Senate Approves Bill to Strengthen PA Veterans Trust Fund

The Senate today approved legislation that will strengthen an important state program that assists those individuals and their families during their time of need, according to Senator Randy Vulakovich, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee and prime sponsor of the bill.

Senate Bill 1226 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:

  • Changing the name of the “Veterans Emergency Assistance Program” to the “Veterans Temporary Assistance Program.”
  • Ensuring uniformity with the administration of grants from the Veterans Trust Fund and the Veterans Temporary Assistance Program.
  • 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 to use funds to sponsor training or informational programs for veterans with the limitation that only up to 10 percent of the balance in the fund can be used for this purpose.
  • Clarifying definitions for veteran, emergency, and eligibility for funds.

“Pennsylvania’s veterans have served our nation with honor and distinction and it is important that we repay that service by providing the support services they need,” Senator Vulakovich said.  “Overall, the modifications I am proposing 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.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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

More information about state issues is available at Senator Vulakovich’s website, www.senatorvulakovich.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SenatorRandyVulakovich