HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

VETERANS’ AFFAIRS

 

 

April 19, 2005 Hearing Room C

8:30 A.M.  Tapes 75 - 76

 

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

Rep. Betty Komp

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Jim Stembridge, Committee Administrator

Erin Seiler, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

                                                HJR 34 – Work Session

                                                HB 2425 – Work Session

                                                HB 2602 – Work Session

                                                HB 2739 – Work Session

                                                HB 2878 – Work Session

                                                 HB 2138 – Public Hearing

                                                HB 2795 – Work Session

                                                HJM 13 – Public Hearing

                                                HJM 25 – Public Hearing

                                                HJM 17 – Public Hearing

 

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 75, A

001

Chair Nelson

Opens the meeting at 8:43 a.m. Discusses the committees’ visits to Roseburg and White City.

064

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Submits and summarizes Case History Memorandum (EXHIBIT A). Submits National Homeless Veterans’ Report on behalf of Jennifer Vina (EXHIBIT B). Submits written testimony of Ronald Estep on Veterans’ Issues (EXHIBIT C). Submits and summarizes The Dalles Chronicle newspaper article on Veterans’ Issues (EXHIBIT D).

140

Chair Nelson

Opens a work session on HJR 34.

HJR 34 – WORK SESSION

142

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HJR 34, which proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution dedicating portion of net proceeds of State Lottery for services for Oregon veterans. Submits and summarizes -5 amendments (EXHIBIT E). Submits -2 amendments (EXHIBIT F).

160

Chair Nelson

Recesses meeting at 8:55 a.m.

194

Chair Nelson

Reconvenes meeting at 8:58 a.m.

196

Rep. Boquist

Summarizes -2 amendments. 

226

Rep. Hunt

Clarifies the potential fiscal implications of -2 amendments.

228

Rep. Boquist

Submits and summarizes Fiscal Impact Chart on HJR 34 (EXHIBIT G).

301

Rep. Komp

Asks how much money is expected to be diverted for veterans’ services in 2007-09 biennium.

308

Rep. Boquist

States that during Fiscal Year 2007-09 it estimated that the veterans’ services will receive $14.5 million in lottery dollars.

317

Rep. Komp

Asks if a budget estimate has been drafted for County Veterans’ Service Officers program.

320

Chair Nelson

States that the budget estimate for the County Veterans’ Service Officers was determined based on current veteran population in Oregon.

344

Jim Willis

Director, Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA). Explains what the potential impact will be on the workload of County Veterans’ Service Officers when currently deployed soldiers return to Oregon.

360

Chair Nelson

Explains how the budget estimate for the County Veterans’ Service Officers program was calculated.

404

Rep. Komp

Verifies that current budget proposal only provides assistance to County Veterans’ Service Officers program and does not provide funds for rehabilitation or scholarships.

TAPE 76, A

006

Rep. Barnhart

Questions if the language pertaining to computer services is too “restrictive and does not allow us to spend money” on computer services.

017

Chair Nelson

Explains why money can be spent on computer services.

025

Chair Nelson

Lists the type of services that can be provided using the lottery dollars diverted into the veterans’ fund.

050

Rep. Barnhart

Verifies that the “Vet-Net” computer system would be expensed under services, not administration.

060

Stembridge

Clarifies the impact of each proposed amendment to HJR 34.

081

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HJR  34-5 amendments dated 04/11/05.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Nelson

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

087

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HJR  34-2 amendments dated 04/11/05.

091

Rep. Hunt

Points out how -2 amendments are a “thoughtful approach” to helping veterans and preserving salmon watershed protection program.

100

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Nelson

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

103

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves HJR 34 to the floor with a BE ADOPTED AS AMENDED recommendation and BE REFERRED to the committee on Revenue by prior reference.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

122

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on HJR 34. Opens a work session on HB 2425.

HB 2425- WORK SESSION

126

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HB 2425, which directs State Parks and Recreation Commission to allow free use of state parks. Campsites and day use areas on any day by disabled veterans and active duty military personal. Submits and summarizes -1 amendments (EXHIBIT H).

138

Tim Wood

Director, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. States that the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has no objection to HB 2425 or-1 amendments.

144

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB  2425-1 amendments dated 04/11/05.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Nelson

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

149

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves HB 2425 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation and BE REFERRED to the committee on Revenue by prior reference.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

158

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on HB 2425. Opens a work session on HB 2602.

HB 2602 – WORK SESSION

160

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HB 2602, which creates Oregon Military Emergency Financial Relief Program and Oregon Military Emergency Financial Relief Fund. Submits and summarizes -3 amendments (EXHIBIT I). Submits and summarizes -4 amendments (EXHIBIT J).

188

Colonel Mike Caldwell

Deputy Director, Oregon Military Department (OMD). Testifies in support of HB 2602.

222

Mac MacDonald

Representative, Veterans’ Organizations. Testifies in support of HB 2602 and points out that Oregon Reservists should be eligible for relief funds.

239

Rep. Hunt

Questions removing the grant limit because “it seems reasonable to me to have a cap.”

249

Caldwell

Explains that OMD did not ask to remove the cap on grant amounts, but notes that funding caps have the tendency to limit long term administrative adaptability.

274

Chair Nelson

Explains the challenge of including Oregon Reservists in HB 2602.

297

Rep. Farr

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB  2602-4 amendments dated 04/18/05.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Nelson

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

304

Rep. Farr

MOTION:  Moves HB 2602 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation and BE REFERRED to the committee on Ways and Means by prior reference.

320

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

336

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on HB 2602. Opens a work session on HB 2739.

HB 2739 – WORK SESSION

345

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HB 2739, which directs State Parks and Recreation Director to adopt rules that make state funding assistance available to nonprofit veterans’ organizations to construct and restore veterans and war memorials located on public property.

358

Tim Wood

Director, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). Addresses concern that OPRD does not have an interest in developing veteran’s memorial. Explains that OPRD opposition to HB 2739 is because OPRD already has two grant programs for constructing memorials.

391

Chair Nelson

Opens the work session on HB 2878.

HB 2878 – WORK SESSION

392

Wood

Clarifies that OPRD already has statutory authority to acquire land for the purpose of building memorials.

TAPE 75, B

004

Chair Nelson

Asks how much grant money is available from OPRD.

007

Wood

States that Local Grant Program is funded at $8.5 million dollars and Heritage Grant Program is funded at the $200 thousand dollars.

011

Chair Nelson

Asks what the difference is between Heritage Grant Program and Local Grant Program.

013

Wood

Explains the difference between the two grant programs.

024

Rep. Hunt

Confirms that passing HB 2878 and HB 2739 would make it clear that veterans memorial do qualify for OPRD grant money and would not put any additional administrative responsibilities on OPRD.

035

Chair Nelson

Asks what the criteria are for awarding grants.

038

Wood

Explains how applications for Heritage and Local Grant Programs are evaluated.

045

Chair Nelson

Asks if OPRD has ever exercised eminent domain authority.

048

Wood

Explains why OPRD has eminent authority and why it needs to remain in statute, noting that the last time OPRD actually exercised the authority was 1978.

070

Dave Wright

Assistant Director, OPRD. Explains why OPRD used eminent domain authority in 1978.

091

Rep. Farr

Verifies that $8 million dollars was allocated for the Heritage Grant Program in the 2003-05 and 2005-07 state budget.

095

Rep. Farr

Asks what memorials have received funds from Heritage Grant Program.

098

Wood

Explains that no organization or individual has applied for a Heritage Grant.

102

Rep. Farr

Confirms that the Afghan/Iraqi Memorial would qualify for OPRD grant programs.

107

Rep. Barnhart

Asks if the OPRD grant programs are over-subscribed.

117

Wood

States that the grant programs are “slightly over-subscribed.”

122

Chair Nelson

Asks how long the OPRD has been allocated money for memorials.

124

Wood

Explains the funding history of grant programs.

170

Rep. Bruun

MOTION:  Moves HB 2739 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

REP. BOQUIST will lead discussion on the floor.

189

Rep. Hunt

Verifies that -1 amendments only remove eminent domain authority from OPRD.

197

Rep. Hunt

MOTION:  Moves HB 2878 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

REP. HUNT will lead discussion on the floor.

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

 

Tim Wood

Submits information packet on HB 2739 which includes: list of Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission, list of Local Government Grants Advisory Committee, list of Oregon Heritage Commission, and list of all projects awarded grants from Local Government Grants Program and Oregon Heritage Grants Program (EXHIBIT K).

222

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on HB 2739 and HB 2878. Opens a public hearing on HB 2138.

HB 2138 – PUBLIC HEARING

234

Jim Stembridge

Explains HB 2138, which requires that official military orders make certain specific statement for person to receive during military leave. Submits and summarizes -1 amendments (EXHIBIT L). Submits and summarizes fiscal impact statement on HB 2138 (EXHIBIT M).

275

Colonel Mike Caldwell

Deputy Director, Oregon Military Department (OMD). Explains the necessity and purpose of HB 2138. 

318

Chair Nelson

Explains how the fiscal impact statement was calculated.

344

Caldwell

Questions if the Department of Administrative Services considered the type of military orders of each employee when calculating fiscal impact.

382

Chair Nelson

Confirms that OMD pays soldiers for annual training, even if their employer continues to pay them.

391

Caldwell

Clarifies the statutory effect of the bill.

TAPE 76, B

001

Rep. Hunt

Asks if the OMD interprets annual training as 15 calendar days.

004

Caldwell

Explains that the intent of the state is to allow for 15 consecutive days of leave for annual training.

016

Rep. Boquist

Questions whether the fiscal statement really reflects 88 hours of annual training, not the 15 consecutive days provide by statute.

021

Caldwell

Explains how the fiscal statement is based 88 hours or 11 work days out of 15 for annual training, adding that accuracy should be clarified with Legislative Counsel.

043

Chair Nelson

Closes the public hearing on HB 2138. Opens a work session on HB 2795.

HB 2795 – WORK SESSION

047

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HB 2795, which appropriates moneys from General Fund to Director of Veterans’ Affairs for building memorial to Oregon Military personal killed in Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Submits and summarizes -1 amendments (EXHIBIT N).

070

Chair Nelson

Submits Afghan Iraqi Freedom Memorial Illustrations (EXHIBIT O).

074

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB 2795-1 amendments dated 04/13/05.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Nelson

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

077

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves HB 2795 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation and BE REFERRED to the committee on Ways and Means by prior reference.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

099

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on HB 2795. Opens a public hearing on HJM 13.

HJM 13 – PUBLIC HEARING

106

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HJM 13, which urges President and Congress to exempt veteran disability and pension income from federal income taxation.

118

Mac MacDonald

Representative, Veterans’ Organizations. Testifies in support of HJM 13.

135

Chair Nelson

Closes the public hearing on HJM 13. Open a public hearing on HJM 25.

HJM 25 – PUBLIC HEARING

139

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HJM 25, which urges Congress to eliminate practice of subtracting disability payments from pension amounts due to disabled veterans regardless of level of disability.

145

Chair Nelson

Expresses support for HJM 25.

156

Rep. Bruun

Questions the ethics of omitting Merchant Marines from HJM 25.

167

Chair Nelson

Closes the public hearing on HJM 25. Opens a public hearing on HJM 17.

HJM 17 – PUBLIC HEARING

175

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HJM 17, urges Congress to exempt from federal income taxation income received by taxpayer while taxpayer serves in combat zone.

177

Chair Nelson

Expresses support for HJM 17.

182

Chair Nelson

Closes the public hearing on HJM 17.

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

 

Mike Sullivan

Lobbyist, Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers. Submits Disabled American Veterans News Release on Veterans’ Issues (EXHIBIT P).

 

Jennifer Vina

Public Information Representative, Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA). Submits Oregon Veteran Population Chart (EXHIBIT Q).

305

Chair Nelson

Adjourns the meeting at 10:27 a.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. Veterans’ Issues, Case History Memorandum, staff, 2 pp
  2. HB 2861, National Homeless Veterans’ Report, staff, 4 pp
  3. Veterans’ Issues, written testimony of Ronald Estep, staff, 1 p
  4. Veterans’ Issues, The Dalles Chronicle Newspaper Article, staff, 2 pp
  5. HJR 34, -5 amendments, staff, 1 p
  6. HJR 34, -2 amendments, Rep. Brian Boquist, 1 p
  7. HJR 34, Fiscal Impact Chart, Rep. Brian Boquist, 1 p
  8. HB 2425, -1 amendments, staff, 1 p
  9. HB 2602, -3 amendments, staff, 2 pp
  10. HB 2602, -4 amendments, staff, 5 pp
  1. HB 2138, -1 amendments, staff, 1 p
  2. HB 2138, fiscal impact statement, staff, 1 p
  1. HB 2795, -1 amendments, staff, 1 p
  2. HB 2795, Afghan Iraqi Freedom Memorial Illustrations, Rep. Donna Nelson, 3 pp

 

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

  1. HB 2739, information packet, Tim Wood,  12 pp
  1. Veterans’ Issues, Disabled American Veterans New Release, Mike Sullivan, 2 pp
  2. Veterans’ Issues, Oregon Veteran Population Chart, Jennifer Vina, 1 p