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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: April 25, 2016 03:30 PM
From: Senator Randy Vulakovich
To: All Senate members
Subject: Veterans Trust Fund Amendments
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation strengthening the Pennsylvania Veterans Trust Fund.

Established in 2012, the Veterans Trust Fund provides grants to statewide charitable organizations that assist veterans; veteran’s service organizations; and county directors of veteran’s affairs to assist veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living. The Veterans Trust Fund receives its funding through voluntary contributions from taxpayers through their income tax returns; voluntary contributions from drivers through vehicle registrations; voluntary online contributions; sales of “Honoring our Heroes” license plates; and the sale of the Scotland School for Veterans Children. Since 2012, the Fund has received $5.5 million and has distributed 3.4 million, with nearly 1,000 veterans directly assisted.

This legislation will:
1. Change the name of the “Veterans Emergency Assistance Program” to the “Veterans Temporary Assistance Program.”
2. Ensure uniformity with the administration of grants from the Veterans Trust Fund and the Veterans Temporary Assistance Program.
3. Clarify that any statewide charitable organizations with the primary mission that serves veterans are eligible for grants.
4. Provide that the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs administer the funding.
5. Allow the Department to use funds to sponsor training or informational programs for veterans with the limitation that only up to 10 percent of the balance in the fund are used for this purpose.
6. Clarify the definitions for Veteran, Emergency and Eligibility for Funds.

Overall, these modifications are aimed at enhancing the Veterans Trust Fund and the Department’s ability to better serve the veterans of this Commonwealth. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is fully supportive of this legislation.

If you have any questions, please contact Nate Silcox of my staff at 717-787-6538 or nsilcox@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB1226