NEW ULM - Sen. Amy Klobuchar stopped at the New Ulm American Legion on Monday as part of her Memorial Day tour to meet with veterans in rural counties.
The round table discussion, which featured city and veteran organization leadership from New Ulm and Sleepy Eye, focused on concerns of veterans.
One older veteran said he worried about ensuring that soldiers coming home from deployments get adequate assistance due to the higher rate of mental issues and unemployment they face compared to previous generations. Another person expressed concerns about cuts to veteran benefits, like health insurance.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar made a stop in New Ulm on Monday.
"We have to do something about the debt. But, the last thing we should be doing is balancing the budget on the backs of veterans," said Klobuchar.
New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman brought up the need for a four-lane expansion for dangerous portions of Highway 14.
"You don't know how much I want to fund that [project]. The problem is that right now we aren't allowed to make specific requests like that," said Klobuchar, "The best way is to get funds to the state, so that the state can give it to you and other projects."
Klobuchar said she was optimistic about this approach because the recently passed U.S. Senate version of the transportation bill included $700 million for Minnesota transportation, which was an increase from the last bill. She said that if the U.S. House could pass the bill, they could focus on lobbying the funds to Highway 14.
Klobuchar concluded the meeting by presenting a U.S flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol to Brown County Veterans Service Officer Greg Peterson. She said the presentation of the flag honors recipients who work tirelessly for veterans.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)