Select Committee on Veterans' Affairs
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT CONCERNING FUNDRAISING BY VETERANS' ORGANIZATIONS.
Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference to Commerce
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Select Committee of Veterans' Affairs
Rep. Al Adinolfi, 103rd Dist.
Rep. Bruce Zalaski, 81st Dist.
Rep. Frank N. Nicastro, 79th Dist.
REASONS FOR BILL:
To create a list of preferred veterans' charitable organizations that would be published and updated on the Dept. of Veterans' Affairs website.
***Substitute language (LCO 2188): Changes the bill's title from An Act Establishing A List of Preferred Veterans' Charitable Organizations to An Act Concerning Fundraising by Veterans' Organizations. It revises section 1 of the bill to nonprofit corporations by excluding reference to charitable organizations, adds the language "within available funds" and deletes the reference to the Attorney General. It also shifts the burden of collecting information regarding a nonprofit corporations reputability onto the organization seeking inclusion on the list and adds a section making it a class C misdemeanor to fraudulently solicit charitable donations for a veterans charity.***
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Dr. Linda S. Schwartz, RN., MSN, DRPH, FAAN, Commissioner, Connecticut Dept. of Veterans' Affairs
Dr. Schwartz testified that she recognizes that there is a problem with bogus organizations representing veterans' charities, but that there is no law by which these “charities” can be held accountable. With this said, she stated that the Department of Veterans' Affairs does not have the resources to implement this legislation.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
SFC. Carmelo Figueroa
Mr. Figueroa testified that being a 30 year Army veteran who serves on many boards and commissions, he is involved with many veterans' groups and is in favor of this bill.
Gary E. Waterhouse
Mr. Waterhouse testified in favor of this bill as he felt the public should be protected from scam artists who mislead the public into donating their money to bogus veterans' causes.
Robert A. Hunter, State Legislative Chairman, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Mr. Hunter testified that the “VFW heartily supports this bill.” He felt that organizations which deceive the public in collecting funds create and foster distrust among the public. In his view, this hurts the groups that perform fundraisers legitimately.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Reported by: Gary Vivian
Date: March 16, 2012