Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR (Details)
Length: 770 words.
Revisions of this bill in our system:
|Public hearing:||2009-04-22 09:30:00 LOB 203||2009-01-27 00:00:00|
|Executive session:||2009-04-29 10:00:00||(unscheduled)|
|Floor vote:||2009-05-06 00:00:00||2009-02-04 00:00:00|
SB 35 – FINAL VERSION
SENATE BILL 35
This bill establishes a commission to study creating a veterans’ legal aid advocacy project in New Hampshire.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine
AN ACT establishing a commission to study creating a veterans’ legal aid advocacy project in New Hampshire.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
90:1 Findings and Purpose.
I. The legislature finds that:
(a) About 10 percent of New Hampshire’s population are veterans.
(b) Many veterans are low to moderate income and cannot afford attorneys. Veterans in rural areas encounter greater difficulties acquiring counsel.
(c) New Hampshire veterans of all ages have faced difficulty securing and maintaining public benefits, livable income, and safe and affordable housing.
(d) New Hampshire veterans currently returning from service in Afghanistan and Iraq are confronted with psychological, physical, and economic obstacles that sometimes require legal advocacy, including a high reported incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury.
(e) As authorized by RSA 115:4, II(b), the director of the state veteran’s council has identified a significant need for pro bono legal advocacy for veterans and has determined that the creation of the veterans’ legal aid advocacy project is a possible model that could improve the delivery of services to veterans.
(f) Hundreds of New Hampshire veterans are homeless. Many are unaware of services available to them. Targeted legal outreach may help bring some veterans out of poverty.
(g) Veterans’ legal aid advocacy projects have been developed in other states.
(h) New Hampshire Legal Assistance is a state-wide legal aid program with expertise in public benefits, disability advocacy, and housing advocacy.
II. The purpose of this act is to establish a commission to study creating a veterans’ legal aid advocacy project in New Hampshire.
90:2 Commission Established. There is established a commission to study creating a veterans’ legal aid advocacy project in New Hampshire.
90:3 Membership and Compensation.
I. The members of the commission shall be as follows:
(a) Two members of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.
(b) Two members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
(c) The adjutant general of the New Hampshire national guard, or designee.
(d) The commandant of the New Hampshire veterans’ home, or designee.
(e) The director of the New Hampshire state veterans council, or designee.
(f) One person appointed by the United States Department of Labor’s New Hampshire office of the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.
(g) The commissioner of the department of employment security, or designee.
(h) One person appointed by Disabled American Veterans.
(i) One representative of New Hampshire Legal Assistance, appointed by the executive director.
(j) The chairperson of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Military Law Section, or designee.
(k) The bureau chief of the department of health and human services, bureau of community based care and military programs, or designee.
(1) The patient’s advocate at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, or designee.
(m) The chairman of the New Hampshire Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, or designee.
(n) The executive director of National Center for PTSD, or designee.
(o) The executive director of a nonprofit organization that serves homeless veterans in New Hampshire, appointed by the governor.
II. Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.
90:4 Duties. The commission shall study creating a veterans’ legal aid advocacy project in New Hampshire as a component of New Hampshire Legal Assistance. The commission shall identify the scope of the legal need of underserved low and moderate income veterans in New Hampshire. The commission shall determine the best model for the delivery of legal aid services to veterans to meet the need, including, but not limited to, determining how the project complements the work of existing veterans’ service organizations, particularly the state veterans council. The commission shall provide recommendations on funding levels needed for the veterans legal aid advocacy project. For purposes of the commission’s study, “veteran” means current members and former members of the armed forces, national guard, and reserve units.
90:5 Chairperson. The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named senate member. The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 60 days of the effective date of this section.
90:6 Report. The commission shall report its findings and recommendations for proposed legislation, funding, and other proposals to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate clerk, the house clerk, the governor, the members of the executive council, and the state library. The preliminary report shall be submitted on or before December 1, 2009, and a final report shall be submitted on or before August 1, 2010.
90:7 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved: June 12, 2009
Effective Date: June 12, 2009