Franken's first bill--service dogs for veterans--nearly a lawby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Sen. Al Franken's first piece of legislation--the Service Dogs for Veterans Act--is on its way to the White House for approval.
The Veterans Administration would develop partnerships with organizations that provide disabled veterans with service dogs. Franken said he introduced the legislation after meeting a veteran who said his service dog improved his quality of life.
He said the measure will cost about $5 million and is designed to not edge out non-profits doing similar work.
"The government is going to pay for essentially every other dog. What I didn't want to happen was to dry up the funding for the organizations like Hearing and Service Dogs in Minneapolis and all of these non-profits who have been providing dogs to some vets."
Franken said he hopes about 200 veterans will get dogs as a result of the legislation. The legislation passed today as a part of the Defense Authorization bill.