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Letter to the Editor: State veterans group voices opposition for Resolution House Bill 1379

Whereas, House Bill 1379 has been introduced by Representative Grande and Senator Dever to drastically change the Administrative Committee on Veterans' Affairs (ACOVA); and whereas, currently, the American Legion, the VFW, AMVETS, DAV and Vietnam Veterans of America each have three representatives on ACOVA;

And whereas,  according to existing North Dakota Century Code Section 37-18.1-03:  ACOVA is responsible for organization, policy, and general administration of all veterans' affairs in the state of North Dakota;  appoints a seven member board for administration of the Veterans' home;  appoints a subcommittee to be responsible for supervision and government of the N.D. Department of Veterans' Affairs and appoints the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs; and has oversight responsibilities on the Post War Trust Fund;

And whereas, House Bill 1379 eliminates the fifteen veterans on the Administrative Committee on Veterans' Affairs and replaces them with three state government officials: the State Treasurer (chair of the committee); the Director of Human Services; and the Secretary of State; and three non-voting (ex officio) members serving in an advisory capacity the: Executive Director of Job Service North Dakota, the Center Director of the Veterans' Administration and the Adjutant General,

Therefore be it resolved, by the Department of North Dakota, meeting in Winter Conference in Minot, North Dakota, February 4-6, 2011 that the American Legion, Department of North Dakota, representing over 28,000 members of the "Legion Family," is adamantly opposed to this bill because the veterans who have served their country feel veterans should have input on issues affecting veterans. Eliminating veterans from the Administrative Committee to replace them with state officials is a serious blow to veteran input and involvement in providing services to The Veterans of North Dakota,

And be it further Resolved, that the Department of North Dakota urges rejection of HB 1379 in its entirety.

Mitchell S. Olson

ND Dept Adjutant

West Fargo