first_img Categories: LaFave News State Rep. Beau LaFave joined the Michigan House of Representatives Wednesday in approving legislation encouraging Michigan counties to establish and maintain veteran service offices through a new grant program.Under the legislation LaFave is helping sponsor, each county with a veteran service office that satisfies pre-approved requirements will receive $25,000, plus an additional amount based on the number of veterans in the county. To continue receiving the grant, an established county veteran service office must meet benchmarks for staff performance and reporting while maintaining the previous year’s funding level.“There are many veterans in the Upper Peninsula who have to drive to an outside county to see an accredited Veteran Service Officer and there are many others who are not even aware of the services available in their county’s veteran services department,” said LaFave of Iron Mountain. “I cannot stress enough how vital this grant is for local veterans. We need to improve access to these services for all our heroes residing in the rural areas across the state.”Depending on the county, a Veteran Service Officer may only be available for a few hours each month at a single location. There are 11 Michigan counties currently without a county veteran services department. LaFave said this could be due to a number of issues – including lack of funding – and how this legislation will address the stagnant funds occurring in all parts of the state.House Bill 5536 now advances to the Senate for further consideration. 15Mar LaFave votes to invest in local veteran serviceslast_img read more