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General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 914

January Session, 2017

 

*_____SB00914VA____030617____*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFINITION OF A VETERAN FOR A CERTAIN HONOR AND CERTAIN BENEFIT.

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 Section 27-73e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

The Commissioner of Veterans Affairs in conjunction with the Adjutant General shall award a ribbon and medal to each (1) veteran [who served in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, and] who either [(1)] (A) was a resident of this state at the time he or she was called to active duty for [such] service in time of war, or [(2)] (B) is domiciled in this state on the date of such award, and (2) former member of any reserve component of the armed forces who was honorably discharged who either (A) was a resident of this state at the time he or she was serving in such reserve component during a period of war, or (B) 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 such veterans and former members who are eligible for the ribbon and medal under this section and establishing procedures for distributing the ribbon and medal to each such eligible veteran and former member. The cost of the ribbons and medals shall be paid from the funds appropriated to the military assistance account within the Military Department. Within existing budgetary resources, awards under this section may be made posthumously for veterans who died on or after November 12, 1918. As used in this section, "veteran", "service in time of war" and "period of war" have the same meanings as provided in subsection (a) of section 27-103.

Sec. 2. Subsections (e) and (f) of section 14-36h of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(e) Any person who is a veteran may submit a request to the Department of Veterans Affairs to have his or her status as a veteran contained on his or her motor vehicle operator's license or identity card. Said department shall, not later than thirty days after receipt of such request, verify whether such person is a veteran and, if so, notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of such request and verification. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall indicate such person's status as a veteran on any motor vehicle operator's license or identity card issued to such person upon original issuance or renewal of a motor vehicle operator's license or identity card or upon issuance of a duplicate motor vehicle operator's license or identity card.

(f) As used in this section: (1) "Full legal name" means the most complete version of the name that appears on a person's certificate of birth, official passport or other document or documents accepted by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to verify the person's identity, unless the person presents a marriage license or certificate, a certificate of civil union, a divorce decree or an order of a court of competent jurisdiction pertaining to a permanent change of the person's name; and (2) "veteran" [has the same meaning as provided in subsection (a) of section 27-103] means any person honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, and any former member of the armed forces who is entitled to retirement pay under 10 USC Chapter 1223, as amended from time to time, or, but for age, would be so entitled.

Sec. 3. Section 27-122b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2018):

(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 qualifying service, as described in and computed under 10 USC Chapter 1223, as amended from time to time, 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, as amended from time to time, 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] member or former member buried in said veterans' cemetery, and, in either case, such request shall be granted.

(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.

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

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2017

27-73e

Sec. 2

October 1, 2017

14-36h(e) and (f)

Sec. 3

January 1, 2018

27-122b

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

In Section 1, "identifying veterans who" was changed to "identifying such veterans and former members who" and "each eligible veteran." was changed to "each such eligible veteran and former member." for accuracy and consistency; and in Section 3(c)(2), "body of such veteran buried" was changed to "body of such [veteran] member or former member buried" for accuracy.

VA

Joint Favorable Subst. -LCO