Thursday, December 12, 2019
   
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PWVC LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE

 

Chairman
Bob Gray (MOAA)


Members

        John Pliska (AMVETS)

       Sam Petrovich (DAV)

                                            Philip Arnold (MOPH)                                     

       William Whitmoyer (TAL)

       Anthony Jorgensen (TAL)

      John Getz (VFW)

      Chuck Jackson (VFW)

       Richard Hudzinski (VVA)

 

ISSUES TO BE ACTIVELY PURSUED IN THE 2019-2020 LEGISLATIVE CYCLE

  • Obtain legislative changes to 51 Pa. C.S. Chapter 17 which clarify the role of the State Veterans’ Commission for the purpose of improving its effectiveness in performing its intended purpose as an independent advisory board with some regulatory functions.
  • Increase the current level of funding for Act 66 Outreach programs by $500,000 and improve the coordination and management of the program.
  • Increase the awareness in state government of the importance of Veterans Transportation Network; and the need to increase its funding and management.
  • Support legislative efforts which (1) expands accessibility to Veterans Treatment Courts; and (2) which allow sentenced veterans to apply for a post-conviction review of their sentences if Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) were incurred while serving their country; and (3) supplements the Veterans Treatment Court movement by adding the requirement that every County District Court of Common Pleas take positive steps to identify all veterans appearing before them and to perform a professionally-done pre-sentencing assessment for PTSD and TBI.

OTHER ISSUES/POSITIONS

• Support an independent, outside of government, comprehensive study on how to best achieve long-term care for veterans in need of state assistance, which also does not eliminate the need for state veterans homes.

• Preserve without change or modification the Commonwealth’s law concerning small dollar loans (aka Pay Day loans) which is in conformance with federal law concerning such loans to service personnel.

• In the face of the current opioid epidemic, support and encourage those measures which ensure our veterans have access to state drug and alcohol programs when and where needed; and are not excluded because of the mistaken belief that all veterans have access to or want VA healthcare.

• Investigate any proposed real estate tax exemption bills and come to a final position.