PA 16-192—sSB 205
Veterans' Affairs Committee
AN ACT CONCERNING WOMEN VETERANS
SUMMARY: This act establishes certain measures to help women veterans, including requiring the Department of Veterans' Affairs to develop training on ways to help and serve them with regard to certain benefits and programs. It requires the veterans' affairs commissioner to publish on the Internet (1) extensive data on women veterans and (2) content dedicated to matters of concern for women veterans.
The act also allows the department to create and release noncommercial radio and television broadcast announcements to encourage veterans in the state to participate in surveys, provide data, or enroll in the department's health registry for veterans. By law, the department may (1) establish and maintain a data registry on armed forces members who have completed a period of active service and (2) develop surveys for the members or their health care providers to voluntarily provide data during or after completing such service.
Noncommercial announcements are those that air during unsold commercial time that a broadcaster donates to a broadcasters' association and that is then made available to a state or federal government agency or nonprofit organization at a reduced rate to promote specific public service programs or campaigns.
The act also makes minor and technical changes.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016
Under the act, the Department of Veterans' Affairs veterans' advocacy and assistance unit head must develop a training module on (1) assisting and serving women veterans regarding state or federal services or benefits and (2) identifying and advising them of community or nonprofit programs that assist and serve them.
The unit head must hold, and provide instruction for, an annual training session for each veterans' services officer and any veterans' service contact person or representative from an Operation Academic Support for Incoming Service (OASIS) center at an in-state public institution of higher education. (OASIS centers provide programming and services focused on outreach and assistance to veterans enrolled at such institutions. )
The act requires veterans' service officers, and authorizes veterans' service contacts, to complete this training.
Publish Data and Content on the Internet
The act requires the veterans' affairs commissioner to publish on the Internet extensive and reliable data on women veterans, including federal and state services and benefits, current challenges, and notable women veterans and their contributions.
It also requires the Department of Veterans' Affairs to publish on the Internet content dedicated to matters of concern for women veterans. This includes any relevant information, links to services and benefits for which women veterans may be eligible, and contact information for the veterans' advocacy and assistance unit for the purpose of providing front-line support of and assistance with women veterans issues.
OLR Tracking: DC; JSB; VR: tjo