Beatty pushes veterans' bills
Rep. Joyce Beatty this week introduced two bills aimed at helping veterans – both cosponsored by fellow Central Ohio lawmakers.
The first would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to partner with public and private entities to increase legal services for homeless and at-risk of homelessness veterans. Beatty cosponsored that bill with Reps. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington and Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township.
That bill seeks to change current law, which allows the VA only to pay for legal services for veterans through the Supportive Services for Veterans Families program and the Grant Per Diem program. Beatty said legal assistance nonetheless is among the most pressing needs for U.S. veterans.
Beatty, D-Jefferson Twp., and Stivers also this week introduced a bill that would make veterans eligible for rehousing incentive payments through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The bill would codify “former service members” into HUD’s homeless assistance statutes, making it easier to get homeless military veterans off the streets.
Each year, HUD awards housing grantees with additional, “bonus” funding on a competitive basis which may be used to help specific subpopulations find homes. Beatty and Stivers’ bill would add veterans to those subpopulations.
This article first appeared on the Columbus Dispatch's website on September 23, 2016.