Amendment #21 to S.1885
THE MASSACHUSETTS HIGHER EDUCATION VETERAN HEALTH SERVICES COUNCIL
Representatives Mark of Peru, Kocot of Northampton, Calter of Kingston, Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield, Lewis of Winchester, Heroux of Attleboro, Chan of Quincy and DiZoglio of Methuen move that the bill be amended by adding the following new sections
SECTION 1. (a) There is hereby established the Massachusetts Higher Education Veteran Health Services Council, consisting of twelve members. 2 of whom shall be members from the legislature, 1 of whom shall be a member of the house of representatives, who shall serve as co-chair, and 1 of whom shall be a member of the senate, who shall serve as co-chair;1 of whom shall be a representative from the office of Veteran Services appointed by the Secretary of Veteran Services, 1 of whom shall be a representative from the board of higher education appointed by the commissioner of higher education, 1 of whom shall be a representative from the department of public health to be appointed by the commissioner of public health, 1 of whom shall be a Veteran of a post 9/11 war appointed by the joint committee of Veteran and Federal Affairs; and 6 of whom shall be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a representative of Loyola Recovery Foundation, 1 of whom shall be a representative of a public or private College or University, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Boston Trauma Center, Justice Resource Institute, 1 of whom shall be a representative of Massachusetts Veterans Health Administration, 1 of whom shall be a representative from the Governors Student Veterans Advisory Board, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Veterans’ Services.
(b) Council members shall be appointed for a term of 4 years. The council shall meet 4 times annually for the first 4 years. After the first 4 years, the council shall evaluate the progress of its efforts and shall disband unless a majority of the council members recognize a continuing need for the council to exist.
(c) The council shall consult with and solicit input from various persons and groups including, but not limited to, the: Massachusetts Department of Veteran Affairs, Massachusetts Department of Veteran Services, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Boston Trauma Center, Justice Resource Institute, Loyola Recovery Foundation, Massachusetts Department of Veteran Services, Massachusetts Department of Health, Governor’s Student Veterans Advisory Board, Governor’s Advisory Council for Veterans’ Services.
(d) The council shall review existing Health Services dedicated to Veterans at all Massachusetts Higher Education Institutions, specifically focusing on Health Services dedicated to treating Post Traumatic Stress of Veteran Students and make recommendations to the Department of Higher Education, Department of Veteran Services, Department of Public Health on model approaches including, but not limited to, the following areas: (i) the alignment of efforts between the department of higher education, the department of veteran services and the non-profit sector on veteran services; (ii) opportunities for coordination and collaboration between higher education institutions and Veteran services programs; (iii) methods for improving quality and resources for treating Veterans with PTS, including enhancing opportunities for professional development and technical assistance; (iv) methods and programs to help improve the academic success in higher education of Veterans with PTS, and (v) public and private support to build a sustainable infrastructure for support programs for Veteran higher education students with PTS.
SECTION 2. The department of Veterans’ Services, department of higher education, executive office of health and human services, and the department of labor and workforce development shall each report to the Massachusetts higher education Veteran health services council a description of all state and federal funding directly expended to Veteran Health Services treating PTS on Massachusetts higher education campuses and the programs such finding supports not later than September 1 for each year that the council exists.
SECTION 3. The Massachusetts higher education Veteran health services council shall annually prepare a progress report concerning the council’s activities, with appropriate recommendations concerning health services for Veterans with PTS attending higher education institutions, and file the report with the governor and the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives, who shall forward the report to the chairs of the joint committee on Veteran services and federal affairs and the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means not later than June 1 of each year that the council exists.
SECTION 4. The Massachusetts higher education Veteran health services council shall conduct it first meeting not more than 60 days after the effective date of this act.