U.S. Representative Jeff Denham’s (R-Turlock) bill to extend crucial veterans service programs, the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014, which will directly benefit Central Valley veterans, was signed into law Sept. 26.
Per the newly signed law, a number of programs, particularly specific to female veterans, homeless veterans, and student veterans will be implemented and maintained. Provisions to health care, housing and transportation will also be extended through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) because of the law.
The VA will now have the authority to make grants to Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) in order to provide transportation to highly rural veterans; this benefits veterans in the Central Valley who currently have to travel 90 miles or more to Palo Alto for medical appointments.
Additionally, the law continues the authorization for homeless veteran housing and reintegration programs, of which have significantly helped to reduce the number of homeless veterans; this is an issue particularly pertinent to Turlock.
“This bill will ensure that our vets continue receiving the care and benefits they so clearly deserve,” said Denham. “It will support Central Valley veterans by ensuring VSOs can keep helping them get to and from their medical appointments.”
Furthermore, the law extends key reporting requirements for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the VA for veterans’ health care records. This will ensure that the two departments continue to develop Integrated Electronic Health Records (iEHRs) to ensure that important health information does not get lost when servicemembers leave active duty.
News of Denham’s newly signed Bill comes as welcome to many Turlock veterans who have experienced delayed service or difficulties getting to and from medical appointments; additionally, provisions in the newly signed law will help many area female and student veterans.
A complete text of the bill can be found here.