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     VFW Department of Nevada Legislative Overview; 78th Session 2015

                   In 2014 Governor Sandoval announced that it would be the “Year of the Veteran” with the intent to establish Nevada as the “most veteran friendly state in the Nation”. He would make good on this objective in numerous ways anticipating the 2015 Legislative Session.
                 The Governor’s first step was to create the Director of Military and Veterans Policy and Administration. Caleb Cage, the former Director of Nevada Department of Veteran Services, was appointed to this position. Kat Miller was then hired to replace Director Cage as the Director of Nevada Department of Veterans Services.
                   Together they hit the ground running and never let up. They understood this was going to require a statewide, consorted effort. They established 6 expert committees between 2013 and 2014, to evaluate and assess the needs of the veteran community and solutions to address these shortcomings or areas where we can further honor our veterans.
                   We were encouraged to pursue a united front from all veteran service organizations. I met with the representatives from the VFW, DAV, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Marine Corps League, Purple Heart Association, Woman Veterans Group, Wolfpack Veterans, Western Nv College, and Rebel Vets, along with other veteran supporters, groups, and advocates. We decided to imitate and implement a similar approach to National Legislative efforts and we united.
    With the support from the Governor, Director Cage, and Director Miller this united front came in the form of the United Veterans Legislative Council, UVLC. Fragmented ideals and practices experienced in past Legislative Sessions were eliminated through this united front that held strong and steady throughout the session. We made it very hard for any legislative representative to tell us no. This is evident in the unprecedented success we enjoyed this session.
    A total of 55 recommendations were identified, after eliminating duplicates, 35 were enacted upon, and 22 were established through the legislative process.
    The Governor initiated 5 comprehensive Veteran Bills, solidifying his commitment to Nevada’s goal of becoming the most veteran friendly state in the Nation.
    The following is a brief overview of each. A more detailed report will be released by the Director Cage of the Governor’s Office and will include all statues, detailed descriptions, avenues of implementation, and effective dates. When this report is released it will be distributed throughout the organizations affected.
    Legislative report detailing all legislation effecting military and veterans

    • Veteran and Military Day at the Legislature (specific date every session)
    • Resolution honoring our fallen by naming state buildings, parks after them
    • $14,139,883 committed towards Northern Nevada Veterans Home
    • Survivors tax exempt for family of a fallen Nevada Military members
    • Payroll tax deduction for veteran hiring companies
    • In state college tuition 5 years after discharge regardless of home of record
    • Private sector veteran preference hiring authorization
    • Require licensing boards to establish and develop reciprocity programs to veterans and their families who hold licenses in other states
    • Silver Star and Bronze Star with Valor license plates
    • VA Disability Compensation Benefits not to be used for alimony nor considered community property (codifies federal law)
    • Creation of Woman Veterans Committee
    • Parking privileges for Purple Heart, Pearl Harbor Survivor, and Medal of Honor license plates
    • Office of Military and Veteran Legal assistance within the Attorney Generals Office
    • Allows the Employment Security Division of the Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation to pay unemployment insurance to members of the National Guard if terminated from duty
    • Expanded forms DMV accepts for driver license designation
    • Nevada Department of Veterans Services to develop plans and program to assist veterans suffering form Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
    • Increase of key staff for Nevada Department of Veterans Services
    • Creates a veteran program manager for the division of human resource management
    • Suicide prevention education requirements for providers

    Caleb, Harris

    State Legislative Deputy

    VFW Department of Nevada