Government
9:31 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Snyder funds new MI vets' agency

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Governor Rick Snyder has approved $3 million in funding for a new state agency with a mission of helping veterans collect what they are owed. 

Michigan has the nation's 11th-highest population of veterans and ranks last in federal money spent per person on services provided through the U.S. Veterans Administration. Those services include medical treatment, pensions and employment assistance.

Legislation signed Wednesday funds the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, which Snyder created with an executive order in January. The agency launched March 20, the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war.

Snyder has named Jeff Barnes to head the agency. Barnes is Snyder's deputy director for strategy and served about 10 years in the Army, including tours in Korea, the Balkans and Iraq.