Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 161

    February Session, 2018

Substitute Senate Bill No. 284

Senate, April 3, 2018

The Committee on Veterans' Affairs reported through SEN. FLEXER of the 29th Dist. and SEN. MARTIN of the 31st Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING BENEFITS FOR CERTAIN VETERANS WHO HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER OR TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY OR WHO HAVE HAD AN EXPERIENCE OF MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA.

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

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 27-103 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) As used in the general statutes, except chapter 504, and except as otherwise provided: (1) "Armed forces" means the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force and any reserve component thereof, including the Connecticut National Guard performing duty as provided in Title 32 of the United States Code; (2) "veteran" means any person honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces; (3) "service in time of war" means service of ninety or more cumulative days except, if the period of war lasted less than ninety days, "service in time of war" means service for the entire period of war, unless separated from service earlier because of a service-connected disability rated by the [Veterans' Administration] United States Department of Veterans Affairs, during a period of war; [and] (4) "period of war" has the same meaning as provided in 38 USC 101, as amended from time to time, except that the "Vietnam Era" means the period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on July 1, 1975, in all cases; and "period of war" shall include service while engaged in combat or a combat support role in Lebanon, July 1, 1958, to November 1, 1958, or September 29, 1982, to March 30, 1984; Grenada, October 25, 1983, to December 15, 1983; Operation Earnest Will, involving the escort of Kuwaiti oil tankers flying the United States flag in the Persian Gulf, July 24, 1987, to August 1, 1990; and Panama, December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990, and shall include service during such periods with the armed forces of any government associated with the United States; and (5) "qualifying condition" means a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury made by, or an experience of military sexual trauma, as described in 38 USC 1720D, as amended from time to time, disclosed to, an individual licensed to provide health care services at a United States Department of Veterans Affairs facility.

Sec. 2. Subsection (c) of section 4a-59 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(c) All open market orders or contracts shall be awarded to (1) the lowest responsible qualified bidder, the qualities of the articles to be supplied, their conformity with the specifications, their suitability to the requirements of the state government and the delivery terms being taken into consideration and, at the discretion of the Commissioner of Administrative Services, life-cycle costs and trade-in or resale value of the articles may be considered where it appears to be in the best interest of the state, (2) the highest scoring bidder in a multiple criteria bid, in accordance with the criteria set forth in the bid solicitation for the contract, or (3) the proposer whose proposal is deemed by the awarding authority to be the most advantageous to the state, in accordance with the criteria set forth in the request for proposals, including price and evaluation factors. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, each state agency awarding a contract through competitive negotiation shall include price as an explicit factor in the criteria in the request for proposals and for the contract award. In considering past performance of a bidder for the purpose of determining the "lowest responsible qualified bidder" or the "highest scoring bidder in a multiple criteria bid", the commissioner shall evaluate the skill, ability and integrity of the bidder in terms of the bidder's fulfillment of past contract obligations and the bidder's experience or lack of experience in delivering supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services of the size or amount for which bids have been solicited. In determining the lowest responsible qualified bidder for the purposes of this section, the commissioner may give a price preference of up to ten per cent for (A) the purchase of goods made with recycled materials or the purchase of recyclable or remanufactured products if the commissioner determines that such preference would promote recycling or remanufacturing. As used in this subsection, "recyclable" means able to be collected, separated or otherwise recovered from the solid waste stream for reuse, or for use in the manufacture or assembly of another package or product, by means of a recycling program which is reasonably available to at least seventy-five per cent of the state's population, "remanufactured" means restored to its original function and thereby diverted from the solid waste stream by retaining the bulk of components that have been used at least once and by replacing consumable components and "remanufacturing" means any process by which a product is remanufactured; (B) the purchase of motor vehicles powered by a clean alternative fuel; (C) the purchase of motor vehicles powered by fuel other than a clean alternative fuel and conversion equipment to convert such motor vehicles allowing the vehicles to be powered by either the exclusive use of clean alternative fuel or dual use of a clean alternative fuel and a fuel other than a clean alternative fuel. As used in this subsection, "clean alternative fuel" means natural gas, electricity, hydrogen or propane when used as a motor vehicle fuel; or (D) the purchase of goods or services from a micro business, except that, in the case of a veteran-owned micro business, the commissioner may give a price preference of up to fifteen per cent. As used in this subsection, "micro business" means a business with gross revenues not exceeding three million dollars in the most recently completed fiscal year, [and] "veteran-owned micro business" means a micro business of which at least fifty-one per cent of the ownership is held by one or more veterans [, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103] and "veteran" means any person (i) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (ii) with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces. All other factors being equal, preference shall be given to supplies, materials and equipment produced, assembled or manufactured in the state and services originating and provided in the state. Except with regard to contracts that may be paid for with United States Department of Transportation funds, if any such bidder refuses to accept, within ten days, a contract awarded to such bidder, such contract may be awarded to the next lowest responsible qualified bidder or the next highest scoring bidder in a multiple criteria bid, whichever is applicable, and so on until such contract is awarded and accepted. Except with regard to contracts that may be paid for with United States Department of Transportation funds, if any such proposer refuses to accept, within ten days, a contract awarded to such proposer, such contract shall be awarded to the next most advantageous proposer, and so on until the contract is awarded and accepted. There shall be a written evaluation made of each bid. This evaluation shall identify the vendors and their respective costs and prices, document the reason why any vendor is deemed to be nonresponsive and recommend a vendor for award. A contract valued at one million dollars or more shall be awarded to a bidder other than the lowest responsible qualified bidder or the highest scoring bidder in a multiple criteria bid, whichever is applicable, only with written approval signed by the Commissioner of Administrative Services and by the Comptroller. The commissioner shall post on the department's Internet web site all awards made pursuant to the provisions of this section.

Sec. 3. Subdivision (28) of section 5-196 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(28) "Veteran", when used in this chapter and in section 5-180, means any person [who has been] (A) (i) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces of the United States, or (ii) with a qualifying condition, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces of the United States, and (B) who has performed such service in time of war, as [such terms are] defined in [section 27-103] said section, except that the final date for service in time of war during World War II shall be December 31, 1947.

Sec. 4. Section 5-224 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

Any veteran who served in time of war, if such veteran is not eligible for disability compensation or pension from the United States [through the Veterans' Administration] Department of Veterans Affairs, or the spouse of such veteran who by reason of such veteran's disability is unable to pursue gainful employment, or the unmarried surviving spouse of such veteran, and if such person has attained at least the minimum earned rating on any examination held for an original appointment for the purpose of establishing a candidate list to fill a vacancy in accordance with subsection (d) of section 5-228, shall have five points added to his or her earned rating. Any such veteran, or the spouse of such veteran who by reason of such veteran's disability is unable to pursue gainful employment, or the unmarried surviving spouse of such veteran, if such person is eligible for such disability compensation or pension and if he or she has attained at least the minimum earned rating on any such examination held for an original appointment for the purpose of establishing a candidate list to fill a vacancy in accordance with subsection (d) of section 5-228, shall have ten points added to his or her earned rating. Any [person who has been honorably discharged from or released under honorable conditions from active service in the armed forces of the United States, and] veteran who has served in a military action for which such person received or was entitled to receive a campaign badge or expeditionary medal, shall have five points added to his or her earned rating if such person has attained at least the minimum earned rating on any such examination held for an original appointment for the purpose of establishing a candidate list to fill a vacancy in accordance with subsection (d) of section 5-228 and such person is not otherwise eligible to receive additional points pursuant to this section. Names of any such persons shall be placed upon the candidate lists in the order of such augmented ratings. Credits shall be based upon examinations with a possible rating of one hundred points.

Sec. 5. Section 8-75 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

As among applicants eligible for occupancy at the rent involved whose needs for housing accommodations are substantially equal, as determined by the developer, preference shall be given to veterans. As used in this section, "veteran" means any person (1) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (2) with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces.

Sec. 6. Subsections (b) and (c) of section 10-5 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(b) Application to take or retake the examination described in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section shall be accompanied by a money order or certified check in the nonrefundable amount of thirteen dollars. This amount shall include the fee for the state high school diploma.

(c) No (1) veteran, (2) member of the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, (3) person with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces, or [any] (4) person under twenty-one years of age shall be required to pay the fees described in subsection (b) of this section. The commissioner may waive any fee described in subsection (b) upon the submission of evidence indicating an inability to pay.

Sec. 7. Subdivision (1) of subsection (i) of section 10-221a of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(i) (1) A local or regional board of education may award a diploma to a veteran, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, as amended by this act, [of] or a person with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces, which veteran or person served during World War II or the Korean hostilities, as described in section 51-49h, or [of] during the Vietnam Era, as defined in [subsection (a) of] section 27-103, as amended by this act, [who] withdrew from high school prior to graduation in order to serve in the armed forces of the United States and did not receive a diploma as a consequence of such service.

Sec. 8. Subsection (d) of section 10a-77 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(d) Said board of trustees shall waive the payment of tuition at any of the regional community-technical colleges (1) for any dependent child of a person whom the armed forces of the United States has declared to be missing in action or to have been a prisoner of war while serving in such armed forces after January 1, 1960, which child has been accepted for admission to such institution and is a resident of [Connecticut] the state at the time such child is accepted for admission to such institution, (2) subject to the provisions of subsection (e) of this section, for any (A) veteran who performed service in time of war, as defined in [subsection (a) of] section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (B) person with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces and who performed service in time of war, except that for purposes of this subsection, "service in time of war" shall not include time spent in attendance at a military service academy, [who] which veteran or person has been accepted for admission to such institution and is domiciled in this state at the time such veteran or person is accepted for admission to such institution, (3) for any resident of [Connecticut] the state sixty-two years of age or older, provided, at the end of the regular registration period, there are enrolled in the course a sufficient number of students other than those [persons] residents eligible for waivers pursuant to this subdivision to offer the course in which such [person] resident intends to enroll and there is space available in such course after accommodating all such students, (4) for any student attending the Connecticut State Police Academy who is enrolled in a law enforcement program at said academy offered in coordination with a regional community-technical college which accredits courses taken in such program, (5) for any active member of the Connecticut Army or Air National Guard who (A) has been certified by the Adjutant General or such Adjutant General's designee as a member in good standing of the guard, and (B) is enrolled or accepted for admission to such institution on a full-time or part-time basis in an undergraduate degree-granting program, (6) for any dependent child of a (A) police officer, as defined in section 7-294a, or supernumerary or auxiliary police officer, (B) firefighter, as defined in section 7-323j, or member of a volunteer fire company, (C) municipal employee, or (D) state employee, as defined in section 5-154, killed in the line of duty, (7) for any resident of the state who is a dependent child or surviving spouse of a specified terrorist victim who was a resident of this state, (8) for any dependent child of a resident of the state who was killed in a multivehicle crash at or near the intersection of Routes 44 and 10 and Nod Road in Avon on July 29, 2005, and (9) for any resident of the state who is a dependent child or surviving spouse of a person who was killed in action while performing active military duty with the armed forces of the United States on or after September 11, 2001, and who was a resident of this state. If any person who receives a tuition waiver in accordance with the provisions of this subsection also receives educational reimbursement from an employer, such waiver shall be reduced by the amount of such educational reimbursement. Veterans and persons described in subdivision (2) of this subsection and members of the National Guard described in subdivision (5) of this subsection shall be given the same status as students not receiving tuition waivers in registering for courses at regional community-technical colleges. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10a-30, as used in this subsection, "domiciled in this state" includes domicile for less than one year.

Sec. 9. Subsection (d) of section 10a-99 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(d) Said board shall waive the payment of tuition fees at the Connecticut State University System (1) for any dependent child of a person whom the armed forces of the United States has declared to be missing in action or to have been a prisoner of war while serving in such armed forces after January 1, 1960, which child has been accepted for admission to such institution and is a resident of [Connecticut] the state at the time such child is accepted for admission to such institution, (2) subject to the provisions of subsection (e) of this section, for any (A) veteran who performed service in time of war, as defined in [subsection (a) of] section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (B) person with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces and who performed service in time of war, except that for purposes of this subsection, "service in time of war" shall not include time spent in attendance at a military service academy, [who] which veteran or person has been accepted for admission to such institution and is domiciled in this state at the time such veteran or person is accepted for admission to such institution, (3) for any resident of [Connecticut] the state sixty-two years of age or older who has been accepted for admission to such institution, provided (A) such [person] resident is enrolled in a degree-granting program, or (B) at the end of the regular registration period, there are enrolled in the course a sufficient number of students other than those [persons] residents eligible for waivers pursuant to this subdivision to offer the course in which such [person] resident intends to enroll and there is space available in such course after accommodating all such students, (4) for any student attending the Connecticut Police Academy who is enrolled in a law enforcement program at said academy offered in coordination with the university which accredits courses taken in such program, (5) for any active member of the Connecticut Army or Air National Guard who (A) has been certified by the Adjutant General or such Adjutant General's designee as a member in good standing of the guard, and (B) is enrolled or accepted for admission to such institution on a full-time or part-time basis in an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting program, (6) for any dependent child of a (A) police officer, as defined in section 7-294a, or supernumerary or auxiliary police officer, (B) firefighter, as defined in section 7-323j, or member of a volunteer fire company, (C) municipal employee, or (D) state employee, as defined in section 5-154, killed in the line of duty, (7) for any resident of this state who is a dependent child or surviving spouse of a specified terrorist victim who was a resident of the state, (8) for any dependent child of a resident of the state who was killed in a multivehicle crash at or near the intersection of Routes 44 and 10 and Nod Road in Avon on July 29, 2005, and (9) for any resident of the state who is a dependent child or surviving spouse of a person who was killed in action while performing active military duty with the armed forces of the United States on or after September 11, 2001, and who was a resident of this state. If any person who receives a tuition waiver in accordance with the provisions of this subsection also receives educational reimbursement from an employer, such waiver shall be reduced by the amount of such educational reimbursement. Veterans and persons described in subdivision (2) of this subsection and members of the National Guard described in subdivision (5) of this subsection shall be given the same status as students not receiving tuition waivers in registering for courses at Connecticut state universities. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10a-30, as used in this subsection, "domiciled in this state" includes domicile for less than one year.

Sec. 10. Subsection (e) of section 10a-105 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(e) Said board of trustees shall waive the payment of tuition fees at The University of Connecticut (1) for any dependent child of a person whom the armed forces of the United States has declared to be missing in action or to have been a prisoner of war while serving in such armed forces after January 1, 1960, which child has been accepted for admission to The University of Connecticut and is a resident of [Connecticut] the state at the time such child is accepted for admission to said institution, (2) subject to the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, for any (A) veteran who performed service in time of war, as defined in [subsection (a) of] section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (B) person with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces and who performed service in time of war, except that for purposes of this subsection, "service in time of war" shall not include time spent in attendance at a military service academy, [who] which veteran or person has been accepted for admission to said institution and is domiciled in this state at the time such veteran or person is accepted for admission to said institution, (3) for any resident of [Connecticut] the state sixty-two years of age or older who has been accepted for admission to said institution, provided (A) such [person] resident is enrolled in a degree-granting program, or (B) at the end of the regular registration period, there are enrolled in the course a sufficient number of students other than those [persons] residents eligible for waivers pursuant to this subdivision to offer the course in which such [person] resident intends to enroll and there is space available in such course after accommodating all such students, (4) for any active member of the Connecticut Army or Air National Guard who (A) has been certified by the Adjutant General or such Adjutant General's designee as a member in good standing of the guard, and (B) is enrolled or accepted for admission to said institution on a full-time or part-time basis in an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting program, (5) for any dependent child of a (A) police officer, as defined in section 7-294a, or supernumerary or auxiliary police officer, (B) firefighter, as defined in section 7-323j, or member of a volunteer fire company, (C) municipal employee, or (D) state employee, as defined in section 5-154, killed in the line of duty, (6) for any resident of the state who is the dependent child or surviving spouse of a specified terrorist victim who was a resident of the state, (7) for any dependent child of a resident of the state who was killed in a multivehicle crash at or near the intersection of Routes 44 and 10 and Nod Road in Avon on July 29, 2005, and (8) for any resident of the state who is a dependent child or surviving spouse of a person who was killed in action while performing active military duty with the armed forces of the United States on or after September 11, 2001, and who was a resident of this state. If any person who receives a tuition waiver in accordance with the provisions of this subsection also receives educational reimbursement from an employer, such waiver shall be reduced by the amount of such educational reimbursement. Veterans and persons described in subdivision (2) of this subsection and members of the National Guard described in subdivision (4) of this subsection shall be given the same status as students not receiving tuition waivers in registering for courses at The University of Connecticut. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10a-30, as used in this subsection, "domiciled in this state" includes domicile for less than one year.

Sec. 11. Subdivision (19) of section 12-81 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018, and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2018):

(19) Subject to the provisions of sections 12-89, 12-90 and 12-95, property to the amount of one thousand dollars belonging to, or held in trust for, (A) any resident of this state who [(a)] is a veteran of the armed forces in service in time of war, [(b)] (B) any resident of this state who was a citizen of the United States at the time of his enlistment and who was in the military or naval service of a government allied or associated with that of the United States during the Second World War and received an honorable discharge therefrom, [(c)] (C) any resident of this state who served during the Second World War as a member of any armed force of any government signatory to the United Nations Declaration of January 1, 1942, and participated in armed conflict with an enemy of the United States and who has been a citizen of the United States for at least ten years and presents satisfactory evidence of such service, [(d)] (D) any resident of this state who served as a member of the crew of a merchant vessel during the Second World War and is qualified with respect to such service as a member of the group known as the "American Merchant Marine in ocean-going service during the period of armed conflict, December 7, 1941, to August 15, 1945", members of which are deemed to be eligible for certain veterans benefits under a determination in the United States Department of Defense, as recorded in the Federal Register of February 1, 1988, provided such resident has received an armed forces discharge certificate from the Department of Defense on the basis of such service, [(e)] (E) any member of the armed forces who was in service in time of war and is still in the service and by reason of continuous service has not as yet received a discharge, [(f)] (F) any person who is retired from the armed forces after thirty years of service because he has reached the age limit prescribed by law or because he suffers from mental or physical disability, (G) any person with a qualifying condition who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces and who was in service in time of war, or [(g)] (H) any person who is serving in the armed services in time of war; or lacking said amount of property in his own name, so much of the property belonging to, or held in trust for, his spouse, who is domiciled with him, as is necessary to equal said amount. For the purposes of this subdivision, "veteran", "armed forces", [and] "service in time of war" and "qualifying condition" have the same [meaning as] meanings as provided in section 27-103, as amended by this act;

Sec. 12. Subdivision (22) of section 12-81 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018, and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2018):

(22) Subject to the provisions of sections 12-89, 12-90 and 12-95, property to the amount of one thousand dollars belonging to, or held in trust for, any surviving spouse while such person remains a widow or widower, or a minor child or both, residing in this state, of (A) one who has served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force of the United States, or [of] any citizen of the United States who served in the military or naval service of a government allied or associated with the United States, as provided by subdivision (19) of this section, and who has died either during his or her term of service or after receiving an honorable discharge therefrom, provided such amount shall be three thousand dollars if death was due to service and occurred while on active duty, or (B) one with a qualifying condition, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, who has served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force of the United States and who has died after receiving a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable therefrom;

Sec. 13. Subdivision (25) of section 12-81 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018, and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2018):

(25) Subject to the provisions of sections 12-89, 12-90 and 12-95, property to the amount of one thousand dollars belonging to, or held in trust for, a sole surviving parent, while such parent remains a widow or widower, resident of this state, of one (A) who has left no widow or widower, or whose widow or widower has remarried or died, and who has served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force of the United States as provided by subdivision (19) of this section and has died during his or her term of service or after receiving an honorable discharge therefrom, provided [,] property belonging to, or held in trust for, such parent of more than one serviceman or servicewoman who has left no widow or widower, or whose widow or widower has remarried or died, and who has served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force of the United States as provided in subdivision (19) of this section and has died during his or her term of service shall be subject to an exemption of one thousand dollars for each such serviceman or servicewoman, or (B) with a qualifying condition, as defined in section 27-103, who has left no widow or widower, or whose widow or widower has remarried or died, and who has served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force of the United States and has died after receiving a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable therefrom;

Sec. 14. Subparagraph (D) of subdivision (63) of section 12-412 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(D) The Department of Revenue Services may issue a farmer tax exemption permit to a farmer, notwithstanding the fact that, in the farmer's immediately preceding taxable year, such farmer's gross income from agricultural production engaged in as a trade or business may have been less than two thousand five hundred dollars, provided (i) such farmer purchased, during such farmer's current or immediately preceding taxable year, an agricultural trade or business from a seller who was issued a farmer tax exemption permit by such department at the time of such purchase and such agricultural production shall be carried on as a trade or business by such purchaser during the period commencing upon the purchase and ending two years after the date of purchase. Such purchaser shall be liable for the tax otherwise imposed, during the period commencing upon such purchase and ending two years after the date of purchase, if such agricultural production is not carried on as a trade or business by such purchaser during the period commencing upon such purchase and ending two years after the date of purchase; or (ii) such farmer is a veteran [, as defined in section 27-103,] who has never owned or leased property for the purpose of commercial agricultural production or who has owned or leased property for the purpose of commercial agricultural production for less than two years. Such veteran farmer shall be liable for the tax otherwise imposed, during the period commencing upon issuance of a farmer tax exemption permit pursuant to this subparagraph and ending two years after the date of such issuance, if such agricultural production is not carried on as a trade or business by such veteran farmer during the period commencing upon such issuance and ending two years after the date of such issuance. As used in this subparagraph, "veteran" means any person (1) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (2) with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces.

Sec. 15. Subsection (a) of section 14-20b of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, at the request of any veteran or member of the armed forces [, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103,] or the surviving spouse of such veteran or member, shall register any motor vehicle owned or leased for a period of at least one year by such person and shall issue a special certificate of registration and a set of number plates for each such motor vehicle, including a special certificate of registration and a set of number plates for any motor vehicle used exclusively for farming purposes by any veteran or member of the armed forces, or the surviving spouse of such veteran or member, who is engaged in agricultural production as a trade or business. The plates shall expire and be renewed as provided in section 14-22. The commissioner shall charge a fee for such plates, which fee shall cover the entire cost of making such plates and shall be in addition to the fee for registration of such motor vehicle. As used in this subsection, "member of the armed forces" has the same meaning as provided in section 27-103, as amended by this, and "veteran" means any person (1) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces, or (2) with a qualifying condition, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces.

Sec. 16. Subsection (f) of section 14-36h of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(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" means (A) 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, as amended by this act, [and] (B) 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, or (C) any person with a qualifying condition, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces.

Sec. 17. Subsection (c) of section 14-50 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(c) The commissioner shall waive any operator's license or registration fee, including any renewal fee, in the case of any person in the active service of the armed forces of the United States who was a legal resident of Connecticut at the time of his or her induction; and for one licensing period to any person (1) honorably separated from such service, [who applies therefor] or (2) with a qualifying condition, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, who has separated from such service other than with a bad conduct characterization or dishonorably, which person applies for such operator's license or registration within two years following the date of separation and was a legal resident of Connecticut at the time of his or her induction. The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this subsection.

Sec. 18. Section 14-254 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

"Disabled veteran", as used in this section, means (1) (A) any veteran who [served] performed service in time of war, as defined [by] in section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (B) any person with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces, as defined in said section, and who performed service in time of war, and (2) (A) one or both of whose legs or arms or parts thereof have been amputated or the use of which has been lost, [or] (B) who is blind, [or who have traumatic brain injury, or] paraplegic or hemiplegic, or (C) who has traumatic brain injury, any such disability described in subdivision (2) of this section being certified as service-connected by the [Veterans' Administration] United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, upon application of any disabled veteran accompanied by such certificate of [the Veterans' Administration] said department, shall issue without charge a special number plate or set of plates in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 14-21b to be attached to a passenger motor vehicle owned or operated by such disabled veteran and an identification card to be used in connection therewith. The card shall identify the disabled veteran and the motor vehicle and shall state that such [veteran is a] disabled veteran is qualified to receive the card, that the card, plate or plates shall be returned to the commissioner if the registration of the motor vehicle is cancelled or transferred [,] and that the card is for the exclusive use of the [person] disabled veteran to whom it is issued, is not transferable and will be revoked if presented by any other person or if any privilege granted under this section is abused. If not so revoked, the card shall be renewable every four years at the time of registration of motor vehicles. No penalty shall be imposed for the overtime parking of any motor vehicle bearing a number plate issued under this section when it has been so parked by the disabled veteran to whom the plate and an identification card were issued or by any person operating such vehicle when accompanied by such disabled veteran, provided the length of time for which such vehicle may remain parked at any one location shall not exceed twenty-four hours. The surviving spouse of a disabled veteran issued such special registration may retain any such registration and number plates without charge for his or her lifetime or until such time as he or she remarries.

Sec. 19. Subsection (a) of section 17b-28i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) To the extent permissible by federal law, the Commissioner of Social Services shall disregard federal Aid and Attendance pension benefits granted to a veteran [, as defined in section 27-103,] or the surviving spouse of such veteran when determining income eligibility for the state's Medicare savings, medical assistance and energy assistance programs administered under section 17b-2. As used in this subsection, "veteran" means any person (1) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (2) with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces.

Sec. 20. Subsection (a) of section 27-108 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) Any veteran [, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103,] who meets active military, naval or air service requirements, as described in 38 USC 101, as amended from time to time, may apply for admission to the Veterans Residential Services facility or Healthcare Center; and any such veteran who has no adequate means of support, and who, from disease, wounds or accident, needs medical or surgical care and treatment or who has become mentally ill, 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. Whenever a person is admitted to a hospital, such person shall be asked if he or she is a veteran. Before a hospital submits a bill for services pursuant to this section, such hospital shall take sufficient steps to determine that no other funds or means of payment are available to cover the cost of services rendered to the veteran. The Department of Veterans Affairs shall make available to hospitals a list of payment options and benefits available to cover hospital costs of veterans. As used in this section, "veteran" means any person (1) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (2) with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces.

Sec. 21. Section 27-109 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

Any hospital, upon request of the commissioner, shall furnish any veteran, determined by the commissioner to be entitled to admission thereto, necessary food, clothing, care and treatment therein at the expense of the state, unless other funds or means of payment are available, and such veteran shall have preference for admission into such hospital. As used in this section, "veteran" means any person (1) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (2) with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces.

Sec. 22. Section 27-118 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

When any veteran dies, not having sufficient estate to pay the necessary expenses of the veteran's last sickness and burial, as determined by the commissioner after consultation with the probate court for the district in which the veteran resided, the state shall pay the sum of one thousand eight hundred dollars toward such funeral expenses, and the burial shall be in some cemetery or plot not used exclusively for the burial of the pauper dead, and the same amount shall be paid if the body is cremated, but no amount shall be paid for the expenses for burial or cremation unless claim therefor is made within one year from the date of death, except that in cases of death occurring abroad, such claim may be made within one year after the remains of such veteran have been interred in this country. No provision of this section shall prevent the payment of the sum above named for the burial of any person, otherwise entitled to the same, on account of such burial being made outside the limits of this state. Upon satisfactory proof by the person who has paid or provided for the funeral or burial expense to the commissioner of the identity of the deceased, the time and place of the deceased's death and burial and the approval thereof by the commissioner, said sum of one thousand eight hundred dollars shall be paid by the Comptroller to the person who has paid the funeral or burial expense or, upon assignment by such person, to the funeral director who has provided the funeral. Whenever the Comptroller has lawfully paid any sum toward the expenses of the burial of any deceased veteran and it afterwards appears that the deceased left any estate, the Comptroller may present a claim on behalf of the state against the estate of such deceased veteran for the sum so paid, and the claim shall be a preferred claim against such estate and shall be paid to the Treasurer of the state. The commissioner, upon the advice of the Attorney General, may make application for administration upon the estate of any such deceased veteran if no other person authorized by law makes such application within sixty days after such payment has been made by the Comptroller. As used in this section, "veteran" means any person (1) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (2) with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces.

Sec. 23. Section 27-125 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

Any veteran who is a citizen of this state and who, through disability or other causes incident to service in the armed forces in time of war, is in need of temporary financial assistance may be provided for by the commissioner by a method similar to that provided in section 27-82, the amount and continuance of such assistance to be discretionary with the commissioner. The widow, widower and each child, parent, brother or sister of any member of the armed forces, who died while in such active service, may be assisted by the commissioner if such person or persons are without sufficient means of support by reason of the death of such member of the armed forces. In carrying out his or her duties under the provisions of this section, the commissioner is directed to cooperate with such federal agencies as may aid in securing prompt and suitable treatment, care and relief of any such member of the armed forces or his or her dependents. The records of the agencies of the state shall be placed at the disposal of the commissioner and such agencies are directed to cooperate with and to assist the commissioner in carrying out his or her duties. As used in this section, "veteran" means any person (1) honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service in, the armed forces, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, or (2) with a qualifying condition, as defined in said section, who has received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service in the armed forces.

Sec. 24. Section 27-140 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

All money so paid to and received by the American Legion shall be expended by it in furnishing temporary income; subsistence items such as food, wearing apparel, shelter and related expenses; medical or surgical aid or care or relief (1) to, or in bearing the funeral expenses of, soldiers, sailors or marines (A) (i) who performed service in time of war, as defined in [subsection (a) of] section 27-103, as amended by this act, in any branch of the military service of the United States, including the Connecticut National Guard, or (ii) who were engaged in any of the wars waged by the United States during said periods in the forces of any government associated with the United States, (B) (i) who have been honorably discharged therefrom or honorably released from active service therein, or (ii) with a qualifying condition, as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act, who have received discharges other than bad conduct or dishonorable from active service therein, and (C) who were citizens or resident aliens of the state at the time of entering said armed forces of the United States, including the Connecticut National Guard, or of any such government, [or] (2) to their spouses who are living with them, [or] (3) to their widows or widowers who were living with them at the time of death, or (4) to dependent children under eighteen years of age, who may be in need of the same. All such payments shall be made by the American Legion under authority of its bylaws, which bylaws shall set forth the procedure for proof of eligibility for such aid, provided payments made for the care and treatment of any person entitled to the benefits provided for herein, at any hospital receiving aid from the General Assembly unless special care and treatment are required, shall be in accordance with the provisions of section 17b-239, and provided the sum expended for the care or treatment of such person at any other place than a state-aided hospital shall in no case exceed the actual cost of supporting such person at the Healthcare Center in Rocky Hill maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs, unless special care and treatment are required, when such sum as may be determined by the treasurer of such organization may be paid therefor. Upon the completion of the trust provided for in section 27-138, the principal fund shall revert to the State Treasury.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2018

27-103(a)

Sec. 2

October 1, 2018

4a-59(c)

Sec. 3

October 1, 2018

5-196(28)

Sec. 4

October 1, 2018

5-224

Sec. 5

October 1, 2018

8-75

Sec. 6

October 1, 2018

10-5(b) and (c)

Sec. 7

October 1, 2018

10-221a(i)(1)

Sec. 8

October 1, 2018

10a-77(d)

Sec. 9

October 1, 2018

10a-99(d)

Sec. 10

October 1, 2018

10a-105(e)

Sec. 11

October 1, 2018, and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2018

12-81(19)

Sec. 12

October 1, 2018, and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2018

12-81(22)

Sec. 13

October 1, 2018, and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2018

12-81(25)

Sec. 14

October 1, 2018

12-412(63)(D)

Sec. 15

October 1, 2018

14-20b(a)

Sec. 16

October 1, 2018

14-36h(f)

Sec. 17

October 1, 2018

14-50(c)

Sec. 18

October 1, 2018

14-254

Sec. 19

October 1, 2018

17b-28i(a)

Sec. 20

October 1, 2018

27-108(a)

Sec. 21

October 1, 2018

27-109

Sec. 22

October 1, 2018

27-118

Sec. 23

October 1, 2018

27-125

Sec. 24

October 1, 2018

27-140

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

In Section 1(a)(5), after "38 USC 1720D," "as amended from time to time," was inserted for accuracy and consistency; in Section 2(c)(D)(i), "who has been honorably" was changed to "honorably" for consistency; in Section 10(e)(2), "such veteran is accepted for admission to [said] such institution" was changed to "such veteran or person is accepted for admission to said institution" for accuracy and consistency; in Sections 11 to 13, inclusive, in the effective dates "and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2018" was inserted for clarity; in Section 15, the definition of "member of the armed forces" was added for clarity and consistency; and in Section 17, "his" was changed to "his or her" throughout for accuracy and consistency.

VA

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Resources of the General Fund

GF - Potential Revenue Loss

See Below

See Below

Resources of the Special Transportation Fund

TF - Potential Revenue Loss

See Below

See Below

Various State Agencies

GF - Potential Cost

See Below

See Below

Note: GF=General Fund; TF=Transportation Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Various Municipalities

Potential Revenue Loss

See Below

See Below

Explanation

This bill expands eligibility for veteran benefits and results in costs to multiple agencies and revenue loss to the General Fund, Special Transportation Fund, and municipalities.

The bill expands veteran's benefits to those who were discharged under conditions other than honorable and have a qualifying condition. Under the bill “qualifying condition” is post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or a military sexual trauma experience. It is estimated that this bill would affect approximately 800 people1, but this populations utilization rates of the veteran benefits is unknown. Below is a list of non-wartime and wartime benefits with a fiscal impact that this population could be eligible for2.

Non-Wartime Benefits:

Wartime Benefits:

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 284

AN ACT CONCERNING BENEFITS FOR CERTAIN VETERANS WHO HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER OR TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY OR WHO HAVE HAD AN EXPERIENCE OF MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA.

SUMMARY

This bill extends certain benefits, available to veterans honorably discharged or released under honorable conditions from active service in the armed forces, to veterans who (1) were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable or for bad conduct (i.e., veterans with an other than honorable (OTH) discharge), and (2) have a qualifying condition.

Under the bill a “qualifying condition” means a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury made by, or a military sexual trauma experience disclosed to, an individual licensed to provide care at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility.

Specifically, the bill extends the following benefits to veterans with an OTH discharge and a qualifying condition:

The bill also makes technical, minor, and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018; the sections on property tax exemption ( 11-13) apply to assessment years beginning on or after that date.

VETERANS BENEFITS

The bill extends certain benefits to veterans with an OTH discharge and a qualifying condition under the same terms and conditions under which those benefits are available to veterans honorably discharged or released under honorable conditions from active service. As under existing law, some of these benefits are limited to veterans with war time service only.

Small Business Preference ( 2)

The law provides certain veteran-owned businesses with up to a 15% price preference for certain Department of Administrative Services open market orders or contracts. The businesses must have gross revenue under $3 million in the most recently completed fiscal year and have one or more veterans hold at least 51% ownership (CGS 4a-59(c)).

Civil Service Exam Bonus Points ( 4)

The law gives bonus points to certain veterans who pass an initial state and municipal civil service examination held to establish a candidate list. If an honorably discharged or released veteran served in a military action and received or is entitled to receive a campaign badge or expeditionary medal and is not otherwise eligible to receive bonus points, he or she qualifies for five bonus points on these exams (CGS 5-224).

Tuition Waivers ( 8-10)

The law requires the state's public colleges and universities to waive tuition for wartime veterans who are accepted at an approved institution and live in the state at the time of the acceptance.

The waiver applies at community-technical colleges, the Connecticut State University System (CSUS), and the University of Connecticut (UConn)(CGS 10a-77, 10a-99 & 10a-105).

State Mandated Property Tax Exemption ( 11-13)

The law requires municipalities to exempt $1,000 of the property owned by a veteran from taxation (i.e., basic exemption). The law also extends this benefit to certain surviving spouses and minor children (CGS 12-81(19), (22) & (25)).

Farmer Tax Exemption ( 14)

By law the Department of Revenue Services may issue a farmer tax exemption permit to a farmer, if the farmer is a veteran who never owned or leased property for commercial agricultural production or who owned or leased property for such purpose for less than two years (CGS 12-412(D)(63)).

Special License Plate ( 15)

The law allows any type of motor vehicle owned or leased by a veteran or his or her surviving spouse for one year or longer to qualify for special veterans' license plates. It also requires the DMV commissioner to issue a special registration certificate and a set of number plates to veterans, armed forces members, or their surviving spouses for any motor vehicle they use exclusively for farming, as long as they engage in agricultural production as a trade or profession (CGS 14-20b).

Veterans Status on Driver's License and Identity Card ( 16)

By law, the DMV commissioner must include a person's status as a veteran on his or her state driver's license or identity card. To qualify, the person must request that his or her veteran status be included. The Department of Veterans Affairs must verify the requester's status to the DMV commissioner (CGS 14-36h).

Overtime Parking Fine ( 18)

The law entitles disabled wartime veterans with certain Veteran Affairs-rated disabilities, upon application, to a free special license that exempts them from overtime parking fines, provided they do not leave their vehicles at the same spot for more than 24 hours. Surviving spouses may keep the plates and identification cards until death or remarriage (CGS 14-254).

Temporary Assistance ( 23)

Under the law, wartime veterans who need help because of a disability or other service-related cause may receive temporary financial assistance from the veterans' affairs commissioner. He may also help the spouse, parents, children, or siblings of any veteran who died as a result of such service if they cannot support themselves because of the veteran's death (CGS 27-125).

Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Fund ( 24)

By law, this fund provides temporary aid (such as food, clothing, and medical and surgical aid), general care and relief, or burial expenses to needy wartime veterans or their (1) spouses living with them or who lived with them when they died or (2) dependent children under age 18. The veteran must live in the state when he or she applies for and while getting the assistance (CGS 27-138 et seq.).

BACKGROUND

War Time Service

Table 1 summarizes the dates and service conditions that constitute “service in time of war.”

Table 1: Post-1940 "Service in Time of War"

Operation

Date

Service Condition

World War II

12/07/41-12/31/47*

Active service during the war

Korean War

06/27/50-01/31/55

Active service during the war

Lebanon Conflict

07/01/58-11/01/58 or 09/29/82-03/30/84

Combat or combat-support role in Lebanon

Vietnam Era

02/28/61-07/01/75

Active service during the war

Grenada invasion

10/25/83-12/15/83

Combat or combat-support role in Grenada required

Operation Earnest Will (escort of Kuwaiti tankers flying U.S. flag in Persian Gulf)

07/24/87-08/01/90

Combat or combat-support role required in the operation

Panama invasion

12/20/89-01/31/90

Combat or combat-support role required in the invasion

Persian Gulf War

08/02/1990 until a date prescribed by the President or law

Active-service anywhere during the war (not necessarily in the Persian Gulf or in a combat role)

*Ending dates specified in CGS 12-86 for property tax exemptions.

Aid and Attendance

The Aid and Attendance monthly pension amount may be added to a veteran's monthly pension amount for veterans who need aid to perform personal everyday living functions, are bedridden, are in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, or have specific limited eyesight.

Related Bill

sSB 288, favorably reported by the Veterans Committee, requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner, when determining income eligibility for certain state assistance programs, to disregard all non-service-connected pension benefits granted to veterans or their surviving spouses, instead of only the federal Aid and Attendance pension benefits. She must do so to the extent allowed by federal law.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Veterans' Affairs Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

14

Nay

0

(03/14/2018)

TOP

1 Source: Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School and the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs.

2 All veterans are eligible for non-wartime benefits but additional requirements must be met for wartime benefits.