LEGISLATIVE

2019-2020 Legislative Program:  A few things ~  First, you will receive points for All-State only. One (1) point will be awarded each month a Post submits a legislative report or response letter with your monthly Community Activity report. ➤ Please send to both Comrade Director Bob Lutz via activity@vfwmi.org. and please send a copy of your legislative activity only via leg@vfwmi.org.

 

Second, please note, Attending other Veterans groups meetings counts as Legislative (and others). 
See the All-State Guide via Activity Evaluation, which is also on this site under 'Programs.' See:

https://vfwmi.org/di/vfw/v2/default.asp?pid=8877

 

Third, please be certain to sign-up for the VFW Action Corps Weekly for timely and informative email updates on current federal legislation. The Action Corps link as well as several others are provided below.

Last, much thanks for your efforts to serve others!

 

RECENT

🔴 20 Dec. 2019 UPDATE:  2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Signed into law;The Widow's Tax has been eliminated. : https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1790

 

VFW Supported Federal Bills (February 2020). See for complete list: https://votervoice.net/VFW/bills

Please support:

 

The Retired Pay Restoration Act (HR 303; 2019):  "Military retirees who have a service-connected disability rating below 50 percent have their retirement pay reduced, dollar for dollar, by the amount of disability compensation they receive. This demeaning tax, created by Congress to save money, forces those who have dedicated their careers to military service to make do without benefits they need to provide for their families.” Please contact your federal Representatives to support this bill.

 

Burn Pits Accountability Act (2019):  H.R. 663 and S. 191 ~ Would improve how DOD tracks, treats, and prevents the harmful impact of burn pits in GWOT and Persian Gulf War veterans. Also support:  HR 4137 (2019).

Senate Advances VFW-Supported Mental Health Bill:  "[T]he Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a markup to discuss and advance the VFW-supported S.785, Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019, which would improve VA mental health care programs and services for veterans. The bill would also establish two grant programs, one to enable non-government entities to provide supportive mental health care services and another to expand telehealth programs such as Project ATLAS. The committee also advanced legislation to improve health care for women veterans, expand transportation grants for veterans who live in rural areas, expand veterans preference for reserve component members, and confirm Judge Grant Jaquith to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The bills and Judge Jaquith’s nomination now await consideration by the full Senate.

VFW Supported Federal Bills (February 2020):

Legislation Introduced to Establish a Presumption for Blast Exposure:  "…Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) introduced VFW-supported H.R. 5739, the Blast Exposure Protection Act of 2020. This important legislation would establish a presumption of service-connection for disabilities associated with blast exposures, which will make it easier for veterans to prove that health conditions are related to their military service. "Traumatic brain injury and other conditions associated with blast exposure are very serious health issues,” stated VFW National Legislative Service Associate Director Matthew Doyle. "Many service members go untreated for blast injuries while in service, which makes it difficult to prove that these conditions were caused by an event in service. The VFW is proud to support the Blast Exposure Protection Act of 2020, which would ensure that veterans who were exposed to blasts during military service receive the care and benefits they desperately need.” Please support this act.


 

National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission Discusses GWOT Memorial:  "…VFW National Legislative Service Associate Director Matt Doyle attended a meeting to discuss the placement of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Memorial. At the meeting, the National Capitol Memorial Advisory Commission (NCMAC) discussed VFW-supported H.R. 5046, the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act. This important legislation would authorize the GWOT Memorial to be placed within the Reserve, an area in Washington, D.C., that encompasses the National Mall and the Tidal Basin. Under the Commemorative Works Act, only Congress may authorize the placement of a memorial within the Reserve. The NCMAC considered whether the GWOT Memorial should be placed at any of the sites specified in the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act and the potential impact of placing additional monuments and memorials within the Reserve.” Please support this bill.


Helpful Links:


VFW Legislative Priorities (including VFW Priority Goals)
:
https://www.vfw.org/advocacy/national-legislative-service


VFW Action Corps Weekly
https://www.vfw.org/actioncorpsweekly


State of Michigan Senators, Representatives, and Bills:  www.michiganlegislature.org

   House Clerk Phone:  517-373-0135
   Secretary of the Senate Phone:  517-373-2400

Federal Bills:  https://www.congress.gov//

   U.S. Senators:  www.senate.gov
   U.S. Representatives:  www.house.gov




Jennifer L. Smith,
Veterans of Foreign Wars
  Dept. of MI Legislative Director

420 W. Kilborn Street

Lansing, MI  48906
Phone:  (517) 819-3551

Email:  

leg@vfwmi.org