HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill introduced by Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33), chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, that would enhance care by increasing oversight at Pennsylvania’s six state veterans homes.
“Our state veterans homes provide an incredible service by delivering care to veterans and their families when they need it the most,” said Mastriano, who chairs the committee and is a U.S. Army combat veteran. “My legislation would help to ensure the standard of care at our veterans homes does not diminish.”
Mastriano’s Senate Bill 933 would reform the composition and responsibilities of the six veterans homes’ advisory councils.
The bill calls for veterans home advisory councils to make recommendations to the state adjutant general about resident care, management, operations and facility compliance to ensure veterans receive high-quality health care and maintain their wellbeing.
The bill would revamp the advisory councils by expanding them to comprise 15 members, including a family member of a current or past resident. Nominations for this position on the advisory council would come from veterans organizations surrounding each of the veterans homes.
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs would make a subject matter expert available for each of the advisory council meetings and provide an annual report to the state Legislature.
The bill also calls for advisory councils to comply with open meeting requirements.
Senate Bill 933 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Media contact: Josh Herman