Meeting Minutes for July, 2012

Minutes Header

UVLC Minutes–Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Call to Order at 9:30 a.m.


Pledge of Allegiance

Greetings: Recognition of visitors and guests - Col Sandy Best was recently promoted!

Announcements - Ralph Donais, Chairman Military Day at the State Fair 28 of August. Many events are planned for the day.

1. Federal Agencies

VA Regional Office - Director, Antione Waller - Peter Panos, Remodeling is still going on without any interruption in service. Case load is remaining steady with the return of the Red Bulls causing an increase to our work load. Ebenefits allows veterans of check on their own claim's. The regional office will be attending the MACV stand down in August. Backlogs are caught up at this time. There is a new program to help train veterans who do not qualify for any other programs. The VRTP program is new. 30 to 60 is the age limits for the program.

VISN 23 - Janet Murphy- Director VISN 23 Unable to attend

Mpls VA HCS - Mike Rosecrans - Leg. Liaison Veterans resource center in downtown Minneapolis will be opening on the 17th of August. This fall work will begin on the utilities that need to be moved for the new parking garage. We are still looking for a new director for the Minneapolis Health Care System. If there is a question about travel pay, contact the person in charge of the travel section. At the August meeting someone from travel will attend the UVLC meeting to discuss issues with travel. Veterans can request a different doctor if they wish.

St Cloud VA HCS - Barry Bahl Welcome everyone to St. Cloud and feel free to tour facility. Barry brought information from Director Murphy who is out in the Black Hills facility. There are many projects going on at the facility currently. New generators are being installed, enlarging the pharmacy, audiology are just a few of the projects. The new van is going out to increase capabilities at our CBOCS. A new MRI unit is in the beginning stages and new geothermal projects are going in. Dental building is being enlarged. A new kitchen is being planned near the auditorium. Primary care will get additional area when the kitchen is now located. We are working on funding in the fy13 budget for a new rehab building. The wind turbine is still a problem and has not been accepted by the VA. Reviews are ongoing also at this time. Those completed show that we have done very well. Metal health outreach has received funding so that program will be ongoing. Budgets are doing OK at present. The new CBOC in Ramsey has taken away about a thousand veterans which impacted our budget. The new CBOC bring in new veterans into the system. Walking paths with fitness stations are planned to help with the overall health of the staff and veterans.

Ft Snelling Cemetery - Artis Parker Director Unable to attend

Vets Employment & Training Service [VETS] - Unable to attend

Vet Center- Sam Adams  There are three Vet Centers, one in Brooklyn Park, one in Roseville and one in Duluth. Hiring is ongoing at the three centers. There are several outreach programs located around the state. The CVSO can request the mobile van to come to their area of the state if needed.

2. Federal Congressional Representatives and Senators

Senator Amy Klobuchar- General (RET) Tim Cossalter-Unable to attend

Senator Al Franken - Nate Arch - Unable to attend

7th District Representative - Collin Peterson - Al Loehr The house VA budget is 146 billion dollars. That is a ten percent increase. With the return of many of our veterans it is important that all veteran’s organization work to take of all veterans! On a personal note thank you for your cards and prayers during my illness.

1st District Representative - Tim Walz - Shawn Schoesser Unable to attend

2nd District Representative - John Kline - Lynda Boudreau, Unable to attend

3rd District Representative - Eric Paulson - John Paul Yates Unable to attend

4th District Representative - Betty McCollum - Connie Haddeland Unable to attend

5th District Representative - Keith Ellison - Mike Siebenaler Unable to attend

6th District Representation - Michele Bachmann - Nicole Severson We have been working on outreach within the district. Academy night will be in September. The budget is being worked on.

8th District Representative - Chip Cravaack - Perry Nouis The congressional delegation has been busy in the Duluth area due to the storm damage in the area. One hundred and eight million dollars has been allocated to the area. A job fair is being planned for the Brainerd area from four to seven PM on the 7th of August. Veteran service providers are also invited to aide those attending in getting information on programs for them. Unemployment is at 22% in the Brainerd area.

3. State Agencies and MN Veteran Assistance Organizations

MN Dept of Veteran Affairs - Commissioner Larry Shellito - Unable to attend

MN Veterans 2010 Legislative Info - Mike McElhiney Grand opening 15 August for the new building 19 at 10 AM and everyone is invited. The last session the requested funds were not allocated. The funding was to come in phases to allow funds to be allocated over several years instead of all at once. Third phase funding which had matching funds of 17.5 million from the Federal Government with 25 million from the state. The 17.5 million will have to be returned. To receive Medicare and Medicated funding a tunnel has to be built between buildings to keep food warm in the winter when transporting it between facilities. 50 million will be requested during the next session which will be difficult to attain.

MN Military Affairs - COL Sandy Best July 8th Meeker county Yellow Ribbon awarded several other communities will also be awarded soon. Job fair at Earl Brown is being held today from 11 until 2. Governor will speak at the Star Base ceremony. Star Base program is for children grades 4-6, 3,400 children used the program each summer.  Returning troops will have a reintegration program in St. Cloud. Various other reintegration programs will be held this summer. Next week the Aviation battalion deployment ceremony will be held. Col Best will send the chairman a schedule.

MN Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) - Kathy Vitalis - Jimmy Collier 1 & 2 August is the Stand Down. Annual fund raiser will be September 21 with more info to follow. Another home is being ready for women veterans. Various grants have been awarded which allows MACV to take care of our homeless veterans. MACV representatives went to DC to the National Homeless Veterans conference.

Military Action Group (MAG) - Ralph Donais Next MAG meeting will be the 20th of August at 1000. What are electronic pull tabs? What will they due to current pull tabs sites? I fear that the machines will harm the many organizations around the state.

Military Liaison Courage Center - Paul Keck Operation Liberty Program deals with sports programs for veterans with disabilities. Brochures about the program were available at the meeting. The program pays for all equipment needed to participate.

Organizers of the Old Glory Run Pam and Kurt Karls - DAV Foundation Pam and Kurt Karls have organized fund raisers in Cold Springs, community. Over the years $90,000.00 plus has been raised. Neither Pam nor Kurt is a veteran. Today they have a check for $25,000.00.

4. Announcements - We need to have our organizations contact our legislators about the veteran’s home issue.

5. Meeting in Recess for 10 minutes

Old Business - Treasures report, General business - $5,369.92 balance. 27 organizations have paid as of July. We are in need of a transcriber as our former transcriber had to take a leave of absence due to family issues. Next MAG meeting will be the 20th of August at 1000. Jerry is at the Earl Brown job fair today.

New Business A system needs to be developed to have more veterans at the committee meeting. We aren’t looking for the same people to attend all of the committee meetings for the entire session. Veterans assigned by week on the two days of the Veteran’s committees. We need to set up a phone or email tree.

Adjournment/ Next Meeting 9:30 AM - Wednesday 1 August, 2012