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SENATE AMENDED
PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 1011
PRINTER'S NO. 2381
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
995
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY KAUFER, HILL-EVANS, PICKETT, BROOKS, FREEMAN,
POLINCHOCK, CIRESI, HOHENSTEIN, WEBSTER, JAMES, CONKLIN,
WHEELAND, GILLEN, SAINATO, RYAN, DELLOSO AND GUZMAN,
MARCH 23, 2021
SENATOR STEFANO, VETERANS AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, IN
SENATE, AS AMENDED, NOVEMBER 9, 2021
AN ACT
Amending Title 51 (Military Affairs) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in Department of Military Affairs,
establishing the Veterans' Outreach and Support Network
Program PA VETCONNECT PROGRAM.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 51 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
ยง 714 . Veterans' Outreach and Support Network Program PA
VETCONNECT PROGRAM .
(a) Establishment.--The Veterans' Outreach and Support
Network Program PA VETCONNECT PROGRAM is established.
(b) Participants.--The program may include FEDERAL AGENCIES,
State agencies, county directors of veterans' affairs, veterans
service organizations, the healthcare provider community
VETERANS' SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS, ACCREDITED POSTSECONDARY
EDUCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL INSTITUTIONS, THE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
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COMMUNITY, BUSINESSES and nonprofit organizations.
(c) Purpose.--The program shall:
(1) Improve the health and well-being of veterans and
the families of veterans through REFERRALS, community
engagement and consistent network communication.
(2) Organize participants under subsection (b) to
cooperate with network partners to provide for proactive
solutions to address the problems faced by veterans when
transitioning from military service to civilian life .
(d) Requirements.--Program requirements shall be determined
by the department and information shall be disseminated to the
greatest extent possible on how to best navigate and utilize
available resources to improve the health and well-being of
veterans and the families of veterans.
(e) Duties of department.--The department shall develop the
program, which shall contain a mission statement that shall be
clearly communicated to network ADVOCATES, partners and
participants under subsection (b). The department shall:
(1) Coordinate with other State agencies, county
directors of veterans' affairs, veterans service
organizations, the healthcare provider community and non-
profit organizations, identified by the department, that
provide programs and services to veterans and the families of
veterans.
(2) Provide a Welcome Home to Pennsylvania packet to
participants.
(3) Provide information regarding programs, resources ,
training opportunities, veteran service organizations and
services available to be utilized by family and friends of
veterans who can regularly interact and offer outreach and
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support for veterans.
(4) Coordinate with county directors of veterans'
affairs by providing information of veterans who request
support through the Veterans' Registry.
(5) Utilize the address found on the copy of the
veteran's DD214 forwarded to the department by the United
States Department of Defense to contact the veteran to send
out the welcome packet to participate and join our veteran
network.
(1) COORDINATE WITH FEDERAL AGENCIES, STATE AGENCIES,
COUNTY DIRECTORS OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, VETERANS' SERVICE
ORGANIZATIONS, ACCREDITED POSTSECONDARY EDUCATIONAL AND
TECHNICAL INSTITUTIONS, THE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER COMMUNITY,
BUSINESSES AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, IDENTIFIED BY THE
DEPARTMENT, THAT PROVIDE PROGRAMS, INITIATIVES, REINTEGRATION
OUTREACH AND RELATED SERVICES TO VETERANS AND THE FAMILIES OF
VETERANS.
(2) PROVIDE WELCOME HOME TO PENNSYLVANIA INFORMATION TO
RECENTLY SEPARATED SERVICE MEMBERS.
(3) PROVIDE INFORMATION REGARDING PROGRAM INITIATIVES,
RESOURCES, TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES, VETERAN SERVICE
ORGANIZATIONS AND SERVICES AVAILABLE TO BE UTILIZED BY
INDIVIDUALS OR GROUPS WHO SUPPORT VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES
AS VOLUNTEERS AND OFFER OUTREACH AND SUPPORT FOR VETERANS.
(4) COORDINATE WITH COUNTY DIRECTORS OF VETERANS'
AFFAIRS BY PROVIDING INFORMATION OF VETERANS WHO REQUEST
SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL AND STATE BENEFITS AND PROGRAMS.
(5) COORDINATE WITH VETERANS' SERVICE OFFICERS FROM
VETERANS' SERVICE OFFICER GRANT PROGRAMS OR OTHER VETERANS'
SERVICE OFFICERS TO ASSIST VETERANS IN APPLYING FOR FEDERAL
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VETERAN BENEFITS.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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