Bill to Strengthen PA Veterans Trust Fund Sent to Governor

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Legislation that will strengthen an important state program that assists those individuals and their families during their time of need received final legislative approval Tuesday and was sent to the Governor for enactment into law, according to Senator Randy Vulakovich, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee and prime sponsor of the bill.

Senate Bill 1226, which was approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday and by the Senate on June 27th, would streamline and improve the Pennsylvania Veterans Trust Fund and ensure that it continues to provide assistance to those who have served in uniform by:

  • Aligning the Veterans Trust Fund with the Veterans Emergency Assistance Program.
  • Allowing the Veterans Trust Fund to be able to take in donations of any kind.
  • Clarifying that any charitable organization with the primary mission that serves veterans is eligible for grants.
  • Providing that the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs administer the funding.
  • Allowing the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to use funds to sponsor training or informational programs for veterans.
  • The bill will tighten up the rules for assistance – limiting the maximum amount they can receive to once every 12 months.
  • Clarifying definitions for veteran, emergency, and eligibility for funds.

“I am extremely pleased to see this bill getting to the Governor.  Pennsylvania’s veterans have served our nation with honor and distinction and it is important that we repay that service by providing the supports they need,” said Sen. Vulakovich.  “Overall, these modifications are aimed at enhancing the Veterans Trust Fund and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs’ ability to better serve the veterans of our Commonwealth.”

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 support their efforts to assist veterans in need of shelter and other necessities of living.

Senator Vulakovich on his bill.

Contact:          Nate Silcox     (717) 787-6538 or nsilcox@pasen.gov.