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Legislative Notes

5/30/18 Update

FEDERAL

 

 

2017-18 Bills

 

The Senate on passed the VA MISSION Act H.R.5674.  This legislation, in broad terms, consolidates the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) community care programs into a single system ruled by clinical and care quality decisions, increases education on veterans’ issues for private sector providers, and expands the family caregiver support program to veterans of all eras.

 

The House this month passed HR 4245, which imposes stringent oversight over the VA contract with Cerner for a new electronic health record (EHR) system.

 

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

The House completed its work on the NDAA, addressing over 250 amendments during a three-day debate and consideration period. The full House passed the bill (H.R. 5515) with a vote of 351 to 66, marking the 58th consecutive year the NDAA has been completed.

 

FY19 Budget Update

The Administration submitted revisions to its FY19 budget request in accord with the spending cap agreement reached by Congress as part of the FY18 omnibus. The revisions increased defense spending to the new cap by moving $20 billion from overseas contingency operations (OCO) accounts to the base budget. (OCO spending does not count against spending caps.) Thus, while the base budget increased to the $647 billion level Congress wants, overall defense spending would not increase.

 

Medical marijuana

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee held legislative hearings on several health-related measures. One bill calls upon the VA to move forward on conducting scientific research on the medical benefits of marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress (PTS) and other conditions affecting veterans. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) appropriations hearing discussed the possibility of creating a process that eases research access to all Schedule 1 drugs and compounds.

 

 

 

Active Bills Since Last Report

 

 

DUE TO THE INCREASED NUMBER OF BILLS IN THE LEGISLATIVE REPORT LIST,  I HAVE MODIFIED THE FORMAT TO ONLY INCLUDE THOSE BILLS THAT HAVE  BEEN ACTIVE SINCE THE LAST REPORT

 

 H.R.299 —Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017. Latest Action: House - 05/18/2018 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 523.

H.R.1900 National Veterans Memorial and Museum Act. Latest Action: Senate - 05/23/2018 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 432.

 H.R.1972 —VA Billing AccountabilityAct. Latest Action: Senate - 05/22/2018 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

 H.R.2147 —Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act of 2018.  Latest Action: House - 05/18/2018 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 525.

H.R.2648 —Veterans Transition Improvement Act. Latest Action: House - 05/23/2018 Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by Voice Vote.

H.R.3562 —To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to furnish assistance for adaptations of residences of veterans in rehabilitation programs under chapter 31 of such title, and for other purposes. Latest Action: Passed Both Houses; 05/21/2018 Presented to President.

 H.R.3642 —Military SAVE Act.  Latest Action: Senate - 05/22/2018 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

 H.R.3832 —Veterans Opioid Abuse Prevention Act.  Latest Action: Senate - 05/22/2018 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

 H.R.4245 —Veterans' Electronic Health Record Modernization Oversight Act of 2018. Latest Action: Passed the House; Senate - 05/22/2018 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

H.R.4334 —Improving Oversight of Women Veterans' Care Act of 2018.  Latest Action: Senate - 05/22/2018 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

H.R.4335 Servicemember Family Burial Act. Latest Action: Senate - 05/08/2018 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

H.R.4451 —Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act of 2018. Latest Action: Senate - 05/22/2018 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

 H.R.4635 —To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase the number of peer-to-peer counselors providing counseling for women veterans, and for other purposes. Latest Action: House - 05/18/2018 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 530.

H.R.4910 Veterans Cemetery Benefit Correction Act. To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide outer burial receptacles for remains buried in National Parks.  Latest Action: House – 05/07/18 Passed the House;  05/24/18 Passed the Senate

 

H.R.4958 —Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2018.  Latest Action: Passed the House; Senate - 05/22/2018 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

 

 

 H.R.5515 —National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. Latest Action: House - 05/24/2018 The Clerk was authorized to correct section numbers, punctuation, and cross references, and to make other necessary technical and conforming corrections in the engrossment of H.R. 5515.

H.R.5520 VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018.  Latest Action: House - 05/18/2018 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 533.

H.R.5674 —VA MISSION Act of 2018 Latest Action: House - 05/23/2018 Passed the House.

H.R.5693 —Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act. Latest Action: House - 05/07/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

H.R.5938 —To amend the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a vacancy and recruitment database to facilitate the recruitment of certain members of the Armed Forces to satisfy the occupational needs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to establish and implement a training and certification program for intermediate care technicians in that Department, and for other purposes. Latest Action: House - 05/23/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

H.R.5951 —To establish the Veterans Crisis Response Corps, and for other purposes.  Latest Action: House - 05/23/2018 Referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Foreign Affairs, and Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions.

H.R.5966 To improve the provision of health care for women veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. Latest Action: House - 05/24/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

 

H.R.5974 VA COST SAVINGS Enhancements Act.  Latest Action: House - 05/25/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

 

H.R.5981 To amend title 44, United States Code, to prohibit the Archivist from charging certain fees to veterans for destroyed records regarding such veterans, and for other purposes.  Latest Action: House - 05/25/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 

 

H.R.5986 —To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a pilot program on posttraumatic growth, and for other purposes.  Latest Action: House - 05/29/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. 

 

S.2372 Veterans Cemetery Benefit Correction Act. his bill requires the Department of the Interior to provide outer burial receptacles for veterans remains buried in open cemeteries administered by the National Park Service. Interior may also provide reimbursement for outer burial receptacles other than grave liners. Latest Action: 05/23/18 Passed the Senate.

S.2906 —VA MISSION Act of 2018. Latest Action: Senate - 05/22/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

S.Res.522 —A resolution designating the week of September 23 through September 29, 2018 as "Gold Star Families Remembrance Week".  Latest Action: Senate - 05/24/2018 Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

 

 

For any Federal Bill Details go to:

Library of Congress - https://www.congress.gov/search?q=%7B%22congress%22%3A%22114%22%2C%22source%22%3A%22legislation%22%2C%22search%22%3A%22sjr21%22%7D

 AL Legislative Center:  http://capwiz.com/legion/issues/bills/?bill=66103631

 

NEW JERSEY

 

 

2018-2019 Bills

 

 

Active Bills Since Last Report

 

 

A1277 Requires hospitals and homeless shelters to provide information on services and resources to individuals who are homeless or military Veterans. Latest Action: 5/24/18 Passed the Assembly, 5/31/2018 Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee

 

A3841/S2447 Requires landlords to count federal military service member and veteran housing allowances as income for purposes of qualifying for rental housing; designated as Securing Electronic Records for Veterans Ease Act.  Latest Action: 4/12/2018 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee; Senate: 5/14/2018 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading

 

A3935/S2375 Provides civil service preference to all veterans. Latest Action: 5/10/2018 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee

 

A4018/S2525 Creates civil service preference for peacetime veterans.  Latest Action: 5/24/2018 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

 

A4022 Directs Adjutant General to enter into agreements with legal services organizations to provide legal services to homeless veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness.  Latest Action: 5/24/2018 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

 

A4089/S2607 Authorizes grants to purchase and rehabilitate abandoned homes for homeless veterans.

Latest Action: Assembly, Nothing yet available; Senate 4/5/2018 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

 

A2162/S2450   Allows person on police officer or firefighter eligible list who is unable to complete requirements for employment due to certain military service to have name placed on subsequent eligible list. Latest Action: 5/24/2018  Passed Assembly,  5/31/2018  Received In Senate Referred To Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

 

A3162/S1570 Creates certain assistance programs for businesses owned by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender persons, by persons with a disability, and by veterans. Latest Action: 5/24/2018 Passed by the Assembly, S1570; 3/5/2018 Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading

 

A3883/S2610 Revises provisions of State law concerning claiming and proper disposal of cremains of veterans and eligible spouses or dependents. Latest Action: 5/7/2018 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Veterans' Affairs Committee; Senate: 5/21/2018 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

 

A4093/S1480 Establishes annual grant program to recognize public institutions of higher education that offer comprehensive array of Veteran programs and services. Latest Action: S1480, 4/12/2018 Passed by the Senate; Assembly: 5/7/2018 Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

 

ACR56/SCR99 Proposes constitutional amendment authorizing Legislature to extend civil service hiring preference to Veterans who did not serve in time of war. Latest Action: 1/9/2018 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee: Senate; 5/14/2018 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading

 

AR163/SR80 Urges United States Congress to pass legislation to automatically enroll veterans for benefits they are entitled to in United States Department of Veterans Affairs system. Latest Action: 5/24/2018 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

 

S129 Bill excludes from gross income taxation military compensation for personnel serving outside of State and combat zone compensation.  Latest Action: 4/12/2018  Passed Senate; Assembly:5/7/2018 Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee

S1640 Creates civil service preference for peacetime veterans.  Latest Action: 5/14/2018 Reported from Senate Committee as a Substitute, 2nd Reading and 5/14/2018 Reported from Senate Committee as a Substitute, 2nd Reading

 

 

 

 

For Details of NJ Legislative bills go to “NJ Legislature” :http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/Default.asp

 

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