Saturday, May 12, 2018

Connecticut trying to get it right for veterans

Reminder: Veterans with anything other than an "honorable" discharge, would not have been counted in any of the suicide reports. Good thing to think about reading this article from Connecticut. 

If signed by Malloy, Connecticut would be first state to open up benefits to bad paper vets
The Day
Julia Bergman
May 11, 2018
About 800 people would be impacted by the legislation, according to the fiscal note attached to the bill. But it's not known how many of them would actually take advantage of the benefits. The legislation would result in "costs to multiple agencies and revenue loss to the General Fund, Special Transportation Fund, and municipalities," the fiscal note says.
Connecticut would be the first state to open up access to veterans' benefits to former service members discharged under less than honorable conditions, if Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signs a bill that's headed to his desk.

Both the state House and Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 284, which would expand access to state veteran benefits to former service members diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a traumatic brain injury or who experienced sexual trauma during their service, as long as they received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable. The 2018 legislative session ended Wednesday at midnight.

Asked whether the governor intends to sign the bill, spokesman David Bednarz said by email "the Governor and his staff will review the final language that was included in the adopted bill when it is transmitted to his office."

There are five types of military discharges. An "other than honorable discharge" is the most severe form of administrative discharge, usually given after a pattern of misconduct. This kind of discharge, commonly referred to as a bad paper discharge, usually makes a veteran ineligible for state and federal veterans' benefits. In Connecticut, that means being denied local property tax exemptions and tuition waivers for universities and community and technical colleges in the state, for example.
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