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Legislative SitRep: Fighting for VA Accountability, #DefendTheGIBill, and the Texas Hazlewood Act

Congress is out of town, but the IAVA legislative team is still hard at work putting pressure on Capitol Hill to address IAVA member priorities.

In addition to continuing our #DefendTheGIBill campaign we’re also advocating for Rep. Jeff Miller’s (R-FL) VA accountability bill (H.R. 5620), which would give the VA Secretary the tools needed to remove employees that are hurting veterans and to streamline the disability appeals process. This bill passed the House overwhelmingly in September and we’re pressing the Senate to pass it as well so that it can become law this year. In recent days, we’ve met with offices of 12 Senators, most of them members of the Veterans Affairs’ Committee (SVAC), and we’re planning to meet with more.

This week we also took a stand with Texas IAVA in defense of veterans education benefits. IAVA sent a letter to Texas House Speaker Joe Straus expressing our opposition to any and all cuts to the Hazlewood Act, a Texas state law that provides veterans, spouses, and dependent children with up to 150 hours of tuition exemptions at Texas public institutions of higher learning. This law has been critical in assisting Texas veterans obtain an education following their military service.

Unfortunately, there’s been recent talk in the Texas State Capitol about rolling back these benefits for veteran children, which is part of a larger ongoing conversation as to whether the Texas Hazlewood Act should be continued as a whole. We’re thankful that Jeff Hensley and Texas IAVA leaders have been so active on this issue. IAVA will continue to fight to ensure that all levels of government keep the promises made to veterans and their families.

As Veterans Day approaches, we encourage you to join us along with fellow veterans, citizens, and community leaders to attend parades, tributes and other special events around the country to honor those who have served. Join one of our many events or host your own here and share your story with others!

As for our legislative team, we’re going to prep for Veterans Day the best way we know how, by continuing the good fight on Capitol Hill!

We help transitioning veterans receive their benefits.

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