It looked like state budget cuts were going to end the state’s practice of contributing $50 for honor guards at funerals for veterans, but Wednesday afternoon Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito told MPR that the payments will continue.
An MPR news story earlier in the day had publicized the proposed cuts. The national American Legion convention happens to be in town this week.
It didn’t take long for Shellito to go on the radio to say the state will find the money to continue the funeral honors.
“All veterans will receive proper military funeral honors. That is a stated goal, and I’ll be held to that one,” Shellito told MPR’s “All Things Considered.” “This is one thing we are not letting fall through the cracks.”
The money reimbursed honor guards at funerals for the state’s veterans with up to $50 for mileage, uniforms, rifle shells and a musician to play Taps.
Shellito said he’ll find the money elsewhere in his budget and work with the Legislature to find permanent funding.
“That’s a very, very small tribute to the sacrifices they’ve made. So that’s what we’re committed to,” he said. “I’m going to fight for it severely.”