Rep. Joe Neguse looks to support veterans with new legislation

Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse introduced a bipartisan legislative package one day after Memorial Day in an effort to raise veterans’ access to services and resources. 

With this package, U.S. Rep. Neguse, D-Colorado, hopes to improve the treatment and compensation for veterans experiencing PTSD and create regional “network hubs” for veterans, service members and their families to seek resources and support.

“I am proud to introduce a package of bills to ensure that our veterans, service members and their families can access the health care, housing and job training they need to thrive,” Neguse said in a statement. “Our veterans and service members sacrifice so much to keep us safe, and it is incumbent on us to make sure we honor our country’s sacred commitments to them when they come home.”

First up in the package is the Department of Veterans Affairs Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Processing Claims Improvement Act. This bipartisan bill would overhaul the Veteran Affairs’ PTSD claims processing training to improve treatment and compensation for veterans.

The bill would also direct the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Compensation Service to standardize trainings for regional office staff and establish a formal process to update training needs based on identified processing error trends annually.

The HUBS for Veterans Act is a piece of legislation that would support local “network hubs,” which streamline access to essential resources for veterans, service members and their families.

The proposal, which also has bipartisan support, would authorize a five-year pilot program to provide matching grant funds to nonprofit organizations that offer access to multiple wraparound services from one source, or “network hubs.” 

Services could include assistance with housing, health care, job training and education, among other programs. 

“Just the other day, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Colorado discussed how can a veteran benefit from transition training using her or his Veteran Benefits,” said Steve Kjonaas, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Colorado legislative director. “The HUB Act will allow Veteran Service Organizations to provide an innumerable starting point for veteran transition. The HUB Act will precisely help service members and their spouses get ready to successfully move from the military to civilian life.”

Additionally, Rep. Neguse secured $650,000 for the Veterans Community Project Transitional Housing in Longmont as part of the 2023 government funding bill.

This project supports the construction of tiny homes for unhoused veterans in Colorado’s Second Congressional District, which is represented by Neguse and also includes Routt County and Steamboat Springs. This year, he also introduced legislation to increase funding for the highly successful Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.

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