HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

VETERANS' AFFAIRS

 

 

May 12, 2005 Hearing Room C

8:30 A.M.  Tapes 94 - 95

Corrected 10/17/05

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Donna Nelson, Chair

Rep. Debi Farr, Vice-Chair

Rep. Brian Boquist

Rep. Scott Bruun

Rep. Dave Hunt

Rep. Betty Komp

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:            Rep. Phil Barnhart, Vice-Chair

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Jim Stembridge, Committee Administrator

Erin Seiler, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

HB 2861 – Work Session

HB 2864 – Work Session

HCR 14 – Work Session

HB 2677 – Work Session

HB 2700 – Work Session

HB 2843 – Work Session

HB 3413 – Work Session

SB 486 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 575A – 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 94, A

002

Chair Nelson

Opens the meeting at 8:37 a.m. Opens a work session on HB 2861.

HB 2861 – WORK SESSION

022

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administer. Explains HB 2861, which requires Director of Veterans’ Affairs to establish program to provide grants to veterans for temporary housing.

028

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on HB 2861. Opens a work session on HB 2864.

HB 2864 – WORK SESSION

033

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HB 2864, which creates Veterans’ Discharge Stipend Program to provide temporary income to veterans when discharged from active federal service. Submits and summarizes  -2 amendments (EXHIBIT A).

069

Colonel Mike Caldwell

Deputy Director, Oregon Military Department (OMD). Explains the average length of federal active duty.

089

Chair Nelson

Addresses the importance of preventing conflict between emergency assistance for veterans and for active duty soldiers.

102

Rep. Boquist

States that amendment was necessary to insert the new definition of veteran into bill.

112

Chair Nelson

Questions whether it is necessary to have language stipulating that temporary income funds should only be awarded to soldiers discharged under honorable conditions.

121

Rep. Boquist

Points out those soldiers discharged under dishonorable conditions do not qualify for veteran’s status or benefits.

133

Caldwell

Affirms that the language is correct and without conflict.

150

Rep. Nelson

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB 2864-2 amendments dated 05/04/05.

 

 

VOTE:  5-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Barnhart, Farr

 

Chair Nelson

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

155

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves HB 2864 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation and the SUBSEQUENT REFERRAL to the committee on Ways and Means BE RESCINDED and BE REFERRED to the committee on Budget.

181

 

VOTE:  5-0-2

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

EXCUSED:  2 - Barnhart, Farr

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

185

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on HB 2864. Opens a work session on HCR 14.

HCR 14 – WORK SESSION

1190

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HCR 14, which recognizes June 14, 2005, as “Honor Our Oregon National Guard Day.”

198

Colonel Mike Caldwell

Deputy Director, Oregon Military Department (OMD). Identifies December 13 as the appropriate date to honor the Oregon National Guard.

219

Rep. Bruun

Recommends deletion of the specific number of OMD soldiers who have been killed in combat.  

248

Rep. Bruun

MOTION:  Moves to AMEND HCR 14 on page 1, in line 8, after "Whereas," insert "gallant," and on page 1, in line 10, after "Whereas," insert "gallant," and on page 1, in line 17, after "designate," insert "December 13 of every year".

255

 

VOTE:  5-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Barnhart, Farr

 

Chair Nelson

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

256

Rep. Bruun

MOTION:  Moves HCR 14 be sent to the floor with a BE ADOPTED AS AMENDED recommendation.

277

 

VOTE:  5-0-2

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

EXCUSED:  2 - Barnhart, Farr

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

REP. NELSON will lead discussion on the floor.

284

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on HCR 14. Opens a work session on HB 2677, HB 2700, HB 2843, and HB 3413.

HB 2677/HB 2700/HB 2843/ HB 3413 –WORK SESSION

307

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains the procedure for reconsideration of HB 2677, HB 2700, HB 2843, and HB 3413.

322

Rep. Bruun

MOTION:  Moves to SUSPEND the rules for the purpose of RECONSIDERING HB 2677, HB 2700, HB 2843, and HB 3413.

330

 

VOTE:  5-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Barnhart, Farr

 

Chair Nelson

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

355

Rep. Bruun

MOTION:  Moves to RECONSIDER HB 2677, HB 2700, HB 2843, and HB 3413.

 

 

VOTE:  5-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Barnhart, Farr

 

Chair Nelson

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

382

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves HB 2677 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation and the SUBSEQUENT REFERRAL to the committee on Ways and Means BE RESCINDED and BE REFERRED to the committee on Budget.

397

 

VOTE:  5-0-2

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

EXCUSED:  2 - Barnhart, Farr

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

400

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves HB 2700 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation and the SUBSEQUENT REFERRAL to the committee on Ways and Means BE RESCINDED and BE REFERRED to the committee on Budget.

TAPE 95, A

001

Rep. Hunt

Objects to motion.

008

 

VOTE:  4-1-2

AYE:               4 - Boquist, Bruun, Komp, Nelson

NAY:               1 - Hunt

EXCUSED:     2 - Barnhart, Farr

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

010

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves HB 2843 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation and the SUBSEQUENT REFERRAL to the committee on Ways and Means BE RESCINDED and BE REFERRED to the committee on Budget.

017

Chair Nelson

Recesses the meeting at 9:04 a.m.

018

Chair Nelson

Reconvenes the meeting at 9:11 a.m.

019

Stembridge

Confirms that  -2 amendments had been adopted.

032

Rep. Hunt

Objects to motion.

037

Rep. Farr

Asks for verification of the testimony received from the Oregon Military Department (OMD) and the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA).

040

Chair Nelson

Confirms that OMD and ODVA are in support of HB 2843.

058

Rep. Boquist

Speaks in support of HB 2843.

088

Chair Nelson

Cites existing statute relating to the obligation of soldiers to pay business license fees.

094

Rep. Boquist

States that the goal is for soldiers to return home and have employment.

108

Colonel Mike Caldwell

Deputy Director, OMD. Summarizes the impact that indefinite deployment has on businesses owned by soldiers.

146

Rep. Hunt

Identifies several reasons why the broad language of the bill would cause the cost of the program to be fiscally unrealistic for state and local governments.

163

Chair Nelson

Suggests that the bill can be amended so that a free license is a one time event.

174

 

VOTE:  5-1-1

AYE:               5 - Boquist, Bruun, Farr, Komp, Nelson

NAY:               1 - Hunt

EXCUSED:     1 - Barnhart

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

177

Rep. Hunt

MOTION:  Moves HB 3413 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation and the SUBSEQUENT REFERRAL to the committee on Ways and Means BE RESCINDED and BE REFERRED to the committee on Budget.

191

 

VOTE:  6-0-1

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

EXCUSED:  1 - Barnhart

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

193

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on HB 2677, HB 2700, HB 2843, and HB 3413. Opens a public hearing on SB 486.

SB 486 – PUBLIC HEARING

200

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains SB 486, which extends tuition waiver program of Oregon Military Department to surviving family members of members of Oregon National Guard killed while on active duty.

217

Colonel Mike Caldwell

Deputy Director, Oregon Military Department (OMD). Testifies in support of SB 486.

260

Rep. Boquist

Clarifies that tuition waiver program is one already administered by OMD and SB 486 is just an extension of the existing program.

265

Rep. Hunt

Questions whether the education program will continue to be fully funded by the federal government when it is adjusted to 100 percent for Oregon National Guard soldiers.

270

Caldwell

Clarifies the difference between the education funding under the G.I Bill and State of Oregon.

314

Chair Nelson

Verifies that tuition waivers can be used for trade schools.

377

Rep. Boquist

Verifies that the implementation language parallels the federal statute.

394

Chair Nelson

Closes the public hearing on SB 486. Opens a work session on SB 575A.

TAPE 94, B

SB 575A – WORK SESSION

001

Senator Richard Devlin

Senate District 19. Testifies in support of SB 575A.

060

Chair Nelson

Asks if Oregon Reservists could be included as eligible participants.

064

Sen. Devlin

Explains how relating clause limits applicability to Oregon National Guard, noting the possibility of having a conforming bill to make all military bills applicable to all soldiers.

073

Rep. Boquist

Expresses appreciation to Sen. Devlin for efforts on behalf of veterans’.

077

Sen. Devlin

States why benefits and rights should be applicable to all Oregon soldiers.

087

Colonel Mike Caldwell

Deputy Director, Oregon Military Department (OMD). Testifies in support of SB 575A.

094

Mac MacDonald

Representative, Veterans’ Organizations. Testifies in support of SB 575A.

105

Jack LaBox

Representative, American Legion. Testifies in support of SB 575A.

118

Harley Ray

Legislative Chair, American Legion. Testifies in support of SB 575A.

129

David McDonald

Director of Enrollment and Student Services, Oregon University System. Submits and summarizes written testimony in support of SB 575 A (EXHIBIT B).

149

Bob Duehmig

Government Relations Representative, Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). Submits and summaries written testimony in support of SB 575A (EXHIBIT C).

155

Julie Suchanek

Legislative Advocate, Oregon Community Colleges Association (OCCA). Submits and summarizes written testimony in support of SB 575A (EXHIBIT D).

171

Rep. Hunt

MOTION:  Moves SB 575A to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

182

 

VOTE:  5-0-2

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

EXCUSED:  2 - Barnhart, Farr

 

Chair Nelson

The motion CARRIES.

REP. KOMP will lead discussion on the floor.

188

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on  SB 575A. Reopens a public hearing on SB 486.

SB 486 – PUBLIC HEARING

197

Mac MacDonald

Representative, Veterans’ Organizations. Stresses the importance of extending waivers to all widows of members of the Armed Forces.

216

Rep. Farr

Points out that the waver is specifically for Oregon residents and relates only too educationally institutions in Oregon.

224

Rep. Hunt

Questions whether it is a reasonable approach to have a confirming bill to extend all benefits passed for Oregon National Guard soldiers and their family to all Oregon soldiers.   

249

Chair Nelson

Explains why a specific service period needs to be set.

264

Colonel Mike Caldwell

Deputy Director, Oregon Military Department (OMD). Explains why OMD deliberately designed the bill to apply only to Oregon National Guard soldiers.

293

Chair Nelson

Asks what the OMD oversees.

295

Caldwell

Explains that OMD is the legal entity that manages the Oregon National Guard.

300

Chair Nelson

Asks whether there are other state services that would work under the OMD other than the Oregon National Guard.

319

Rep. Boquist

Identifies the difficulties of including Reservists in program.

333

Paula Brown

Deputy Director, Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA). Suggests that Oregon University System administer the educational waiver program for Oregon Reservists.

345

Caldwell

Explains how OMD is able to validate only the applications of Oregon National Guard soldiers applying for educational assistance from the Oregon Student Assistance Commission.

366

Chair Nelson

Closes the public hearing on SB 486. Adjourns the meeting at 10:04 a.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. HB 2864, -2 amendments, staff, 4 pp
  2. SB 575A, written testimony, David McDonald, 1 p
  3. SB 575A, written testimony, Bob Duehmig, 1 p
  4. SB 575A, written testimony, Julie Suchanek, 1 p