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Substitute House Bill No. 5388

Public Act No. 13-34

AN ACT REQUIRING CITIES AND TOWNS TO DESIGNATE A VETERANS' SERVICE CONTACT PERSON.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 27-102l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(b) The commissioner may appoint a unit head to administer a veterans' advocacy and assistance unit for the aid and benefit of veterans, their spouses and eligible dependents and family members. Such unit shall conduct an annual training course for any city or town employee designated a veterans' service contact person pursuant to subsection (b) of section 27-135, as amended by this act. The unit shall have a staff of not less than eight men and women, including six service officers, and clerical personnel. The unit head and the service officers shall be veterans, as defined in section 27-103, or veterans who were awarded the armed forces expeditionary medal for service by the armed forces. At least one of the service officers shall be a woman having a demonstrated interest in the concerns of women veterans, who shall be responsible for addressing those concerns, and, effective upon the next opening of a service officer position occurring on or after July 1, 2010, at least two of the service officers shall be individuals having bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish, within existing authorized positions. Each service officer shall successfully complete a course in veterans' benefits within one year of commencement of employment and shall be assigned to one of the five congressional districts of the state.

Sec. 2. Section 27-135 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) Any city or town, either separately or with one or more other cities and towns, may, by ordinance, establish a local veterans' advisory committee which shall have the responsibility of carrying out locally the duties and purposes of this section and, within their charter powers and as otherwise provided by law, may make available to such local committees the necessary funds to carry out their duties and responsibilities. The committee may [(a)] (1) act as the coordinating agency in all matters concerning veterans and their dependents, coordinating the activities of public and private facilities concerned with veterans' reemployment, education, rehabilitation and adjustment to peacetime living; [(b)] (2) cooperate with all national, state and local governmental and private agencies in securing services and benefits to which a veteran or his dependents may be entitled; [(c)] (3) use the services and facilities of the veterans organizations so far as possible to carry out the purposes of this section; and [(d)] (4) encourage and coordinate vocational training services for veterans.

(b) Any city or town that (1) has not established a local veterans' advisory committee pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, and (2) does not otherwise provide funding for a veterans' service officer shall designate a city or town employee to serve as a veterans' service contact person in such city or town. Any city or town employee designated as a veterans' service contact person shall carry out the duties described in subsection (a) of this section and may complete an annual training course conducted by the veterans' advocacy and assistance unit, as described in subsection (b) of section 27-102l, as amended by this act.

Approved May 24, 2013