OLYMPIA—Rural and remote veterans may have a chance to participate in a new pilot program to connect them to federal earned services under a bill from Rep. Kristine Reeves (D—Federal Way). Reeves’ bill (HB 1571) establishes a pilot program to help the Department of Veterans Affairs support partners who empower veterans to access already existing federal services in rural and remote communities, without massive funding burdens on the state budget.

“This is another step we can take to make sure our service members are getting access to VA programs for reintegration or health care,” said Reeves. “While just a pilot program, I’m excited we have the opportunity to try new and innovative ways to help our veterans.”

One county veterans’ assistance program or community partner will be chosen to pilot the program, and could include access to services such as accessing veterans’ benefits or other public services, mental health evaluation and treatment, substance abuse treatment, family counseling, children services, or transportation.

HB 1571 received a public hearing in the Senate State Government committee chaired by 30th District seatmate Sen. Mark Miloscia. Also in the State Government committee is HB 1802, the “Wounded Warrior Shared Leave Act,” which received a hearing as well. Reeves is hoping for bipartisan support to pass both bills into law.

 




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