Bill Summary for S 126 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Feb 25 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
Senate Bill 126 (Public) Filed Wednesday, February 25, 2015
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE TASK FORCE FOR VETERANS, SERVICE MEMBERS, AND THEIR FAMILIES; TO DIRECT THE TASK FORCE TO IMPLEMENT A STATEWIDE STRATEGIC PLAN TO TRACK, COORDINATE, AND IMPROVE SERVICES FOR VETERANS, SERVICE MEMBERS, AND THEIR FAMILIES; TO REQUIRE STATE AGENCIES TO COLLECT AND REPORT DATA ON SERVICES, BENEFITS, AND DISCOUNTS PROVIDED TO VETERANS, SERVICE MEMBERS, AND THEIR FAMILIES; AND TO ESTABLISH THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE VETERANS AND MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE TO MONITOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE PROGRAM EVALUATION DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
Intro. by Pate, Clark, D. Davis.

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Bill summary

Enacts new GS Chapter 165, Article 9, titled “Task Force on Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families” (Task Force), creating, effective January 1 2015, a 27 member Task Force. Provides that 16 ex officio members of the Task Force are made up of the heads or respective designees of specified departments or agencies. The remaining 11 members are to be appointed, with the Governor appointing five members in line with specified criteria, and three each are to be appointed by the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore, following specified criteria.  Appointed members will serve two-year terms, at the pleasure of the Governor or General Assembly.  Provides that the members of the Task Force are to elect a chair and hold meeting at least quarterly. Provides that the Department of Administration will provide clerical and professional staff for the Task Force.  No salary or per diem is to be received by the members, but they will receive necessary travel and subsistence expenses.

Sets out eleven duties of the Task Force, including developing and implementing interagency solutions to make North Carolina a more veteran friendly state, advising the Governor and General Assembly on issues related to veterans, service members, and families, as well as tracking any federal, State, and local legislation affecting the same.  

Requires the Task Force to make an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly, no later than November 1 of each year, reporting any recommendations for statutory, regulatory, or policy changes that would improve the provision of services for veterans, service members, and their families.

Requires the Task Force to create a subcommittee, with all of the ex officio members of the Task Force serving as members, with the purpose of engaging in a strategic planning process that achieves six goals, including, defining North Carolina’s mission and vision for veterans, service members, and their families, identifying critical stakeholders, and analyzing the challenges and opportunities that North Carolina faces in their ability to meet those challenges and seize opportunities.  Provides that the above strategic planning must define measurable outcomes and goals and sets out 11 such outcomes and goals to be accomplished, including coordinating the activities of existing programs and other efforts affecting veterans, maximizing the amount of federal dollars to support these efforts, and proposing legislation that would benefit veterans, service members, and their families. Requires the final plan to be approved by January 15, 2016 and requires the Task Force to report on the plan by April 15, 2016 to the Joint Legislative Veterans and Military Service Members Oversight Committee, with quarterly reports required thereafter.

Enacts new GS 165-44.02, directing all NC agencies that provide a service, benefit, or discount targeted or directed at veterans, service members, and their families to collect and report specified information, including the number of persons served, the type of benefits provided, sources of funding for services and benefits provided, and outcomes.  Such information is to be reported to the Task Force no later than September 1 of each year.

Enacts new GS Chapter 120, Article 12S, titled “Joint Legislative Veterans and Military Service Members Oversight Committee” (Committee), consisting of 16 members with eight members appointed from the Senate by the President Pro Tempore and eight from the House by the Speaker in line with specified criteria for appointment. Sets terms of the Committee at two years, beginning when the General Assembly convenes in each odd numbered year, except for the terms of the initial members, which begin once appointed and end on the day of the convening of the 2017 General Assembly.

Sets out the purpose and powers of the Committee, including examining and monitoring the programs and initiatives for veterans, service members, and their families in North Carolina in order to improve accountability and awareness of programs directed towards the same. Provides that the Committee can review reports prepared by the Task Force, monitor and review the statewide strategic plan for veterans, service members, and their families, as well as study any matter believed to be appropriate to the Committee’s purpose. Requires the Committee to report to the General Assembly any recommendations it has no later than December 31, 2017, and annually after that date. A final report of the Committee is to be submitted no later than April 1, 2022.

Sets out the organization and regulations of the Committee, including that cochairs are to be appointed by the President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House, nine members is considered a quorum of the Committee, and only recommendations or proposed legislation receiving at least eight affirmative votes can be included in a report to the General Assembly. Professional and clerical staff will be assigned by the Legislative Services Officer.

Sets a sunset date for new GS Chapter 120 Article 12S of July 1, 2022.

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