The National Association of Counties (NACo) has taken to the hill to secure funding for County Veteran Service Officers (CVSO). During NACo’s March Legislative Conference, NACo members advocated on behalf of increased support for CVSOs.
Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI) drafted a bill that would allow the Secretary of U.S. Veteran Affairs (VA) to enter into contracts with state departments of veteran affairs allowing states to expand and support CVSOs and their outreach to veterans. The legislation would also result in funding of $25 million annually for three years. States would be required to submit three year plans for use of funds and receive grants through the program established in the bill. The bill has not yet been introduced, but a current draft of the bill can be found here.
CVSOs are critical to providing assistance to veterans on a variety of services in their communities, but resources are often limited. This bill, if passed, would provide critical funding to secure and expand CVSOs needed to help veterans navigate through complex processes and systems to receive the benefits and services they need expediently and efficiently.
NACo encourages you to reach out to your Senators to ask for their co-sponsorship of the bill, and to your Representatives to support this bill or introduce a companion bill in the House. NACo talking points can be found here.
Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate