2013 -- S 0583
S E N A T E R E S O L U T I O N
RESPECTFULLY REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND ITS
DIVISION OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS TO STUDY VARIOUS PROGRAMS AIMED AT
INCREASING VETERANS' ACCESS TO SERVICES
Introduced By: Senators Bates, Pichardo, Ottiano, Pearson, and Jabour
Date Introduced: February 28, 2013
WHEREAS, Since 2001, over two million American military personnel have been
WHEREAS, Rhode Island, along with the rest of the country, is witnessing the return of
our mothers and fathers, husbands and wives and sons and daughters from the field of battle; and
WHEREAS, Rhode Island, despite its small size, has borne a significant share of sacrifice
in these recent conflicts; and
WHEREAS, The call back rate of the state's own National Guard to active duty status is
the second highest in the entire
WHEREAS, The number of veterans living in
is three times higher than the national per capita average, and is expected to grow as troops begin
to withdraw from
WHEREAS, The fundamental freedoms enjoyed by all citizens of our state and these
United States are insured in no small part through the honorable service of our nation's military
WHEREAS, The people of the state have a deep debt of gratitude for the sacrifices made
by these men and women who as combat veterans placed their lives in harm's way to protect and
defend our nation from all foreign enemies and terrorist threats; and
WHEREAS, In order to ensure that these men and women upon returning to our state
may resume their education, personal growth, and career development throughout our state
ways that not only meet, but exceed, the expectations of our veterans and their families; now
therefore be it
That this Senate of the State of
respectfully requests that the Department of Human Services and its Division of Veterans' Affairs
as part of its ongoing Veterans' Services Strategic Plan study implementing the following
recommendations so as to improve veterans' access to benefits:
1. Create a State "Veterans' Transition Team" composed of community and state agencies
involved in veterans services, to better coordinate, leverage, and ultimately improve services to
ease both short and long-term transitions for
improving access to employment, healthcare, education, housing, and job training.
2. Designate a State Veterans' Ombudsperson within the Division, tasked with the overall
coordination of statewide services for veterans and authorized to facilitate rapid resolution of
issues faced by veterans.
3. Identify centrally located easily accessible "Veterans Benefits Coordination and
Outreach Counselors" to provide ongoing outreach to individual veterans to facilitate receipt of
needed and coordinated services.
4. Streamline the State Medicaid process for veterans who have applied for and received
Medicaid in other states, granting reciprocity, whenever possible.
5. Seek additional funding for a "Veteran's Benefits Pocket Guide" as well as a "Veterans'
Online Resource Application"; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Rhode Island Division of Veterans Affairs.