On May 21, the House Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness took testimony on Measure 96 funding dedicated to County Veteran Services Officers (CVSOs).

Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) Director, Kelly Fitzpatrick kicked off the hearing with an overview of ODVA and its collaboration with Oregon counties in relation to providing veteran services. “Our counties ensure county veteran services are given to our veterans and that those CSVOs focus on helping veterans access benefits. CVSOs are – as we like to say – the boots on the ground. Every county is uniquely challenged, but CVSOs can tailor how they spend funding in order to meet those unique challenges,” said Fitzpatrick.

The CVSO in Malheur County, Connie Tanaka, who participated in the hearing by phone shared with the committee some of the challenges for CVSOs in relation to recently allocated funds from Measure 96. In his testimony, Tanaka articulated the primary challenge was knowing what level of funding would be available and ensuring it would be enough to sustain any adde