H. B. 2820

(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chambers, and Delegates Leach,

Bennett, J. Martin, Linch, Willison and Everson)

[Introduced February 24, 1995; referred to the

Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact sections one, two and three, article two, chapter nine-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to the veterans home in Barboursville and its ability to meet state and federal funding requirements.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections one, two and three, article two, chapter nine-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
§9A-2-1. State homes for veterans.

In consultation with the governor and other appropriate state agencies, the division of veterans' affairs shall establish and maintain throughout the state a home or homes for qualified veterans. The present Soldiers Home at Weston State Hospital shall be reidentified as Veterans Unit of Weston State Hospital and continued as formerly constituted. The home in Barboursville shall be designated as the sole veterans home of its type in the state. As used in this article the term "qualified veteran" means a veteran as determined by the division of veterans' affairs, who (a) Is ambulatory and is able to attend to his personal needs, dress himself and attend a general mess; (b) served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States of America or a nation allied therewith; and (c) was discharged or separated with an honorable discharge or with a general discharge under honorable conditions.
A veteran who meets conditions (b) and (c) but due to worsening conditions of health cannot meet condition (a), and therefore requires a higher level of health care, shall be deemed a qualified veteran.
meets the requirements under federal rules and laws.
Any individual enlisting for the first time on or after the eighth day of September, one thousand nine hundred eighty, who fails to complete at least twenty-four months of his or her enlistment is not eligible for any right, privilege or benefit for which eligibility is based on active duty in the armed forces. This provision does not apply when a person: (a) Is discharged because of hardship; (b) is retired or separated because of disability; or (c) is later determined to have a service connected disability incurred during a completed period of enlistment.
In the event that a residential vacancy exists at any veterans home or facility created and established pursuant to this article, a veteran who has been a resident of the state of West Virginia for one year or more prior to filing for admission shall be given preference in filling such residential vacancy over nonresident veterans.
§9A-2-2. Funds collected from the federal government; other

sources; use of funds.

The department division of veterans' affairs is hereby authorized and directed to receive from the federal government or any agency thereof, or state appropriations or resident contributions or any appropriate funds or any funds appropriated, expended or disbursed for the purpose of effectuating veterans' benefits or veterans' programs, including, but not limited to, improvement and renovation of physical facilities, personal care costs and medical, nursing and dental services.
The money so collected from the governmental agency as federal aid and money appropriated by the Legislature shall be placed in a special fund accounts according to source and limitation on use to be known as the "veterans' fund. "titled appropriately. This These fund shall be administered by the director of the West Virginia department division of veterans' affairs. The fund These funds shall be deposited in the state treasury and paid out only on such vouchers as may be authorized and approved by the director of the West Virginia department division of veterans' affairs, in the same manner and under the same restrictions as are now provided by law for the disbursement of funds by that department division. These funds shall only be used as restricted by the source. At the discretion of the West Virginia department of veterans' affairs, these funds may be used as follows: (1) For the erection or the improvement and renovation of suitable buildings for the care of qualified veterans; or (2) in any manner deemed expedient by the director of the West Virginia department of veterans' affairs for the benefit of qualified veterans
§9A-2-3. Powers of division of veterans' affairs.

The department division of veterans' affairs is authorized and empowered to establish rules and regulations providing for the tenure, treatment, eligibility and discharge of eligible veterans which such rules and regulations shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this article. More specifically rules shall be promulgated to ensure that the division, in carrying out its duties shall comply with all federal requirements imposed on such a facility. Moreover not withstanding any code provisions to the contrary rules shall be promulgated that: (1) Meet federal standards for domiciliary care; (2) define domiciliary; (3) define admittance to comply with state and federal requirements including current West Virginia resident or enlisted in service from West Virginia, war time service or service during a declared national emergency, Veterans Administration eligibility requirements for per diem, honorably discharged, suffering from a disability due to age, disease or defect that prevents them from earning a living.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to come into compliance with state and federal mandates.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.