Bill Text: VA SB1063 | 2011 | Regular Session | Chaptered

Bill Title: Veterans and military servicemembers; specialty treatment procedures.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 7-0)

Status: (Passed) 2011-04-06 - Governor: Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0847) [SB1063 Detail]

Download: Virginia-2011-SB1063-Chaptered.html

An Act to amend and reenact §§2.2-2001 and 2.2-2001.1 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 9.1-173.1, relating to criminal justice procedures for veterans and active military service members.
[S 1063]
Approved April 6, 2011


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That §§2.2-2001 and 2.2-2001.1 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 9.1-173.1 as follows:

§2.2-2001. Administrative responsibilities of the Department.

A. The Department shall be responsible for the establishment, operation, administration, and maintenance of offices and programs related to services for Virginia-domiciled veterans of the armed forces of the United States and their eligible spouses, orphans, and dependents. Such services shall include, but not be limited to, benefits claims processing and all medical care centers and cemeteries for veterans owned and operated by the Commonwealth.

Subject to the availability of sufficient nongeneral fund revenues, including, but not limited to, private donations and federal funds, the Department shall work in concert with applicable State and Federal agencies to develop and deploy an automated system for the electronic preparation of veterans' disability claims that ensures the collection of the necessary information to expedite processing of Virginia veterans' disability claims. The Department's development and deployment work shall be appropriately phased to minimize risk and shall include an initial replacement of the Department's existing case management technology, which replacement is required to support highly sophisticated electronic claims preparation. The Commissioner shall ensure that the system is efficient and statutorily compliant.

B. From such funds as may be appropriated or otherwise received for such purpose, the Department shall provide burial vaults at cost to eligible veterans and their family members interred at state-operated veterans cemeteries.

C. The Department shall establish guidelines for the determination of eligibility for Virginia-domiciled veterans and their spouses, orphans, and dependents for participation in programs and benefits administered by the Department. Such guidelines shall meet the intent of the federal statutes and regulations pertaining to the administration of federal programs supporting U.S. Armed Forces veterans and their spouses, orphans, and dependents.

D. The Department shall adopt reasonable regulations to implement a program to certify, upon request of the small business owner, that he holds a "service disabled veteran" status.

E. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:

"Active military, naval, or air service members" means military service members who perform full-time duty in the armed forces of the United States, or a reserve component thereof, including the National Guard.

"Service-connected" means, with respect to disability that such disability was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service.

"Service disabled veteran" means a veteran who (i) served on active duty in the United States military ground, naval, or air service, (ii) was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, and (iii) has a service-connected disability rating fixed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Service disabled veteran business" means a business concern that is at least 51% owned by one or more service disabled veterans or, in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, at least 51% of the equity ownership interest in the corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity is owned by one or more individuals who are service disabled veterans and both the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more individuals who are service disabled veterans.

"Veteran" means an individual who has served in the active military, naval or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.

§2.2-2001.1. Program for mental health and rehabilitative services.

The Department, in cooperation with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the Department of Rehabilitative Services, shall establish a program to monitor and coordinate mental health and rehabilitative services support for Virginia veterans and members of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia residents in the Armed Forces Reserves not in active federal service. The program shall also support family members affected by covered military members' service and deployments. The purpose of the program is to ensure that adequate and timely assessment, treatment, and support are available to veterans, service members, and affected family members.

The program shall facilitate support for covered individuals to provide timely assessment and treatment for stress-related injuries and traumatic brain injuries resulting from military service, and subject to the availability of public and private funds appropriated for them, case management services, outpatient, family support, and other appropriate behavioral health and brain injury services necessary to provide individual services and support.

The program shall cooperate with localities that may establish special treatment procedures for veterans and active military service members such as authorized by §§9.1-173 and 9.1-174. To facilitate local involvement and flexibility in responding to the problem of crime in local communities and to effectively treat, counsel, rehabilitate, and supervise veterans and active military service members who are offenders or defendants in the criminal justice system and who need access to proper treatment for mental illness including major depression, alcohol or drug abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or a combination of these, any city, county, or combination thereof, may develop, establish, and maintain policies, procedures, and treatment services for all such offenders who are convicted and sentenced for misdemeanors or felonies that are not felony acts of violence, as defined in §19.2-297.1. Such policies, procedures, and treatment services shall be designed to provide:

1. Coordination of treatment and counseling services available to the criminal justice system case processing;

2. Enhanced public safety through offender supervision, counseling, and treatment;

3. Prompt identification and placement of eligible participants;

4. Access to a continuum of treatment, rehabilitation, and counseling services in collaboration with such care providers as are willing and able to provide the services needed;

5. Where appropriate, verified participant abstinence through frequent alcohol and other drug testing;

6. Prompt response to participants' noncompliance with program requirements;

7. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of program effectiveness and efficiency;

8. Ongoing education and training in support of program effectiveness and efficiency;

9. Ongoing collaboration among public agencies, community-based organizations and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care networks, the Veterans Benefits Administration, volunteer veteran mentors, and veterans and military family support organizations; and

10. The creation of a veterans and military service members' advisory council to provide input on the operations of such programs. The council shall include individuals responsible for the criminal justice procedures program along with veterans and, if available, active military service members.

§9.1-173.1. Procedures for treatment of veterans and active service members.

Localities may establish special treatment procedures for veterans and active military service members pursuant to §2.2-2001.1.