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2015 Session

Budget Bill - HB1400 (Introduced)

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Department of Veterans Services

Item 461

Item 461

First Year - FY2015Second Year - FY2016
Veterans Benefit Services (46700)$8,782,763$8,793,390
$11,297,591
Case Management Services for Veterans Benefits (46701)FY2015 $5,235,886FY2016 $5,235,886
$6,286,087
Veteran and Wounded Warrior Support Services (46702)FY2015 $3,546,877FY2016 $3,557,504
$3,737,504
Veterans Employment and Transition Services (46703)FY2015 $0FY2016 $1,274,000
Fund Sources:  
GeneralFY2015 $7,604,463FY2016 $7,615,090
$10,019,291
SpecialFY2015 $25,000FY2016 $25,000
$0
Dedicated Special RevenueFY2015 $375,000FY2016 $375,000
$600,000
Federal TrustFY2015 $778,300FY2016 $778,300
$678,300

Authority: Title 2.2, Chapters 20, 24, 26, and 27, Code of Virginia.


A. Notwithstanding § 23-7.4:1, Code of Virginia, the department shall provide the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia the information these schools need to administer the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependent Education Program. The department shall retain the responsibility to certify the eligibility of those who apply for financial aid under this program.


B. No child may receive the education benefits provided by § 23-7.4:1, Code of Virginia, and funded by this or similar state appropriations, for more than four years or its equivalent.


C. Out of the amounts appropriated for this Item, $150,000 the first year and $150,000 the second year from the general fund is provided for the licensing fees associated with an automated claims processing system for the submission of veterans' benefit claims.


D.  Out of this appropriation, $30,000 the first year and $30,000 the second year from the general fund is appropriated to permit up to 20 benefit claims agents per year to attend training courses offered by national veterans service organizations.  Up to 10 benefit claims agents per year shall attend national training courses offered by the American Legion and up to 10 benefit claims agents shall attend national training courses offered by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.


E. Out of this appropriation, up to $300,000 the first year and $300,000 the second year from the general fund shall be provided for training and equipment purchases to support the Virginia Values Veterans Program.  The Department of Veterans Services shall develop program guidelines to ensure that the funding mechanism effectively attracts maximum participation of firms to increase the number of veterans hired.  Such funds may be used by companies hiring returning or disabled military veterans for new full-time jobs located in the Commonwealth that pay an annual salary of at least $30,000 and for which the returning or disabled military veteran is employed continuously throughout the year.  A full-time job is defined as a minimum of either 35 hours per week for at least 48 weeks or 1,680 hours per year.


F. Included in the appropriation for this Item is $264,218 the first year and $264,218 the second year from the general fund to address the increased demand for services to veterans and their families provided by the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program.


G. The Department of Veterans Services shall assess the feasibility of expanding the number of field offices in locations where office space and other support services might be contributed on a cooperative basis through local governments, the Virginia Employment Commission, the Virginia Community College System, or other public or private entities, in order to encourage the most cost-effective delivery of benefits services to veterans in conjunction with other essential services.  The Department shall provide a report on such opportunities to the Secretary of Veterans and Military Affairs and the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees by December 1, 2014.