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  • Vets' benefits, VA accountability in new legislation

    Type of content: News

    Senators pressed Veterans' Affairs Committee colleagues Wednesday to get behind bills that would reform VA and increase benefits for some vets, improving fertility services, expanding support for caregivers and strengthening controls on prescription painkillers.

    Some of the proposals were endorsed by VA even as the department said it would need more money to implement them.

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    Caregivers
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    VA
  • For-profit schools targeted again over GI Bill payouts

    Type of content: News

    For-profit colleges are under fire again on Capitol Hill, with veterans groups and advocates targeting the schools' access to military education funds.

    On Wednesday, a trio of Democratic senators will introduce new legislation reclassifying GI Bill benefits as restricted federal dollars for purposes of education funding. Under current laws, schools cannot receive more than 90 percent of their tuition dollars from federal sources, but military education benefits are not counted against that cap.

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    Education
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  • Coalition to Senate: Increase troop pay and benefits

    Type of content: News

    Military advocates are pleading with Senate lawmakers to undo planned pay and benefits cuts for troops next year, calling the moves "harmful" and "troubling."

    In a letter to Senators on Friday, 27 members of the Military Coalition pushed for the lawmakers to dump provisions in their annual budget drafts that would set the annual pay raise below civilian sector wage growth, trim housing allowance rates, raise pharmacy fees and cut the military commissary subsidy.

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    Benefits
    DoD
    Legislation
  • New Connecticut Law Focuses On Women Veterans

    Type of content: News

    One of the bills already signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy targets women who've served in the Armed Forces. The state Department of Veterans Affairs has been tasked with creating a program that reaches more than 16,000 women veterans living in Connecticut.

    The General Assembly didn't allocate any money to the state Department of Veterans Affairs to create the Connecticut Women Veterans' Program. Instead, new Commissioner Sean Connolly said his department will use existing resources to improve its outreach to women veterans.

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    Legislation
    Women Veterans
  • Tighten GI Bill transfer rules, senators say

    Type of content: News

    Congress may tighten rules for troops who want to share Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits with their family members.

    Tucked into the Senate version of the annual defense authorization bill is a provision that recommends defense officials review current policy in that area to ensure it "encourages the retention of individuals in the armed forces."

    The provision also states that service secretaries should "be more selective in permitting the transferability of unused education benefits" to family members, while stopping short of mandating specific new changes or regulations.

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    Benefits
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    VA
  • Military members, veterans get fast lane to Minnesota occupational licensing in new state law

    Type of content: News

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — Current and former military members living in Minnesota now have a faster path to occupational licensing in several career fields.

    As part of a bill signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton last weekend, the Legislature created fast lanes for temporary licenses that will enable military members, recently retired veterans and their spouses to get to work while completing requirements for standard licensure.

    The temporary licenses apply to would-be optometrists, podiatrists, dietitians, therapists and counselors, barbers, cosmetologists and nail technicians.

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    Transition
  • Rep. Vern Buchanan, veterans push for U.S. Senate action on veterans ID bill

    Type of content: News

    MANATEE -- Imagine carrying a standard sheet of paper in place of a driver's license, keeping it all the time and hoping it isn't ruined by day-to-day life.

    That's what 11 million Americans do to identify themselves as veterans, according to Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota.

    If veterans served less than 20 years and do not suffer from a disability, they have to use a form DD-214 for ID, a scrap of paper containing highly personal information such as a Social Security number.

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    Benefits
    Legislation
    VA
  • State VA group has new guide to veterans’ services

    Type of content: News

    RALEIGH – The North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs has released a  package of veteran services and resources specifically tailored to the state’s 800,000 veterans and their dependents.

    For the past 15 months, the division has restructured its outreach capabilities while building new technology services, providing veterans, their family members and transitioning military personnel with the most up-to-date resources and information.

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    Transition
  • Lawmakers push to let veterans use GI benefits for business, not college

    Type of content: News

    Members of Congress plan to put forward legislation that would allow veterans to use their benefits under the GI Bill to start businesses instead of attending college.

    Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, is drafting legislation that would direct the Veterans Affairs secretary to establish a program that would allow qualified veterans to start or buy a business.

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    Education
    Employment
    Legislation
  • In-State Tuition for Vets Delayed

    Type of content: News

    The Obama administration has delayed a new federal requirement that public colleges and universities receiving GI Bill funding provide recent veterans with the benefit of in-state tuition, regardless of their residency.

    Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald on Friday announced that he was pushing back the deadline for public institutions to comply with the in-state tuition provision of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act that Congress passed last August. The provision will now take effect Jan. 1 of next year instead of July 1, 2015.

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    Education
    Legislation
    VA

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