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Substitute Senate Bill No. 307

Public Act No. 08-87

AN ACT CONCERNING RECOGNITION OF VETERANS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 27-73e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The Commissioner of Veterans' Affairs in conjunction with the Adjutant General shall award a ribbon and medal to each veteran who served in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, and who either (1) was a resident of this state at the time he or she was called to active duty for such service, or (2) is domiciled in this state on the date of such award. The commissioner in conjunction with the Adjutant General shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, setting forth the process for designing the ribbon and medal, identifying veterans who are eligible for the ribbon and medal under this section and establishing procedures for distributing the ribbon and medal to each eligible veteran. The cost of the ribbons and medals shall be paid from the funds appropriated to the military assistance account within the Military Department. [Awards] On or after July 1, 2005, awards under this section may [not] be made posthumously.

Sec. 2. Section 27-108 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2008):

(a) Any veteran, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, and who meets active military, naval or air service requirements, as defined by 38 USC 101, may apply for admission to the home; and any such veteran who, from disease, wounds or accident, needs medical or surgical care and treatment or who has become mentally ill and who has no adequate means of support, may be admitted to any hospital and receive necessary food, clothing, care and treatment therein, at the expense of the state, unless other funds or means of payment are available.

(b) Any member or former member of the armed forces, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, who is a resident of this state and is entitled to retirement pay under 10 USC Chapter 1223, may apply for admission to the home.

[(b)] (c) Any such veteran desiring care or treatment under the provisions of this chapter shall make application under oath to the Commissioner of Veterans' Affairs; but, if, by reason of his or her physical condition, he or she is unable to make such application, some other veteran may make such application in his or her behalf. Said commissioner, or his or her designee, shall have sole power to determine whether such veteran is entitled to admission to the home or to a hospital, and such veteran, if admitted, may, upon application to the commissioner, receive transportation at the expense of the state from his or her place of residence to the home or such hospital. No veteran so admitted shall be discharged from the home except upon the approval of the commissioner or his or her designee. The commissioner shall have sole power to remove any veteran whose care and treatment is paid for by the state from any hospital to another and shall appoint such agents as are necessary to see that veterans admitted to hospitals are receiving necessary food, clothing, care and treatment.

[(c)] (d) Such veterans who are able to pay in whole or in part for such program or services, as determined by the applicable fee schedule adopted pursuant to subsection (d) of section 27-102l of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes, shall receive a monthly bill for such services rendered.

[(d)] (e) In the event that a bill of a veteran remains unpaid and past due, the chief fiscal officer, with the approval of the commissioner, shall require the veteran to assign his or her right to receive payment of income, from whatever source, to the commissioner until (1) such account is made current, and (2) the veteran demonstrates to the satisfaction of the commissioner a reasonable likelihood of more prudent financial management for the future. Any veteran shall be provided an opportunity for a hearing when an order of assignment is issued.

[(e)] (f) Payment of amounts determined by the commissioner as provided by subsection (c) of this section shall be deposited in the institutional general welfare fund of the Veterans' Home established in accordance with sections 4-56 to 4-58, inclusive, and shall be available for expenditure from said fund for the operation of the Veterans' Home in accordance with procedures prescribed by the commissioner and the Comptroller.

[(f)] (g) In the event that a veteran dies, still owing money for services rendered, the commissioner, with the aid of the Attorney General's office, may submit a claim against such veteran's estate and any amounts collected shall be deposited in the institutional general welfare fund in accordance with section 4-56.

Sec. 3. Section 27-122b of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2008):

(a) As used in this section, "veteran" means any person (1) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from, active service in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard or any women's auxiliary branch thereof, organized pursuant to an Act of Congress; (2) who has completed at least twenty years of service in the Connecticut National Guard; or (3) who was killed in action, or who died as a result of accident or illness sustained while performing active service, in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard or any women's auxiliary branch thereof, organized pursuant to an Act of Congress, or in the Connecticut National Guard.

(b) (1) Any veteran may, by letter or other communication addressed to the commissioner, or by will, request that upon his or her death his or her body be buried in a veterans' cemetery established pursuant to section 27-122a, or (2) the spouse or other next of kin may apply to the commissioner to have the body of such veteran buried in said veterans' cemetery, and in either case such request shall be granted.

(c) (1) Any member or former member of the armed forces, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, who is a resident of this state and is entitled to retirement pay under 10 USC Chapter 1223, or would have been entitled to retirement pay under said chapter, but for the fact that the person is under sixty years of age, may by letter or other communication addressed to the commissioner, or by will, request that his or her body will be buried in said veterans' cemetery, or (2) the spouse or other next of kin may apply to the commissioner to have the body of such veteran buried in said veterans' cemetery, and, in either case, such request shall be granted.

[(c)] (d) The spouse of any veteran shall, upon similar request or application made to the commissioner, be buried in said veterans' cemetery provided only one such request or application shall be granted.

[(d)] (e) The commissioner shall designate an area in said veterans' cemetery for veterans who, for religious reasons, require burial in a consecrated area.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) The Adjutant General shall issue an achievement ribbon to the soldier, airman and noncommissioned officer of the year in the Connecticut National Guard.

Approved May 23, 2008