House Study Bill 538 - Introduced SENATE/HOUSE FILE _____ BY (PROPOSED DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS BILL) A BILL FOR An Act concerning the department of veterans affairs relating 1 to membership on the commission of veterans affairs, 2 expenditures from the veterans trust fund, and providing an 3 appropriation to the state veterans cemetery account. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 5 TLSB 5263XD (2) 87 ec/rh
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ Section 1. Section 35A.2, subsections 1 and 2, Code 2018, 1 are amended to read as follows: 2 1. A commission of veterans affairs is created consisting 3 of nine eleven persons who shall be appointed by the governor, 4 subject to confirmation by the senate. Members shall be 5 appointed to staggered terms of four years beginning and 6 ending as provided in section 69.19 . The governor shall fill 7 a vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term. In addition 8 to the members appointed by the governor, the director of the 9 department and the commandant of the Iowa veterans home shall 10 serve as nonvoting, ex officio members of the commission. 11 2. Eight Ten commissioners shall be honorably discharged 12 members of the armed forces of the United States. The American 13 legion of Iowa, disabled American veterans department of Iowa, 14 veterans of foreign wars department of Iowa, American veterans 15 of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, the Vietnam veterans 16 of America, and the military order of the purple heart, 17 the paralyzed veterans of America, and the Iowa association 18 of county commissioners and veteran service officers, 19 through their department commanders, shall submit two names 20 respectively from their organizations to the governor. The 21 adjutant general and the Iowa affiliate of the reserve officers 22 association shall submit names to the governor of persons to 23 represent the Iowa national guard and the association. The 24 governor shall appoint from the group of names submitted by 25 the adjutant general and reserve officers association two 26 representatives and from each of the other organizations 27 one representative to serve as a member of the commission, 28 unless the appointments would conflict with the bipartisan and 29 gender balance provisions of sections 69.16 and 69.16A . In 30 addition, the governor shall appoint one member of the public, 31 knowledgeable in the general field of veterans affairs, to 32 serve on the commission. 33 Sec. 2. Section 35A.13, subsection 3, Code 2018, is amended 34 to read as follows: 35 -1- LSB 5263XD (2) 87 ec/rh 1/ 5
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ 3. Moneys credited to the trust fund shall not be 1 transferred, used, obligated, appropriated, or otherwise 2 encumbered, except as provided in this section . Moneys in the 3 trust fund may be used for cash flow purposes during a fiscal 4 year provided that any moneys so allocated are returned to the 5 trust fund by the end of that fiscal year. Moneys in the trust 6 fund may also be used for cemetery grant development purposes 7 provided that any moneys so allocated , except for moneys used 8 for department of administrative services expenditures related 9 to the grant, are returned to the trust fund upon receipt of 10 federal funds received for such purposes. 11 Sec. 3. Section 35A.13, subsection 4, paragraph a, Code 12 2018, is amended to read as follows: 13 a. The minimum balance of the trust fund required prior 14 to expenditure of moneys from the trust fund is five million 15 dollars. Once the minimum balance is reached, the interest and 16 earnings on the fund and the first three five hundred thousand 17 dollars transferred each fiscal year pursuant to section 99G.39 18 from the lottery fund to the trust fund are appropriated to the 19 commission to be used to achieve the purposes of subsection 6 20 of this section . Moneys appropriated to the commission that 21 remain unobligated or unexpended at the end of each fiscal year 22 shall revert to the trust fund. It is the intent of the general 23 assembly that the balance in the trust fund reach fifty million 24 dollars. 25 Sec. 4. Section 35A.13, subsection 6, paragraph l, Code 26 2018, is amended by striking the paragraph. 27 Sec. 5. Section 35A.13, subsection 6, Code 2018, is amended 28 by adding the following new paragraphs: 29 NEW PARAGRAPH . o. Rental housing assistance for veterans 30 who meet the definition of homeless, as set out in 42 U.S.C. 31 §11302, for payment of rental deposits and rental application 32 fees and for reimbursement of costs associated with obtaining 33 records needed for obtaining rental housing. 34 NEW PARAGRAPH . p. Monetary assistance on a one-time basis 35 -2- LSB 5263XD (2) 87 ec/rh 2/ 5
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ per recipient to be used to prevent homelessness in an amount 1 not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars per recipient. 2 Sec. 6. Section 99G.39, subsection 3, Code 2018, is amended 3 to read as follows: 4 3. a. Two One million five hundred thousand dollars in 5 lottery revenues shall be transferred each fiscal year to the 6 veterans trust fund established pursuant to section 35A.13 7 prior to deposit of the lottery revenues in the general fund 8 pursuant to section 99G.40 . However, if the balance of the 9 veterans trust fund is fifty million dollars or more, the 10 moneys shall be appropriated to the department of revenue for 11 distribution to county directors of veteran affairs, with fifty 12 percent of the moneys to be distributed equally to each county 13 and fifty percent of the moneys to be distributed to each 14 county based upon the population of veterans in the county, 15 so long as the moneys distributed to a county do not supplant 16 moneys appropriated by that county for the county director of 17 veteran affairs. 18 b. One million dollars in lottery revenues shall be 19 transferred each fiscal year to the account for a state 20 veterans cemetery established pursuant to section 35A.5, 21 subsection 10, prior to deposit of the lottery revenues in the 22 general fund pursuant to section 99G.40. 23 Sec. 7. Section 99G.39, subsection 4, paragraph a, Code 24 2018, is amended to read as follows: 25 a. Notwithstanding subsection 1 , if gaming revenues under 26 sections 99D.17 and 99F.11 are insufficient in a fiscal year to 27 meet the total amount of such revenues directed to be deposited 28 in the vision Iowa fund during the fiscal year pursuant to 29 section 8.57, subsection 5 , paragraph “e” , the difference shall 30 be paid from lottery revenues prior to deposit of the lottery 31 revenues in the general fund and transfer of lottery revenues 32 to the veterans trust fund as provided in subsection 3 . If 33 lottery revenues are insufficient during the fiscal year to 34 pay the difference, the remaining difference shall be paid 35 -3- LSB 5263XD (2) 87 ec/rh 3/ 5
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ from lottery revenues prior to deposit of lottery revenues 1 in the general fund and the transfer of lottery revenues to 2 the veterans trust fund and the account for a state veterans 3 cemetery as provided in subsection 3 in subsequent fiscal years 4 as such revenues become available. 5 EXPLANATION 6 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 7 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 8 This bill concerns the department of veterans affairs. 9 Code section 35A.2, concerning the commission of veterans 10 affairs, is amended to increase the membership on the 11 commission from 9 to 11 persons. The bill provides that 12 additional persons include a representative selected from names 13 submitted by the paralyzed veterans of America and by the 14 Iowa association of county commissioners and veteran service 15 officers. 16 Code section 35A.13, concerning the veterans trust fund, is 17 amended. 18 Code section 35A.13(3) is amended to provide that moneys 19 used by the department of administrative services for 20 expenditures related to cemetery grant development purposes 21 are not required to be returned to the veterans trust fund 22 upon receipt of federal funds received for cemetery grant 23 development purposes. 24 Code section 35A.13(4) is amended to provide that once the 25 minimum balance in the trust fund of $5 million is reached, 26 interest and earnings on the fund and the first $500,000, 27 instead of the first $300,000, transferred to the fund from 28 the Iowa lottery authority from lottery revenues may be used 29 each fiscal year by the commission of veterans affairs for the 30 purposes provided within the Code section. 31 Code section 35A.13(6), concerning permissible uses for 32 moneys in the veterans trust fund, is amended. The bill 33 strikes the provision authorizing moneys in the trust fund to 34 be expended for matching funds to veterans organizations to 35 -4- LSB 5263XD (2) 87 ec/rh 4/ 5
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ provide for accredited veteran service officers. The bill 1 provides that moneys in the trust fund may be expended, upon 2 a majority vote of the state commission of veterans affairs, 3 for rental housing assistance for homeless veterans for the 4 payment of rental deposits, rental application fees, and costs 5 associated with obtaining records needed to secure rental 6 housing, and for a one-time monetary assistance to prevent 7 homelessness in an amount not to exceed $2,500 per recipient. 8 Code section 99G.39, concerning transfers of lottery 9 revenues, is amended. Currently, $2.5 million is transferred 10 from lottery revenues to the veterans trust fund each fiscal 11 year until the balance in the veterans trust fund reaches 12 $50 million and a different distribution of the revenues is 13 then provided for. The bill reduces the transfer of lottery 14 revenues to the veterans trust fund to $1.5 million each 15 fiscal year and provides for the transfer of $1 million each 16 fiscal year in lottery revenues to the state veterans cemetery 17 account. 18 -5- LSB 5263XD (2) 87 ec/rh 5/ 5