Two constitutional amendments concerning Veterans appear on November ballot
Early voting begins November 5, 2013, and Texas voters will have the opportunity to approve two new constitutional amendments which will provide property tax exemptions to eligible Veterans and their families.
Appearing as Proposition 1 on the ballot, House Joint Resolution 62, and its enabling legislation, Senate Bill 163, would provide a surviving spouse of a member of the armed services who was killed in action a property tax exemption of all or part of the surviving spouse's residence homestead if the surviving spouse had not remarried.
Appearing as Proposition 4 on the ballot, House Joint Resolution 24, and its enabling legislation, House Bill 97, would 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 was donated to the disabled Veteran by a charitable organization.
In November 2011, an overwhelming 82.9 percent of voters approved Proposition 1, which allowed surviving spouses of totally disabled Veterans to continue to receive the homestead tax exemption for which their Veteran spouse qualified, after their deaths.
Early voting began October 21 and continues through November 1. Election Day is November 5, 2013. In accordance with new provisions, voters will be required to show government issued photo identification when voting in person. Below is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID:
Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
United States military identification card containing the person's photograph
United States citizenship certificate containing the person's photograph
TVC is co-hosting an event in Houston on Saturday, October 26
The Texas Veterans Land Board, in conjunction with Texas Veterans Commission and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits and Health Administration is hosting a Veterans Resource Roundup for active military, Veterans and military spouses. The event will take place in Houston on Saturday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.
TVC Counselors will be in attendance to assist with disability and pension claims, employment services, education benefits and Veteran-owned businesses.
The Texas Veterans Land Board will provide assistance with home loans, land loans, home improvement loans, state Veterans homes and state Veterans cemeteries.
Representatives with the VA will be there to assist with federal entitlement programs and health screening.
For more information, please call: 800-252-VETS (8387).
Veterans Resource Roundup
October 26, 2013 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center 4th Floor Auditorium
FVA's newest grantees help Texas Veterans in their local communities
The Texas Veterans Commission awarded 24 organizations $2.9 million in grants from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans' Assistance (FVA).
"These grantees are projected to serve Texas Veterans, their family members and surviving spouses between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014," said Kathy Wood, Director of the Fund for Veterans' Assistance. "To date, the Commission has provided over $29.9 million in 144 grants to 99 local government and non-profit organizations to help serve over 135,000 Veterans and their family members."
The grants are awarded to help Texas Veterans and their families through programs and organizations at the community level. Services funded include counseling for Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), housing assistance for homeless Veterans, short-term financial assistance, legal assistance, and family and child services.
The following 24 Texas organizations received grant funds for programs through June 30:
Veterans, family members and caregivers who may require assistance or services should contact the service provider directly.
Currently, the primary source of funds for the Texas Veterans Commission FVA program is the $2 scratch-off lottery game, Veterans Cash, and the newest game is in stores now. Since its introduction in November 2009, sales of the lottery game have provided over $25 million to the FVA. Individuals can also support the FVA by making online donation through www.tvc.texas.gov. Donations to the Fund for Veterans' Assistance are tax deductible under the provisions of Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Veteran Entrepreneurs utilizing resources to become better business owners
The Master of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) degree is a one-year program at the University of Texas at Austin specifically designed for entrepreneurs who are interested in launching new ventures based on emerging technologies. The program is focused on recruiting Veterans to join the program.
"Our Veteran students bring a level of experience and leadership that is unparalleled on our campus," said Dr. Gary Cadenhead, Director of the MSTC Program, "These attributes make them ideal participants in this program."
Of the 70 students currently enrolled in the program, 20 percent are Veterans, National Guard or current military. Dr. Cadenhead and his staff plan to have 110 students in the next class and in hopes that 30 percent - 40 percent of them are Veterans.
Several features of the MSTC Program that make it especially attractive to Veterans:
Veterans can participate in person or online from anywhere with a broadband connection;
Veterans with a degree and a minimum of fifteen years of experience, any combination of which may be in the military or civilian world, may gain admittance without having to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT);
The program is designed for working professionals who can complete it in one year by attending classes on alternating weekends, in addition to one week of intensive work at the outset of each of the three semesters;
The program is approved for Montgomery and Post 9/11 GI Bill use;
The McCombs School of Business' Entrepreneurship Programs are currently ranked 7th in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine.
TVC wants you to stay informed! Follow these links to find up-to-date information about Veterans in Texas.
Advisory Committee Applications Open
TVC is now accepting applications to fill membership vacancies on the following committees: Veterans Employment and Training Advisory Committee, Fund for Veterans' Assistance Advisory Committee,and Veterans Communication Advisory Committee. Terms begin January 1, 2014, and applications are being accepted until Monday, October 28. Apply here.
Horses for Heroes
Rocky Top helps Texas Veterans with PTSD by harnessing the power of horses to address many of the mental health challenges military families face. (Facebook) (Twitter)
World Suicide Prevention Day
In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day, we encourage Veterans, service members and their families to join the Military Veteran Peer Network - Texas, which connects Veterans and their families to local, state and national resources through an active group of Veteran peers. Learn more here. (Facebook) (Twitter)
Keep the Wheels Turning for Texas Veterans!
Support Texas Veterans! Donate online when you renew your vehicle registration at Texas.gov. (Twitter)
About the Texas Veterans Commission
The Texas Veterans Commission is a state agency committed to ensuring all Veterans within the state of Texas receive the maximum benefits earned as a result of their service to their country. We provide superior service to Veterans in the areas of claims assistance, employment services, education benefits and reimbursement grants that significantly improve the quality of life of Texas Veterans and their families.