Legislative Issues

Summary of 2016 Initiatives / POC: Bill Ashton / email: [email protected]

JLC 2016 Initiative Summary, July 15, 2015

  • The JLC adopted eight initiatives for consideration by the Governor and General Assembly for the 2016 session.  Position papers for each initiative may be found below.

    JLC 2016-01

  • RECOMMENDATION:  That the Governor and General Assembly continue state support for the Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia veterans care center construction projects by appropriating additional state funding to complete the construction of both centers.
  • JLC 2016-02 RECOMMENDATION:  That the Governor and General Assembly support funds to provide continued improvement to training, services, compensation, facilities, and equipment for DVS Benefits Services’ staff in the FY17/18budget.
  • JLC 2016-03 Recommendation:  That the Governor and General Assembly support increased funding for Virginia Veterans and Family Support services as a priority in the development and approval of the FY17-18 budget.
  • JLC 2016-04 Recommendation:  That  the  Governor  and  General  Assembly  authorize  three additional  positions for  the Virginia  War Memorial  in the FY17/18 budget and appropriate the necessary funding for these positions and other requirements.
  • JLC 2016-05 RECOMMENDATION:  That the Governor and the General Assembly change the eligibility for in-state tuition to include all members of the Virginia National Guard and the Reserve components, thus recognizing their service to the Commonwealth and treating them equality to the active components and veterans.
  • JLC-2016-06 RECOMMENDATION:  That the Governor and General Assembly increase the state income tax subtraction level for members of the Virginia National Guard from $3,000 to $5,000 per year.
  • JLC 2016-07 RECOMMENDATION:  That the Governor and General Assembly:

    A.) Remove the requirement that a veteran’s disability rating be combat related. Instead, a permanent disability rating of at least 90%, plus satisfaction of the other requirements currently in the Code, would qualify a veteran’s spouse or child for VMSDEP benefits, and

    B.) Evaluate whether funding from other programs above could potentially offset the increased cost to the VMSDEP.

  • JLC 2016-08 RECOMMENDATION:  That the Governor and General Assembly promote development, approval, and budgeting of secure procedures to permit the electronic return of absentee ballot by overseas uniformed military voters.

To learn more about each bill or budget amendment request, click the hyperlink and visit the Legislative Information System LIS: http://lis.virginia.gov/

DVS List of Military and Veterans Bills – 2/13/15
Bill Number Summary (from LIS)
HB 1275 – Cox – Hampton Roads Veterans Care Center project. Hampton Roads Veterans Care Center project. Provides for funding of the Hampton Roads Veterans Care Center project through an allocation of the proceeds of $300 million of Virginia Public Building Authority bonds, which were authorized pursuant to Chapter 1 of the Acts of Assembly of 2014, Special Session I. The bill provides that none of the proceeds of the $300 million of authorized bonds may be used for any purpose until the state share of the funding requirements of the Hampton Roads Veterans Care Center project and the Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center project have been met in full through an allocation of the proceeds of such bonds. The bill also appropriates $60.7 million in federal funds to the project.
HB 1276 – Cox – Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center; funding of project. Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center project. Provides for funding of the Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center project through an allocation of the proceeds of $300 million of Virginia Public Building Authority bonds, which were authorized pursuant to Chapter 1 of the Acts of Assembly of 2014, Special Session I. The bill provides that none of the proceeds of the $300 million of authorized bonds may be used for any purpose until the state share of the funding requirements of the Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center project and the Hampton Roads Veterans Care Center project have been met in full through an allocation of the proceeds of such bonds. The bill also appropriates $60 million in federal funds to the project. The Care Center is authorized up to a 230 bed facility.
HB 1374 – Tyler – License plates, special; issuance for veterans who are receiving ongoing disability pensions. Special license plates; disabled veterans. Permits all veterans who are receiving ongoing disability pensions to be issued disabled veteran license plates.
HB 1451 – Miller – Landlord and tenant laws; notice to terminate tenancy. Landlord and tenant laws. Provides that in cases of a change in use, the 120-day termination notice shall not be waived, except in the case of a tenancy from month to month, which may be terminated by the landlord by giving the tenant 30 days’ written notice prior to the next rent due date of the landlord’s intention to terminate the tenancy. The bill, among other things, (i) allows an owner, manager, or operator of a commercial or residential building or campground to include water, sewer, electrical, natural gas, or other utilities in the amount of rent or additional rent as specified in the rental agreement or lease; (ii) prohibits a landlord from photocopying a U.S. government-issued identification under certain circumstances; (iii) allows a landlord to offer a tenant a rental agreement that includes payment of prepaid rent by the tenant if the tenant does not otherwise meet the financial qualifications to be a tenant for the dwelling unit; and (iv) allows a landlord or managing agent to enter into an agreement with a third-party service provider to maintain tenant records in electronic form or other medium. In such case, the landlord and managing agent shall not be liable in the event of a breach of the electronic data of such third-party service provider, except in the case of gross negligence or intentional act. The bill also provides that nothing shall be construed to require a landlord or managing agent to indemnify such third-party service provider. The bill also provides that the landlord and tenant may enter into a written waiver of certain rights of a service member as accordance with § 517 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Such written waiver may include (i) a requirement that the rent be paid by allotment in accordance with § 531 (d) of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, (ii) a waiver of the 90-day stay in accordance with § 531 (b) of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or (iii) a requirement that the tenant service member comply with the early termination of the rental agreement provisions of the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. The bill contains technical amendments.
HB 1523 – Byron – Workforce Development Virginia Board of; qualification for services related to WIA. Virginia Board of Workforce Development; qualification for services related to the Workforce Investment Act. Provides that for the purposes of implementing the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), income from service in the Virginia National Guard shall not disqualify unemployed service members from WIA-related services. The bill contains a technical amendment.
HB 1577 – Watts – Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program created. Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program. Creates the Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program (Program) to be administered by the Department of Veterans Services to provide grants to businesses certified by the Department as participants in the Department’s program to create employment opportunities for veterans by assisting employers in hiring and retaining veterans. The bill sets out the criteria for the award of grants and requires the Department to establish a certification process for participating employers with the objective of setting measurable goals for hiring and retaining veterans.
HB 1589 – Krupicka – Personal property; tax relief on certain motor vehicles leased by members of the military. Personal property tax relief; certain motor vehicles. Requires each locality receiving personal property tax reimbursement from the Commonwealth to ensure that the reimbursement covers all of the tax attributable to the first $20,000 of value on each qualifying vehicle leased by an active duty member of the United States military, his spouse, or both, pursuant to a contract requiring the active duty member to pay the tangible personal property tax on such vehicle, if the vehicle would not be taxed in Virginia if it were owned.
HB 1597 – Anderson – Virginia National Guard; nonjudicial punishment. Virginia National Guard; nonjudicial punishment. Subjects servicemembers of the Virginia National Guard to nonjudicial punishment pursuant to the Manual for Courts-Martial. The bill provides that when nonjudicial punishment is to be imposed by a commanding officer of the rank of major or above, service members shall not be allowed to demand trial by court-martial in lieu of nonjudicial punishment; however, servicemembers shall retain all appeal rights available, and the appeal shall include a review for abuse of discretion and legal sufficiency of the evidence.
HB 1630 – Lingamfelter – Problem-Solving Courts; established. Problem-Solving Courts; established. Establishes the Problem-Solving Court Act(the Act). The bill allows the establishment of problem-solving courts as specialized court dockets within the existing structure of Virginia’s court system, offering judicial monitoring of intensive treatment and supervision of offenders who have special conditions and needs based on military service, mental illness, or societal re-entry. The bill establishes a state problem-solving court docket advisory committee and requires localities intending to establish such courts to establish local advisory committees. The Supreme Court of Virginia is given administrative oversight for the implementation of the Act. The Act is modeled on the Drug Treatment Court Act (§ 18.2-254.1).
HB 1641 – Stolle – Virginia Values Veterans Program; Governor to require certification of state agencies. Virginia Values Veterans Program; certification by state agencies. Requires the Governor to ensure that every agency, institution, board, bureau, commission, council, or instrumentality of state government in the executive branch is certified by the Department of Veterans Services as part of its Virginia Values Veterans Program.
HB 1721 – Ramadan – Real property tax; exemption for surviving spouses of members of armed forces killed in action. Real property tax exemption; surviving spouses of members of armed forces killed in action. Exempts from taxation the principal residence of a surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States killed in action regardless of the value of the residence. Pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 6-A of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia, which was adopted by the voters in 2014, the General Assembly enacted legislation exempting from taxation the principal residence of such surviving spouse, provided that the assessed value of the residence was not in excess of the averaged assessed value of dwellings in the county or city situated on property zoned as single family residential. The bill exempts the principal residence of any such surviving spouse regardless of assessed value. Subdivision (b) of Section 6-A of Article X provides that the exemption will cease if the surviving spouse remarries.
HB 1805 – Lindsey – Veteran Entrepreneurship Grant Fund and Program; created. Veteran Entrepreneurship Grant Fund and Program. Creates the Veteran Entrepreneurship Grant Fund and Program to be administered by the Department of Veterans Services and sets out the requirements for applying for grants from the Fund and the award of grants by the Department. The bill provides that records related to the Fund and Program are exempt from mandatory disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2018, and contains a technical amendment.
HB 1837 – Robinson – Virginia National Guard anthem; designating The National Guard March as official anthem. Emblems of the Commonwealth; Virginia National Guard anthem. Designates “The National Guard March” by Howard E. Miller as the official Virginia National Guard anthem.
HB 1856 – Adams – License plates, special; removes existing requirement for armed forces plates. Special license plates for the armed forces. Removes the requirement that existing armed forces special license plates must have 200 active sets of plates; this applies to the Marine Corps, Army, and Coast Guard special license plates and for the veterans of the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign special license plate.
HB 1910 – Lopez – Virginia Fair Housing Law; discrimination against veterans receiving financial assistance. Virginia Fair Housing Law; unlawful discriminatory practice; veterans; veterans receiving financial assistance. Provides that discrimination in the provision of housing based on status as a veteran or a veteran’s use of financial assistance is an unlawful discriminatory practice. The bill defines veteran and veteran’s financial assistance.
HB 1967 – Taylor – Veterans Services Foundation; acceptance of revenue from all sources to support its mission. Veterans Services Foundation. Provides that the Veterans Services Foundation may accept revenue from all sources, including private source fundraising, to support its mission. The bill also provides that the identity of donors to the Foundation does not have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act if the donor has requested anonymity in connection with or as a condition of making a pledge or donation.
HB 2001 – Torian – Virginia Public Building Authority; Military Mission Improvement and Expansion projects. Virginia Public Building Authority; Military Mission Improvement and Expansion projects. Authorizes the Virginia Public Building Authority to finance or assist in the financing of certain activities connected with Military Mission Improvement and Expansion projects (MMIE projects). An MMIE project is defined as a project or projects recommended by the Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities and approved by the Governor that are designed to improve, expand, develop, or redevelop a federal or state military installation or to enhance such installation’s military value.
HB 2018 – BaCote – Board of Veterans Services; membership. Board of Veterans Services; membership. Increases from 11 to 14 the number of nonlegislative citizen members on the Board of Veterans Services, thereby increasing the total membership of the Board from 19 to 22. The bill contains a technical amendment.
HB 2057 – Sickles – Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act; efficiencies reforms. Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act; efficiencies reforms. Makes several changes to the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act (UMOVA) and other Code sections relating to absentee voting by those voters covered under UMOVA. The bill requires the Department of Elections to make available at least 100 days prior to a regularly scheduled election information about the election to be used with the federal write-in absentee ballot and to provide a copy of such information to any UMOVA voter who requests it. Currently, this is a local responsibility. The bill also permits localities to use paper ballots for UMOVA voters who are eligible to vote only in federal elections. Localities are also permitted to obtain other evidence of mailing, rather than purchasing a certificate of mailing, when mailing absentee ballots to UMOVA voters. The section providing for an early absentee ballot for statewide offices is repealed, as it was rendered obsolete by 2011 legislation that expanded the use of federal write-in absentee ballots to all elections. This bill also contains technical amendments to reflect the administrative reorganization of the Department of Elections that took effect July 1, 2014.
HB 2110 – Futrell – Scholarships for military dependents, spouses, and surviving spouses. Scholarships for military dependents, spouses, and surviving spouses. Establishes the Dependent Student, Spouse and Surviving Spouse, and Spouse of Disabled Veteran Scholarship Programs and permits the Virginia Department of Veterans Services to award renewable scholarships for the full amount of tuition, fees, and books to each dependent or non-dependent student who meets certain criteria and whose parent or spouse, while serving in active duty during military operations, died, disappeared, was imprisoned, or became disabled under certain circumstances.
HB 2121 – Mason – In-state tuition; members of the Virginia National Guard. In-state tuition; members of the Virginia National Guard. Provides that any member of the Virginia National Guard residing in Virginia shall be eligible for in-state tuition at a public institution of higher education.
HB 2122 – Mason – Higher educational institutions; in-state tuition for certain students. Higher education; in-state tuition. Requires a public institution of higher education to grant a student in-state tuition if participation in a federal educational assistance program is conditioned on such student receiving in-state tuition.
HB 2132 – Mason – State Board for Community Colleges; policy for the award of academic credit for military training. State Board for Community Colleges; policy for the award of academic credit for military training. Requires the State Board for Community Colleges to adopt, no later than December 31, 2015, a policy for the award of academic credit to any student enrolled at a comprehensive community college who has successfully completed a military training course or program as part of his military service that is applicable to the student’s certificate of degree requirements and is recommended for academic credit by a national higher education association that provides academic credit recommendations for military training courses or programs, noted on the student’s military transcript issued by any of the armed forces of the United States, or otherwise documented in writing by any of the armed forces of the United States.
HB 2133 – Mason – Department of Veterans Services; programs to create employment opportunities for veterans. Department of Veterans Services; programs to create employment opportunities for veterans and assist transitioning veterans. Clarifies the mission of the Department of Veterans Services employment services program by changing the focus of services from reducing unemployment among veterans to creating employment opportunities for veterans. The bill also provides for the Department to establish a program to assist transitioning veterans in connecting with employment, education, entrepreneurial, and support services and sets forth eligibility for the program.
HB 2191 – Hope – Payday loan offices/motor vehicle title loan offices; distance from casino or military installation. Payday loan offices and motor vehicle title loan offices; distance from casino facility or military installation. Prohibits the State Corporation Commission (SCC) from issuing a license for the operation of a payday lending office or motor vehicle title lending office if such office is within 10 miles of a casino facility or military installation. Casino facilities include Indian gaming operations conducted pursuant to the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The measure includes limitations on the SCC’s authority to revoke or suspend an existing license when a violation of the 10-mile provision exists on July 1, 2015, or when a violation would be created by the opening of a casino facility or military installation after a license was issued. However, if such a licensed lending location is within 10 miles of an existing or future casino facility or military installation, the annual percentage rate that may be charged on loans made from such location is 36 percent.
HB 2259 – Lindsey – Veteran Entrepreneurship Grant Fund and Program, created. Veteran Entrepreneurship Grant Fund and Program. Creates the Veteran Entrepreneurship Grant Fund and Program to be administered by the Department of Veterans Services and sets out the requirements for applying for grants from the Fund and the award of grants by the Department. The bill provides that records related to the Veteran Entrepreneurship Grant Fund and Program are exempt from mandatory disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The bill provides that the Veteran Entrepreneurship Grant Fund and Program shall expire on July 1, 2018. The bill contains a technical amendment.
HB 2305 – Filler-Corn – Community services boards and behavioral health authorities; coordination of services for veterans. Community services boards and behavioral health authorities; coordination of services for veterans. Requires community services boards and behavioral health authorities to designate a member of staff to coordinate the delivery of mental health services, including crisis services, to veterans in cooperation with the Department of Veterans Services, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and hospitals, centers, and other facilities or installations of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
HB 2346 – Villanueva – Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program; eligibility. Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program; eligibility. Extends the benefits of the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program to the spouse or child of a veteran with at least a 90 percent permanent, service-related disability. Under current law, the spouse or child would be eligible for benefits only if the veteran’s disability was incurred during military operations against terrorism, on a peacekeeping mission, as a result of a terrorist act, or in any armed conflict. The provisions of the bill are contingent on funding in a 2015 general appropriation act.
HB 2354 – Yancey – State Board for Community Colleges; policy for the award of academic credit for military training. State Board for Community Colleges; policy for the award of academic credit for military training. Requires the State Board for Community Colleges to adopt, no later than December 31, 2015, a policy for the award of academic credit to any student enrolled at a comprehensive community college who has successfully completed a military training course or program as part of his military service that is applicable to the student’s certificate of degree requirements and is recommended for academic credit by a national higher education association that provides academic credit recommendations for military training courses or programs, noted on the student’s military transcript issued by any of the armed forces of the United States, or otherwise documented in writing by any of the armed forces of the United States.
HB 2373 – Ramadan – Uniformed services-connected students; identification. Uniformed services-connected students; identification. Requires the Department of Education to establish a process for the identification by local school divisions of newly enrolled students who have a parent in the uniformed services. Local school divisions are required to identify such students in accordance with the process. Nonidentifiable, aggregate data collected from the identification of such students shall be made available to local, state, and federal entities for the purposes of enhancing the funding and quality of services provided to serve the unique needs of uniformed services-connected students residing in the Commonwealth.
HB 2397 – Taylor – Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act; efficiencies reforms Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act; efficiencies reforms. Makes several changes to the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act (UMOVA) and other Code sections relating to absentee voting by those voters covered under UMOVA. The bill requires the Department of Elections to make available at least 100 days prior to a regularly scheduled election information about the election to be used with the federal write-in absentee ballot and to provide a copy of such information to any UMOVA voter who requests it. Currently, this is a local responsibility. The bill also permits localities to use paper ballots for UMOVA voters who are eligible to vote only in federal elections. Localities are also permitted to obtain other evidence of mailing, rather than purchasing a certificate of mailing, when mailing absentee ballots to UMOVA voters. The section providing for an early absentee ballot for statewide offices is repealed, as it was rendered obsolete by 2011 legislation that expanded the use of federal write-in absentee ballots to all elections. This bill also contains technical amendments to reflect the administrative reorganization of the Department of Elections that took effect July 1, 2014.
HJ 536 – Lingamfelter – Constitutional amendment; Lottery Proceeds Fund. Constitutional amendment (first resolution); Lottery Proceeds Fund. Allows lottery proceeds to be appropriated from the Lottery Proceeds Fund to public institutions of higher education for purposes of providing education and employment training for veterans who have been honorably discharged from an active or reserve component of the United States armed forces or the Virginia National Guard and who are domiciled in the Commonwealth.
HJ 557 – O’Bannon – Veterans Services, Department of; JLARC to study. Study; JLARC to study Department of Veterans Services; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the Department of Veterans Services, including, among other things, the review of programs administered by the Department’s agencies and other issues related to the provision of services to veterans.
HJ 733 – McClellan – Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II
SB 675 – Puller – Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center; funding of project. Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center project. Provides for funding of the Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center project through an allocation of the proceeds of bonds to be identified and authorized by a separate act of the 2015 General Assembly. The bill also appropriates $63 million in federal funds to the project.
SB 676 – Puller/Lucas – Hampton Roads Veterans Care Center project. Hampton Roads Veterans Care Center project. Provides for funding of the Hampton Roads Veterans Care Center project through an allocation of the proceeds of bonds to be identified by and authorized by a separate act of the 2015 General Assembly. The bill also appropriates $60.7 million in federal funds to the project.
SB 690 – Black – Chaplains of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force; sermons. Chaplains of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force; sermons. Prohibits censorship by state government officials or agencies of the religious content of sermons in services of worship made by chaplains of the Virginia National Guard while in Title 32 or State Active Duty status or of the Virginia Defense Force, so long as such content does not urge disobedience of lawful orders.
SB 838 – Alexander – State resident licenses; dependents of members of armed forces. State resident licenses; military dependents. Extends the entitlement to obtain a state resident license to hunt, trap, or fish to the dependents of members of the armed forces. Current law entitles members of the armed forces to obtain such a license.
SB 873 – Cosgrove – Virginia Veterans Recovery Program; created, report. Virginia Veterans Recovery Program. Creates the Virginia Veterans Recovery Program for the purpose of providing diagnostic services, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, and support services to eligible veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury. The program reimburses eligible facilities that provide hyperbaric oxygen treatment to an eligible veteran at no cost to the veteran and reimburses the eligible veteran for any necessary travel and living expenses required to receive treatment.
SB 903 – Puller/Reeves – Problem-Solving Dockets; established report. Problem-Solving Dockets; established. Establishes the Problem-Solving Docket Act (the Act). The bill allows the establishment of problem-solving courts as specialized court dockets within the existing structure of Virginia’s court system, offering judicial monitoring of intensive treatment and supervision of offenders who have special conditions and needs based on military service, mental illness, or societal re-entry. The bill establishes a state problem-solving docket advisory committee and requires localities intending to establish such dockets to establish local advisory committees. The Supreme Court of Virginia is given administrative oversight for the implementation of the Act. The Act is modeled on the Drug Treatment Court Act (§ 18.2-254.1).
SB 930 – Howell – Virginia Military Family Relief Fund; benefits for state active duty missions. Virginia Military Family Relief Fund; benefits for state active duty missions. Allows members of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia residents who are members of the reserves of the United States Armed Forces to receive benefits from the Virginia Military Family Relief Fund for missions in support of Virginia civil authorities for periods in excess of 30 days.
SB 931 – Lewis – Veterans identification card; definition of veteran. Veterans identification card; definition of veteran. Defines “veteran” for the purposes of issuance of a veterans identification card as a Virginia resident who has served honorably in the United States armed forces, reserves, or Virginia National Guard.
SB 950 – Lewis/Puller – Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program. Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program. Creates the Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program (Program) to be administered by the Department of Veterans Services to provide grants to businesses certified by the Department as participants in the Department’s program to create employment opportunities for veterans by assisting employers in hiring and retaining veterans. The bill sets out the criteria for the award of grants and requires the Department to establish a certification process for participating employers with the objective of setting measurable goals for hiring and retaining veterans.
SB 962 – Lewis – Virginia Military Advisory Council (VMAC); reduces membership. Virginia Military Advisory Council (VMAC); membership. Reduces the number of members of the Virginia Military Advisory Council from 27 to 10. The bill eliminates the 17 members who represent the major military commands and installations located in Virginia from the VMAC and instead requires the Governor to invite these representatives to represent their command or installation at the VMAC meetings. The bill further requires that funding for the costs of compensation and expenses of the VMAC members be provided by the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs. The bill contains technical amendments.
SB 979 – Ruff – License plates, special; issuance for recipients of Legion of Merit Medal. Special license plates; recipients of Legion of Merit Medal. Authorizes the issuance of special license plates for recipients of the Legion of Merit Medal.
SB 992 – Dance – Community Colleges, State Board for; policy for award of academic credit for military training. State Board for Community Colleges; policy for the award of academic credit for military training. Requires the State Board for Community Colleges to adopt, no later than December 31, 2015, a policy for the award of academic credit to any student enrolled at a comprehensive community college who has successfully completed a military training course or program as part of his military service that is applicable to the student’s certificate of degree requirements and is recommended for academic credit by a national higher education association that provides academic credit recommendations for military training courses or programs, noted on the student’s military transcript issued by any of the armed forces of the United States, or otherwise documented in writing by any of the armed forces of the United States.
SB 1013 – Locke – Virginia Public Building Authority; Military Mission Improvement and Expansion projects. Virginia Public Building Authority; Military Mission Improvement and Expansion projects. Authorizes the Virginia Public Building Authority to finance or assist in the financing of certain activities connected with Military Mission Improvement and Expansion projects (MMIE projects). An MMIE project is defined as a project or projects recommended by the Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities and approved by the Governor that are designed to improve, expand, develop, or redevelop a federal or state military installation or to enhance such installation’s military value.
SB 1036 – Hanger – Dependents of active duty military; DMAS to amend waiver eligibility criteria. DMAS; waiver eligibility criteria; dependents of active duty military. Directs the Department of Medical Assistance Services to amend eligibility criteria for the Intellectual Disability waiver and the Individual and Family Developmental Disabilities Support waiver to allow the dependent of an active duty military member to maintain his position on the waiting list following a transfer of the active duty military member to an assignment outside of the Commonwealth, so long as the active duty military member maintains the Commonwealth as his legal residence to which he intends to return following completion of military service. In cases in which the dependent becomes eligible for services through the Intellectual Disability waiver or Individual and Family Developmental Disabilities Support waiver prior to returning to the Commonwealth, the individual shall remain on the waiting list for services and shall be eligible for the next waiver slot to become available upon his return to the Commonwealth.
SB 1088 – Vogel – Hospitals; admission of patients. Hospitals; admission of patients. Requires hospitals to ask each patient prior to admission whether he is a veteran.
SB 1106 – Alexander – Veterans; unclaimed cremains. Unclaimed cremains of veterans; eligible dependents; veterans service organizations. Authorizes a funeral director to notify a veterans service organization as an alternative to notifying the Department of Veterans Services (Department) when cremains remain unclaimed. The bill also requires the Department or a veterans service organization, in addition to determining if unclaimed cremains are those of a veteran as provided under current law, to determine if unclaimed cremains are those of a veteran’s eligible dependent. The bill also authorizes a funeral director to transfer the cremains of an eligible veteran or his eligible dependent to a veterans service organization or the Department for the purpose of disposition of such cremains and provides that absent bad faith or malicious intent no funeral director or veterans service organization is liable for civil negligence for actions permitted under the law. The bill also changes from 30 days to 45 days the time in which the Department or veterans service organization is required to notify the funeral director if the cremains are those of a veteran or eligible dependent. The bill makes technical changes.
SB 1280 – Reeves/Barker – Certificate of public need; conditions. Certificate of public need; conditions. Authorizes the State Health Commissioner to condition the approval of a certificate of public need upon an agreement of the applicant to support charitable organizations specifically concerned with the provision of health care services to disabled veterans and that have a memorandum of understanding with the State Department of Health to meet specific unmet or partially unmet community health needs identified by the Department. The bill contains a technical amendment.
SB 1295 – Barker – Chaplains of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force; sermons. Chaplains of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force; sermons. Prohibits censorship by state government officials or agencies of the religious content of sermons and other speeches made within religious services by chaplains of the Virginia National Guard while in Title 32 or State Active Duty status or of the Virginia Defense Force, so long as such content does not urge disobedience of lawful orders and members of the National Guard or Defense Force are not required to attend the service or event.
SB 1321 – Stosch – Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program. Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program. Creates the Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program (Program) to be administered by the Department of Veterans Services to provide grants to businesses certified by the Department as participants in the Department’s program to create employment opportunities for veterans by assisting employers in hiring and retaining veterans. The bill sets out the criteria for the award of grants and requires the Department to establish a certification process for participating employers with the objective of setting measurable goals for hiring and retaining veterans.
SB 1322 – Stosch – State Board for Community Colleges; policy for the award of academic credit for military training. State Board for Community Colleges; policy for the award of academic credit for military training. Requires the State Board for Community Colleges to adopt, no later than December 31, 2015, a policy for the award of academic credit to any student enrolled at a comprehensive community college who has successfully completed a military training course or program as part of his military service that is applicable to the student’s certificate of degree requirements and is recommended for academic credit by a national higher education association that provides academic credit recommendations for military training courses or programs, noted on the student’s military transcript issued by any of the armed forces of the United States, or otherwise documented in writing by any of the armed forces of the United States.
SB 1327 – Reeves – Higher education; in-state tuition. Higher education; in-state tuition. Requires a public institution of higher education to grant a student in-state tuition if participation in a federal educational assistance program is conditioned on such student receiving in-state tuition
SB 1335 – Cosgrove – State Board for Community Colleges; policy for the award of academic credit for military training. State Board for Community Colleges; policy for the award of academic credit for military training. Requires the State Board for Community Colleges to adopt, no later than December 31, 2015, a policy for the award of academic credit to any student enrolled at a comprehensive community college who has successfully completed a military training course or program as part of his military service that is applicable to the student’s certificate of degree requirements and is recommended for academic credit by a national higher education association that provides academic credit recommendations for military training courses or programs, noted on the student’s military transcript issued by any of the armed forces of the United States, or otherwise documented in writing by any of the armed forces of the United States.
SB 1346 – Martin/Reeves – Virginia Public Building Authority; Military Mission Improvement and Expansion projects. Virginia Public Building Authority; Military Mission Improvement and Expansion projects. Authorizes the Virginia Public Building Authority to finance or assist in the financing of certain activities connected with Military Mission Improvement and Expansion projects (MMIE projects). An MMIE project is defined as a project or projects recommended by the Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities and approved by the Governor that are designed to improve, expand, develop, or redevelop a federal or state military installation or to enhance such installation’s military value.
SB 1347 – Miller – Uniformed services-connected students; identification. Uniformed services-connected students; identification. Requires the Department of Education to establish a process for the identification by local school divisions of newly enrolled students who have a parent in the uniformed services. Local school divisions are required to identify such students in accordance with the process. Nonidentifiable, aggregate data collected from the identification of such students shall be made available to local, state, and federal entities for the purposes of enhancing the funding and quality of services provided to serve the unique needs of uniformed services-connected students residing in the Commonwealth.
SB 1354 – Reeves – Uniformed services-connected students; identification. Uniformed services-connected students; identification. Requires the Department of Education to establish a process for the identification by local school divisions of newly enrolled students who have a parent in the uniformed services. Local school divisions are required to identify such students in accordance with the process. Nonidentifiable, aggregate data collected from the identification of such students shall be made available to local, state, and federal entities for the purposes of enhancing the funding and quality of services provided to serve the unique needs of uniformed services-connected students residing in the Commonwealth.
SB 1356 – Reeves – Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program. Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program. Creates the Veteran Employment Grant Fund and Program (Program) to be administered by the Department of Veterans Services to provide grants to businesses certified by the Department as participants in the Department’s program to create employment opportunities for veterans by assisting employers in hiring and retaining veterans. The bill sets out the criteria for the award of grants and requires the Department to establish a certification process for participating employers with the objective of setting measurable goals for hiring and retaining veterans.
SB 1357 – Reeves – Servicemembers Civil Relief Act; duty of counsel to exercise due diligence. Servicemembers Civil Relief Act; duty of counsel to exercise due diligence in representation of a servicemember. Requires any counsel appointed to represent a defendant pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to exercise due diligence to faithfully represent the interest of the servicemember, to locate and communicate with the servicemember, to conduct an investigation of the reasonably discoverable facts in the case, to determine whether or not the servicemember has a defense to any of the allegations in the suit, and to present that information to the court. The bill also requires the plaintiff in a case in which counsel has been appointed under the SCRA to represent a defendant to promptly deliver all discoverable electronic and print files to the appointed counsel upon request. The bill further provides that counsel appointed pursuant to the Service members Civil Relief Act shall not be selected by the plaintiff or counsel for the plaintiff or have any affiliation with the plaintiff.
SB 1389 – Edwards – Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program; eligibility. Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program; eligibility. Provides that the spouse or child of a veteran with at least 90 percent permanent disability may be eligible for benefits under the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program if the veteran is the recipient of a Purple Heart or a portion of the veteran’s disability was a direct result of combat or peacekeeping operations or a domestic terrorist attack.
SB 1455 – Watkins – Commonwealth of Virginia General Obligation Bonds. Commonwealth of Virginia General Obligation Bonds
SJ 243 – Dance – Study; JLARC to study Department of Veterans Services; report. Study; JLARC to study Department of Veterans Services; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the Department of Veterans Services, including, among other things, the review of programs administered by the Department’s agencies and other issues related to the provision of services to veterans.