HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

 VETERANS' AFFAIRS

 

March 1, 2005 Hearing Room C

8:30 A.M.  Tapes 32 - 33

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Donna Nelson, Chair

Rep. Phil Barnhart, Vice-Chair

Rep. Debi Farr, Vice-Chair

Rep. Brian Boquist

Rep. Scott Bruun

Rep. Dave Hunt

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:             Rep. Betty Komp

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Jim Stembridge, Committee Administrator

Erin Seiler, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

                                                Veterans’ Issues – Informational Meeting

                                                Introduction of Committee Measures – Work Session

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 32, A

001

Chair Nelson

Opens the meeting at 8:43 a.m. Opens an informational meeting on Veterans’ Issues.

VETERANS’ ISSUES –INFORMATIONAL MEETING

014

William Olson

Advocacy Chair, Brain Injury Association of Oregon (BIAO). Submits written testimony on the BIAO (EXHIBIT A). Submits Brain Injury and War in Iraq article packet (EXHIBIT B). Summarizes the mission of BIAO, which is to “improve the quality of life of person with brain injury; and to prevent brain injury” and its advocacy activities.

045

Olson

Explains how the current military conflict has resulted in a higher percentage of surviving soldiers with traumatic brain injuries.

084

Olson

Discusses the two primary categories of brain injuries, traumatic and acquired brain injury.

122

Olson

Speaks to the long-term consequences of brain injuries, emphasizing the importance of providing support and counseling for families of those who have suffered a brain injury.

138

Olson

Comments on the financial burden families caring for wounded veterans incur, believing that the financial burden should “rightly be borne” by the federal government, not the state.

151

Olson

Reviews national and Oregon data on the incidence and cause of traumatic brain injury. Explaining that of the 3000 brain injury hospitalizations in Oregon, more then 1200 will result in long-term disability (EXHIBIT A, Page 6).

170

Olson

Provides further detail on the difference between a traumatic brain injury and an acquired brain injury (EXHIBIT A, Page 8).  

221

Olson

Summarizes the cognitive, physical, and emotional consequences associated with a brain injury (EXHIBIT A, Page 9).

252

Chair Nelson

Asks what led to the formation of BIAO.

256

Olson

Speaks to the foundation of BIAO.   

277

Olson

Explains the primary activity of BIAO is to provide information and be a resource for survivors, family members, and service providers.

301

Chair Nelson

Asks if BIAO has a list of medical professionals whom they recommend to provide medical and mental health care.

309

Olson

Discusses the online resources provided by the Oregon Brain Injury Resource Network.

320

Chair Nelson

Asks if BIAO has a veterans’ benefit specialist to assist veterans suffering from a traumatic brain injury through the administrative process of attaining healthcare.

347

Olson

Responds that BIAO does not have expertise in the areas of administrative processes or health care/ Veterans’ benefits, or mental health parity.

394

Rep. Farr

States that mental health parity would apply more towards combat stress, psychological disorders versus a traumatic brain injury caused by external forces.

TAPE 33, A

004

Olson

Verifies that psychological related disorders could be a consequence of a traumatic brain injury. Also, clarifies that many brain injuries do not always yield evidence detectable by a MRI scan.

024

Rep. Barnhart

Asks for a basic definition of cognitive rehabilitation.

029

Olson

Explains that cognitive rehabilitation involves reprogramming how the brain works, not repairing it.

051

Rep. Barnhart

Asks if there is additional information as to combat equipment, particularly Modular Integrated Communications Helmet, and its ability to prevent brain injuries in soldiers during combat (EXHIBIT B, Page 2)

081

Olson

Answers that no, he does not have any additional information about how the equipment might prevent brain injury.

100

Chair Nelson

Comments on Walter Reed Army Medical Center seeking out brain injury casualties in an effort to understand how the symptoms of brain injuries manifest themselves differently based on the various concussive impacts that can cause such an injury (EXHIBIT B, Page 4).

112

Rep. Boquist

Affirms that there are almost an equal amount of soldiers seriously injured in non-combat situations as injured in combat situations.  Asks for the count of total combat and non-combat casualties and the total non-combat casualties (EXHIBIT B, Page 2).

149

Olson

Cites data on the number of military casualty evacuations as of January 31, 2005.

The following informational material is submitted for the record without public testimony:

 

Olson

Submits informational material on traumatic brain injuries in the military (EXHIBIT C).

243

Chair Nelson

Closes the informational meeting on Veterans’ Issues. Opens a work session for the introduction of committee measures.

INTRODUCTION OF COMMITTEE MEASURES - WORK SESSION

248

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Summarizes the list of legislative drafts for introduction as committee measures.

368

Rep. Boquist

Asks if legislative drafts could be divided in related categories based on “relating to clause”, Ways and Means referrals, etc.

368

Rep. Barnhart

MOTION:  Moves that the following list of LC drafts: BE INTRODUCED as committee bills.

LC 3019 (EXHIBIT D)

LC 3020 (EXHIBIT E)

LC 3034 (EXHIBIT F)

LC 3043 (EXHIBIT G)

LC 3044 (EXHIBIT H)

LC 3190 (EXHIBIT I)

LC 3192 (EXHIBIT J)

LC 3193 (EXHIBT K)

LC 3196 (EXHIBIT L)

LC 3222 (EXHIBIT M)

LC 3231 (EXHIBIT N)

LC 3395 (EXHIBIT O)

LC 3398 (EXHIBIT P)

LC 3402 (EXHIBIT Q)

LC 3403 (EXHIBIT R)

LC 3405 (EXHIBIT S)

LC 3420 (EXHIBIT T)

LC 3422 (EXHIBIT U)

LC 3423 (EXHIBIT V)

LC 3428 (EXHIBIT W)

LC 3436 (EXHIBIT X)

 

 

VOTE:  6-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 – Komp

 

Chair Nelson

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

TAPE 32, B

016

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on introduction of committee measures. Adjourns the meeting at 9:37 a.m.

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. A.     Veterans’ Issues, written testimony, Bill Olson, 9 pp
  2. B.     Veterans’ Issues, Brain Injury and War in Iraq News Articles, Bill Olson, 56 pp
  3. D.    Introductions, LC 3019, staff, 1 p
  4. E.     Introductions, LC 3020, staff 1 p
  5. F.      Introductions, LC 3034, staff 3 pp
  6. G.    Introductions, LC 3043, staff, 2 pp
  7. H.    Introductions, LC 3044, staff, 2 pp
  8. I.       Introductions, LC 3190, staff, 2 pp
  9. J.      Introductions, LC 3192, staff, 1 p
  10. K.    Introductions, LC 3193, staff, 1 p
  11. L.     Introductions, LC 3196, staff, 1 p
  12. M.  Introductions, LC 3222, staff, 2 pp
  13. N.    Introductions, LC 3231, staff, 1 p
  14. O.    Introductions, LC 3395, staff, 6 pp
  15. P.      Introductions, LC 3398, staff, 8 pp
  16. Q.    Introductions, LC 3402, staff, 2 pp
  17. R.    Introductions, LC 3403, staff, 2 pp
  18. S.      Introductions, LC 3405, staff, 25 pp
  19. T.     Introductions, LC 3420, staff, 1 p
  20. U.     Introductions, LC 3422, staff, 3 pp
  21. V.     Introductions, LC 3423, staff, 2 pp
  22. W.   Introductions, LC 3428, staff, 8 pp
  23. X.     Introductions, LC 3436, staff, 2 pp

 

The following material is submitted for the record without public testimony:

  1. C.     Veterans’ Issues, Traumatic Brain Injury Reports, Bill Olson, 6 pp