- January 27, 2019
This is the second year of our veterans’ legislation descriptions. We attempt to cover all of the proposed legislation that might affect veterans in the state of Arizona. Please let us know if there are any pieces of legislation we might be missing.
To find out who your representative is, or to contact your representative, see this link: https://www.azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp
For Arizona Legislature Request to Speak (RTS) information (RTS allows you to request to speak at the legislature, or to register your opinion as for or against certain legislation) see this link: https://azleg.gov/rts/rts.asp
Unfortunately, just two of the of the twelve pieces of veterans’ legislation efforts we wrote about last year passed. You can see the full listing and descriptions of each of our covered pieces of legislation from last year at the link here: https://www.jacksonlawgroupaz.com/blog/arizona-veterans-legislation-2018/
Our highlighted legislation from 2018 with results:
Sponsor: Jay Lawrence (R)
Description: This bill creates an annually required report, ordering the Arizona Department of Health Services to compile a report on veteran suicides that includes:
The bill also asks that the Department of Health and Human Services provide “the percentage of veterans in this state who receive nonmedication first-line treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.”
The bill goes further in asking the Department of Health and Human Services to analyze other state programs with the V.A. “including an analysis of sharing prescription information and behavioral health data relating to veterans.”
Sponsor: Jay Lawrence (R)
Description: The bill changes the statute, which currently allows the Department of Veterans’ Services the ability to purchase property for and operate a veterans’ home. The change allows the Department of Veterans’ Services to expand their efforts, to purchase property for and operate multiple homes.
Sponsor: Jay Lawrence (R)
Description: The bill provides for exceptions to normal fees for the purchase of special plates (i.e. Veterans, Purple Heart, POW) for plates that have the international symbol of access for disability with a disability that occurred as a result of military service in a combat or noncombat area.
Sponsor: Gail Griffin (R)
Description: The bill provides for the creation of military services special plates so long “a person pays $32,000 to the Department” for implementation. The bill also states that, of the $25 fee required for purchase, $17 shall be an annual donation and $8 shall go to the State Highway Fund.
Sponsors: Diego Espinoza (D), Richard C. Andrade (D), Isela Blanc (D), Reginald Bolding (D), Noel Campbell (R), Andres Cano (D), David Cook (R), Charlene Fernandez (D), Randall Friese (D), Rosanna Gabaldon (D), Alma Hernandez (D), Jennifer Jermaine (D), Jay Lawrence (R), Jennifer Longdon (D), Robert Meza (D), Tony Rivero (R), Diego Rodriguez (D), Lorenzo Sierra (D)
Description: The bill cites a statistic that at least 234 veterans have been deported, states that those who were deported and who were not allowed to see a V.A. doctor for evaluation are not allowed to claim their benefits at the V.A., and asks the United States Government to provide medical treatment and other benefits for all veterans of the United States, including those who have been deported.
Sponsors: Diego Espinoza (D), Richard C. Andrade (D), Andres Cano (D), Charlene Fernandez (D), Randall Friese (D), Rosanna Gabaldon (D), Alma Hernandez (D), Robert Meza (D), Tony Rivero (R), Diego Rodriguez (D), Lorenzo Sierra (D)
Description: The bill provides procurement preferences for veteran owned businesses and Arizona owned businesses for some Arizona state contracts and provides definitions for those qualifying organizations.
Sponsors: Richard C. Andrade (D), Noel Campbell (R), David Cook (R), Diego Espinoza (D), Rosanna Gabaldon (D), Gail Griffin (R), Jennifer Jermaine (D), Jay Lawrence (R), Pamela Powers Hannley (D), Diego Rodriguez (D), Bob Thorpe (R), Ben Toma (R), Myron Tsosie (D)
Description: This bill specifically appropriates an additional 1.2M dollars from the state general fund to the department of veterans’ services to hire additional benefits counselors.
Sponsors: Myron Tsosie (D), Mitzi Epstein (D), Alma Hernandez (D), Daniel Hernandez (D), Jay Lawrence (R), Jennifer Pawlik (D), Diego Rodriguez (D), Arlando Teller (D), Sally Ann Gonzalez (D), Juan Mendez (D), Jamescita Peshlakai (D), Victoria Steele (D)
Description: This bill appropriates $400,000 from the state general fund to the department of economic security to distribute to the Navajo nation for costs associated with the Navajo veterans housing assistance program administered by the Navajo nation.
Sponsors: Jay Lawrence (R)
Description: The bill would allow all veterans and active duty military personnel free entrance to all state parks on presentation of military identification.
Sponsor: Jeff Weninger (R)
Description: This bill would limit the number of events any nonmember of any military club or organization such as the VFW, DAV, or American Legion could attend. It specifically limits events such as bingo games and nonmember recruitment events, where nonmembers are allowed to purchase alcohol, to 12 events per year for each of those types of events.
Sponsor: Gail Griffin (R), Sonny Borrelli (R)
Description: The Bill would increase the subtraction from gross income for “benefits, annuities, and pensions received as retired or retainer pay of the uniformed services of the United States…” from the current $2,500 in 2019 and $3,500 in 2019 to $6,250 in 2020 and $10,000 in 2021.
Sponsors: David Cook (R), Noel Campbell (R)
Description: This bill would require the Adjutant General to pay any members of Veterans’ Service Organizations in the state who serve on a detail for a deceased person eligible for military funeral honors.