State legislature approves county veteran fund

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan's first county veteran fund has been approved by lawmakers, but with less than half of its proposed $5 million appropriation.

The state House voted almost unanimously Tuesday to create the County Veteran Service Fund, which would pay for employees in each county who are tasked with helping veterans adjust back to civilian life. The bill now heads to Gov. Rick Snyder.

A total of $2.1 million was set aside in the next fiscal year for the fund. Each county's grant consists of a base $25,000 amount. If available, counties may receive additional funding based on their per-capita veteran populations.

Bill sponsor Rep. Jason Wentworth, a Clare Republican, says the fund is crucial because limited access to services and confusing paperwork for federal benefits has been a recurring barrier within veteran communities.