PA House Veterans Affairs Committee Report from Karen Boback, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military & Veterans Facilities

| April 19, 2012 | 0 Comments

The following report was prepared by Representative Karen Boback, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military & Veterans Facilities of the House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee, on newly enacted laws and the legislative actions of this Committee for the 2011-12 Legislative Session. The General Assembly has enacted the following legislation so far this Session:

• Act 2 of 2012; removes obstacles that prevent veterans groups and other social clubs from raising money needed to run their organization, hold charitable events, and make other important contributions to their community. • Act 76 of 2011; requires at least one of the three members of the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission to be a veteran, while also protecting ‘Veterans Preference’.

• Act 19 of 2011; adopts the Honor and Remember Flag as the Commonwealth’s official emblem of service and sacrifice for those U.S. Armed Forces members who have given their lives in the line of duty, with the flag being permanently placed at the capitol.

• Act 38 of 2011; allows Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to arrange for Honor Guard burial details at the Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Bucks County because those who served honorably deserve a fitting military funeral.

• House Bill 1500; requires that drugs administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to long term care facilities for patients be mailed directly to a lockbox and the pharmacist manager is responsible for the correct handling of those drugs, which is awaiting the governor’s signature.

• House Resolution 579. The House of Representatives adopted this resolution on March 13, 2012. The Resolution recognizes March 30, 2012 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” in Pennsylvania. The following legislation is under review or has received legislative action:

• House Bill 1869; would recognize the sacrifices of Pennsylvania’s female veterans by offering a special license plate designed for women who have served in the Armed Forces.

• House Bill 662; would authorize out-of-state veterans, their spouses, and dependent children to be charged the in-state tuition rate when attending a state-related or state-owned institution of higher learning or a community college.

• House Bill 1152; would further clarify and enhance ‘Veterans Preference’, to ensure that those who have honorably served will be given special consideration for employment opportunities.

• House Bill 1092; would create the Office of Veterans Advocates to assist veterans who have problems concerning ‘Veterans Preference’, civil service appointments, and post-deployment civilian employment.

• House Bill 1090; would prevent potential abuse by appointing/hiring authorities, such as agencies and departments when it comes to the application of ‘Veterans Preference’, utilization of eligibility lists, and the use of timeliness of interviews, in addition to tightening rules for interviewing eligible job seekers by minimizing subjective decision making and preventing potential misapplication of the statute.

• Veteran ID Card; The House is expected to consider legislation that will provide our veterans with their very own ID card. Being an exclusive benefit to our veterans, the ID card would indicate which branch of service the veteran served and would be a valuable identification tool for law enforcement officers, medical personnel, social service outreach workers, and other departments that assist veterans obtaining state and federal benefits.

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