the past 5 years and as long as the veteran is eligible for domiciliary or nursing home care in a state home. Knowing how veterans are generally treated by the government as a whole and seeing who sponsored this, I hope this amendment is a good thing, as I’m not sure if it is or not so anyone who can give me their educated opinion on this would be much appreciated.
An Act to make an appropriation to provide a grant for the construction of a veteran’s skilled trade center.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of South Dakota:
Section 1. There is hereby appropriated from the general fund the sum of $2,365,000 to the Department of Veterans Affairs, for purposes of providing a grant to assist in the construction, completion, furnishing, and equipping of a veteran’s skilled trade center in Hot Springs that will allow veterans to develop carpentry and contracting skills under the supervision of journeyman contractors.
Section 2. The secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs shall approve vouchers and the state auditor shall draw warrants to pay expenditures authorized by this Act.
Section 3. Any amounts appropriated in this Act not lawfully expended or obligated by June 30, 2027, shall revert in accordance with the procedures prescribed in chapter 4-8.
Section 4. This Act is effective beginning June 25, 2024.
House Bill 1007
Title: An Act to amend the requirement to employ a county veterans’ service officer.
Sponsors: Introduced by: The Chair of the Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs at the request of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Section 1. That § 33A-1-22 be AMENDED:
33A-1-22. The board of county commissioners of each county in this state shall employ or a county veterans’ service officer, join with another county or counties in employing a county veterans’ service officer who, before such employment takes effect, is approved by the state secretary of veterans affairs. The county veteran’s service officer’s first appointment ends on the first Monday in January of the second year subsequent to the year of the appointment. The county veteran’s service officer may be reappointed for terms of four years for each term. The appointment is subject to removal by the board or boards of county commissioners upon the recommendation of the state secretary of veterans’ affairs or for cause, or contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs, to provide services as required by § 33A-1-24. Employment as a county veterans service officer is contingent upon approval by the secretary of veterans affairs.
Section 2. That § 33A-1-29 be AMENDED:
33A-1-29. An Indian tribes tribe, as defined in subdivision 2-14-2(14), may appoint a veterans’ service officers officer who shall serve under the same terms and conditions as a county veterans’ service officers officer, as provided for in §§ 33A-1-22 to 33A-1-28, inclusive, or may contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide the services of a veterans’ service officer pursuant to § 33A-1-24. Such officers shall be known as tribal veterans’ service officers.
**My thoughts: again, I don’t know enough about the process and procedures, so I hope this is a good thing or maybe it’s a neutral thing? Educated opinions are welcome!
House Bill 1082
Title: change the eligibility requirements, and the exempt value, of a property tax relief program for disabled veterans and surviving spouses.
–10-4-40. One Two hundred fifty thousand dollars of the full and true value of the total amount of a dwelling or portion thereof classified as owner-occupied pursuant to §§ 10-13-39 to 10-13-40.4, inclusive, that is owned and occupied by a veteran who is rated as permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected disability is exempt from property taxation.
–Beginning on January 1, 2025, the total amount of full and true value exempt under this section increases annually by the index factor. The index factor is the annual percentage change in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers as computed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor during the prior year.
**The above sections are the bigger changes. It looks like they’re increasing the property amounts that are eligible for property tax relief for veterans and their surviving spouses. I like this!
House Bill 1068
Title: allow disabled veterans to obtain a standard issue county motor vehicle or motorcycle license plate.
Representatives Weisgram (prime), Bahmuller, Bartels, Blare, Callies, Duba, Emery, Kull, Massie, Moore, Mulally, Otten (Ernie), Perry, Pinnow, Rehfeldt, Reimer, Reisch, Teunissen, Tordsen, and Wittman and Senators Zikmund (prime), Diedrich, Johnson, Pischke, and Reed
A disabled veteran may obtain standard issue county motor vehicle or motorcycle license plates in lieu of disabled veteran plates if the disabled veteran meets the requirements listed in §§ 32-5-156 and 32-5-157. A disabled veteran who obtains plates pursuant to this section shall pay fees according to § 32-5-160.