Friday, January 11, 2013

TX Government Affairs Report



The 83rd Texas Legislature will convene 8 January 2013, and 18 veteran related bills have been introduced.  The 113th US Congress has been sworn in and committee assignments will follow.    The following is my Government Affairs report and is for your information and distribution to your members. Please advise me if you have any questions.

John

John A Miterko
Veterans Advocate

113th US Congress:  any and all veteran related legislation considered but not passed during the now adjourned 112th Congress will have to begin the long political process of being re-introduced, sponsored, co-sponsored, brought before the Veterans Affairs Committees in both the House and Senate, assigned to a sub-committee, evaluated for funding based on significant National Defense Authorized budget reductions, placed in the queue for funding, and balanced against the mandatory budget reductions mandated by sequestration.  Nothing will begin for at least one more month.  During the interim, Committee Chairs will be appointed, Representatives and Senators will be assigned to committees, and legislation will be introduced beginning sometime in February.  I will keep you posted regarding any veteran related legislation.

83rd Texas Legislature:   the Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations has 36 member Veteran Service Organizations as well as six supporting VSOs, and represents the legislative interests of over 600,000 veterans in Texas. The top priorities for TCVO are:

1.  adjusting the dollar amount that may be exempted from the appraised value of the principal residence of a veteran disabled less than 100%.  Senate Bill SB 540 directed the State Comptroller to evaluate the intent of the original legislation and to make recommendations for changing the dolalr amounts currently in effect.  In May 2012, Susan B Coombs, State Comptroller, issued a report that recommended that the four exemption amounts be tied to the average appraised value of property in Texas in the same amount and ratio when the original law took effect (12 years ago), and make adjustments to the exempted amount. TCVO has been working with the Author of SB 540, Senator Leticia Van de Putte (San Antonio) , Chair, Senate Veterans Affairs and Military Installations Committee, to introduce legislation effecting the proposed changes.  The same legislation has been requested from the House Defense Affairs Committee chaired by Representative Joe Pickett (El Paso), and has support from Rep Chris Turner (Tarrant County near Ft Worth).  No bills have been filed to date.

2.  Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses being [laced in the category of "economically disadvantaged".  Two bills supporting this legislation have been introduced:  on the House side HB 194 by Rep Joe Farias (San Antonio), and Senate  Bill SB 116 by Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (McAllen).  

3.  Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouses of 100% Disabled Veterans, as well as surviving spouses of Texas active duty military Killed In Action (see below for supporting legislation).




Subject: 83rd TX Legislature: Veteran Related Bills


Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses:

Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 194 - Introduced version - Bill Text

Author: Farias

Caption: Relating to considering ownership interests of certain disabled veterans in determining whether a business is a historically underutilized business for purposes of state contracting.

Excerpt: BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Section 2161.001(3), Government Code, is amended to read as follows: (3) "Economically disadvantaged person" means a person who is economically disadvantaged because of the person's identification as a member of a certain group, including Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, women, Asian Pacific Americans, [and] Native Americans, and veterans as defined by 38 U.S.C. Section 101(2) who have a service-connected disability as ... 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) SB 116 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Hinojosa

Caption: Relating to the consideration of ownership interests of disabled veterans in determining whether a business is a historically underutilized business for purposes of state contracting.

Excerpt: BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Section 2161.001(3), Government Code, is amended to read as follows: (3) "Economically disadvantaged person" means a person who: (A) is economically disadvantaged because of the person's identification as a member of a certain group, including: (i) Black Americans; (ii)[,] Hispanic Americans; (iii)[,] women; (iv)[,] 
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Tax Exemptions for Residence Homesteads : Various Categories of Beneficiaries:

Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 229 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Isaac

Caption: Relating to an exemption from ad valorem taxation of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who dies while on active duty.

Excerpt: relating to an exemption from ad valorem taxation of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who dies while on active duty. RESIDENCE HOMESTEAD OF SURVIVING SPOUSE OF MEMBER OF ARMED SERVICES WHO DIED ON ACTIVE DUTY. (a) In this section: (1) "Residence homestead" has the meaning assigned by Section 11.13. 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 214 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Pickett

Caption: Relating to the exemption from ad valorem taxation of the total appraised value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran.

Excerpt: relating to the exemption from ad valorem taxation of the total appraised value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Section 11.131(c), Tax Code, is amended to read as follows: (c) The surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who qualified for an exemption under Subsection (b) when the disabled veteran died, or of a disabled veteran who would have qualified for an ... 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HJR 21 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Pickett

Caption: Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who died before the law authorizing a residence homestead exemption for such a veteran took effect.

Excerpt: proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who died before the law authorizing a residence homestead exemption for such a veteran took effect. 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HJR 28 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Raymond

Caption: Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who died before the law authorizing a residence homestead exemption for such a veteran took effect.

Excerpt: proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who died before the law authorizing a residence homestead exemption for such a veteran took effect. 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 113 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Raymond

Caption: Relating to the exemption from ad valorem taxation of the total appraised value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran.

Excerpt: relating to the exemption from ad valorem taxation of the total appraised value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Section 11.131(c), Tax Code, is amended to read as follows: (c) The surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who qualified for an exemption under Subsection (b) when the disabled veteran died, or of a disabled veteran who would have qualified for an ... 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HJR 24 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Perry

Caption: Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization.

Excerpt: proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization. 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 97 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Perry

Caption: Relating to the exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the appraised value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization.

Excerpt: (d) If a surviving spouse who qualifies for an exemption under Subsection (c) subsequently qualifies a different property as the surviving spouse's residence homestead, the surviving spouse is entitled to an exemption from taxation of the subsequently qualified residence homestead in an amount equal to the dollar amount of the exemption from taxation of the former residence homestead under Subsection (c) in the last year in which the surviving spouse received an exemption under that ... 
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Veteran Related Legislation:


Click for                                                            options
83(R) SB 61 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Nelson

Caption: Relating to the licensing and regulation of military physicians who provide voluntary charity health care.

Excerpt: BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. The heading to Subchapter C, Chapter 155, Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows: SUBCHAPTER C. CERTAIN TEMPORARY OR LIMITED LICENSES OR PERMITS SECTION 2. Subchapter C, Chapter 155, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 155.103 to read as follows: Sec. 155.103. MILITARY LIMITED VOLUNTEER LICENSE. (a) The board shall adopt rules relating to the issuance of a military limited volunteer license under this ... 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) SB 109 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: West

Caption: Relating to the state low income housing plan and report developed by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

Excerpt: relating to the state low income housing plan and report developed by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. SECTION 2. Section 2306.0721(c), Government Code, is amended to read as follows: (c) The plan must include: (1) an estimate and analysis of the size and the different housing needs of the following populations in each uniform state service region: (A) individuals and families of moderate, low, very low, and extremely low income; (B) individuals with special needs; [and]... 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 81 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Pickett

Caption: Relating to the eligibility of children and other dependents of certain military personnel or veterans for tuition and fee exemptions at public institutions of higher education.

Excerpt: (m) For purposes of this section, a person is the child of another person if [the person is 25 years of age or younger on the first day of the semester or other academic term for which the exemption is claimed and]: (1) the person is the stepchild or the biological or adopted child of the other person; or (2) the other person claimed the person as a dependent on a federal income tax return filed for the preceding year or will claim the person as a dependent on a federal income tax return for ... 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 171 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Caption: Relating to the establishment of veterans resource centers at certain institutions of higher education.

Excerpt: VETERANS RESOURCE CENTERS. The commission shall administer a veterans resource center in at least one institution of higher education in each region specified in Section 434.203 to: (1) provide a centralized place for veterans to find assistance and information while enrolled at an institution of higher education; (2) deliver innovative, cost-effective programs to attract veterans and family members of veterans to attend public institutions of higher education; (3) enable institutions (b) A ... 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 155 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Caption: Relating to the issuance of specialty license plates for certain Operation Enduring Freedom veterans.

Excerpt: (a) The department shall issue specialty license plates for persons who served in the United States armed services and participated in Operation Enduring Freedom. The license plates must include the words "Enduring Freedom." (b) The department shall issue specialty license plates for persons who served in the United States armed services and participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 50 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Flynn

Caption: Relating to renaming the adjutant general's department as the Texas Military Department.

Excerpt: SECTION 4. The heading to Subchapter B, Chapter 431, Government Code, is amended to read as follows: SUBCHAPTER B. TEXAS MILITARY [ADJUTANT GENERAL'S] DEPARTMENT SECTION 5. Section 431.021(2), Government Code, is amended to read as follows: (2) "Department" means the Texas Military Department [adjutant general's department]. 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 45 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Flynn

Caption: Relating to the occupational licensing of members of the military and spouses of members of the military.

Excerpt: RENEWAL OF EXPEDITED LICENSE. (a) As soon as practicable after a state agency issues a license under Section 55.005, the state agency shall determine the requirements for the license holder to renew the license. The license holder may not renew the license unless the license holder complies with the renewal requirements described by Subsection (a). 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 215 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Pickett

Caption: Relating to escrow accounts maintained by tax collectors for the payment of ad valorem taxes.

Excerpt: For a contract covering multiple tax years, deposits may not be made for a tax year before October 1 of the preceding tax year. (f) The property owner may withdraw from the collector the money the owner deposited in an escrow account for a tax year only if the withdrawal is made before the date the tax bill is prepared for that tax year or October 1 of that [the] tax year, whichever occurs earlier. 
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Click for                                                            options 83(R) HB 263 - Introduced version - Bill Text
 
Author: Flynn

Caption: Relating to combination resident hunting and fishing licenses for military personnel.

Excerpt: BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Section 50.001, Parks and Wildlife Code, is amended by adding Subsection (c-1) to read as follows: (c-1) The commission shall waive the fee for a combination resident hunting and fishing license for a qualified disabled veteran as defined by Section 42.012 or a resident who holds a valid military identification card and is on active duty in the United States military forces or is actively participating in the Texas Army ... 
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--

Ben Adair
Vice Commander
American Legion Post 290
Dripping Springs TX

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