200-acre expansion likely for Black Hills National Cemetery

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The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that significantly expands the Black Hills National Cemetery.

Around 200 acres of land, currently held by the Bureau of Land Management, would be transferred to the 107-acre cemetery permanently.

The U.S. House of Representatives initially passed this legislation in 2016 but failed to act on it before the end of the session. U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem re-introduced the bill, and the House passed the expansion act last February.

Noem said in a statement that veterans and their families have made tremendous sacrifices so the nation could remain safe and secure.

“Securing a restful piece of hallowed ground for these patriotic men and women is a small token of gratitude we can offer as a nation,” Noem said.

Under current law, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act limits transfers like this to a lifespan of 20 years.

Now, either the House or Senate will need to vote again to approve the other's legislation and send the bill to President Donald Trump.

Over 28,000 veterans and their loved ones are buried at the cemetery.

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