Baker’s Bill to Improve Veterans’ Outreach Programs Becomes Law

HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) that will improve and better coordinate veterans outreach assistance and support programs in the Commonwealth was signed into law today by the governor.

“Our goal is to better manage the continuum of services across state, county, and independent programs, so that our veterans can receive the support they need to regain their mental, physical and economic health, to reconnect with themselves and their community and resume productive lives,” said Baker, “I’m so pleased that we were able to move this measure through the Legislature quickly, and that we received such strong support for it.”

Baker, who serves as chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said the new law will provide financial assistance to the Veterans Administration accredited service officer programs offered by nationally chartered veteran service organizations. These include the American Legion, AMVETS, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and the Disabled American Veterans.

“Given the complexity of the federal claims process, our large veterans community, and the demonstrated success of similar efforts, the need for a more effective veterans outreach program here in Pennsylvania is tremendous,” Baker said. “I believe this law will help to provide better, more coordinated services to our vets.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will coordinate the program and work to enhance the availability of veterans’ assistance throughout the state, to measure performance and program outcomes, and most importantly, ensure the continual improvement of services to Pennsylvania’s veterans.

Since August 1990, Pennsylvania has ranked fourth in the nation for the number of armed service members serving on active duty with at least one in four of today’s soldiers returning from combat seeking federal Veterans Administration compensation for service-connected injuries or illnesses.

Contact: Brian Grove
bgrove@pasen.gov
(570) 675-3931