Solomon-Gabler bill would improve services for Pennsylvania veterans

HARRISBURG, June 26 – During a news conference today at the state Capitol, state Reps. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., and Matt Gabler, R-Clearfield/Elk, promoted H.B. 1231, legislation that would improve and support services for veterans across Pennsylvania. The bill awaits consideration by the House following unanimous adoption by the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

“The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is already managing a registry that does a great job of engaging our servicemen and women by coordinating information on federal, state and local government benefits, programs and services that are available for them,” Solomon said. “Unfortunately, the registry currently reaches less than 1 percent of our servicemen and women. House Bill 1231 would expand the registry’s reach by bringing other agencies into the process of identifying veterans who stand to benefit.”

Currently, the DMVA’s online registry lists roughly 7,000 of the over 894,000 veterans in Pennsylvania.

“I’m pleased to have the opportunity to work across the aisle with Representative Solomon on legislation that will further provide this great service to the men and women who have done so much for our country,” Gabler said. “House Bill 1231 would make more people aware of the existing one-stop shop for our veterans and their loved ones that allows them to discover programs and services that they may not have previously been aware of.” 

The legislation also would require the DMVA to submit an annual report on how many veterans are accessing the registry.

“Thousands of men and women devoted their lives to protect us. We owe our veterans the highest level of care and concern,” Solomon said.

Rep. Barry Jozwiak, R-Berks, a member of the Veterans Affairs committee and a veteran himself, said this legislation would enable all service men and women to be located and registered for them to receive benefits they earned and are entitled to.

“There are benefits veterans do not even know about and are entitled to receive. We owe so much to our veterans, who served, and risked everything, to protect our country and our freedom,” Jozwiak said.