Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 7 History

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hcr7 intr

(By Delegates Fleischauer, Iaquinta,

Longstreth, Stephens, and Azinger)
[Introduced February 19, 2009.]

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to continue studying the needs, challenges, and issues facing West Virginia veterans returning from recent service and those generations that have served before for the purpose of making recommendations on how the State of West Virginia can better assist them in getting the care and opportunities they deserve.
Whereas, The State of West Virginia's Legislative Select Committee B- Veterans' Issues has been continuously receiving testimony from veterans, local health care providers, social workers, and educational services personnel identifying the current state of affairs in post-deployment services available to veterans; and
Whereas, The State of West Virginia's Legislative Select Committee B- Veterans' issues and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance commissioned in 2007 a statewide veterans survey and questionnaire in conjunction with the Department of Veterans' Affairs and West Virginia University; and
Whereas, This survey has earned West Virginia national publicity as a leading state in developing policy and financial solutions to better aid veterans in their challenges of returning to post-deployment life; and
Whereas, The data from this survey illustrated that many veterans were either dissatisfied with or unable to receive the treatment options that are currently available or that they may be eligible for; and
Whereas, The data also showed that recently returned veterans are highly interested and motivated to seek higher education, but face certain limitations in doing so; and
Whereas, These veterans are facing struggles, injuries, and mental and physical health care issues that are unprecedented and outside the scope of care of current services; and
Whereas, The federal and state veterans care facilities, many public and private medical care facilities, and volunteer organizations are becoming inundated with the influx of veterans in need of care; and
Whereas, Many of the state's institutions of higher learning have begun offering programs aimed at providing veterans with educational assistance including financial assistance, campus counseling, and aid in the transition from military life to student life; and
Whereas, Generations of veterans from all services have called West Virginia home as West Virginia has one of the highest numbers of active duty and injured soldiers per capita in the nation; and
Whereas, It is important that all eligible veterans receive the honor, treatment, and care they so richly deserve for volunteering their lives to the protection of this country and its institutions; and
Whereas, The State of West Virginia should remain committed to showing its gratitude of these service men and women by continuing its endeavor of developing and enhancing services aimed at providing eligible veterans with mental and physical healthcare and education opportunities; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee of Government and Finance is hereby requested to review, examine, and study the status of the ongoing challenges facing all of West Virginia's veterans; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Division of Veterans Affairs, our Congressional Delegation, and the State National Guard be enlisted to provide recommendations on how the State of West Virginia can continue to assist in ensuring that our veterans get the care they need and that their rights, benefits, and dignity are protected; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the findings and recommendations resulting form the study be presented and reported to the Joint Committee as soon as possible, and on a periodic basis as determinations are made regarding findings and recommendations, together with the drafts of any proposed legislation and funding estimates that may be necessary to effectuate such recommendations, in the event that such recommendations could be adopted during a special session; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is urged to consider the passage of House and Senate rule changes that would create a standing committee assigned to accept reports, testimony and continue studying how to improve the status of West Virginia veterans, or in the alternative, that the Joint Committee appoint a Select Committee for the same purposes; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
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