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House Interim Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs

Charge

Study and report to the House of Representatives on the issues relating to and the impact on Texas of national military and defense policies, and those issues affecting Texas veterans that may be addressed by state law.

Background

The impact of national defense and military policy is significant in the state. One-fourth of the citizens of Texas are directly impacted as members of the active duty armed forces, the reserves and national guard, veterans of those services, employees of military contractors, and their families. Over 500,000 individuals in Texas are employed by military or veterans organizations paid by the federal government. In addition, there are over 150,000 individuals drawing over $1 billion in retirement and disability pay from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The direct economic impact is estimated to be $20 billion and the indirect impact many times that.

How the state plans for and supports military installations and operations will have a decided impact on the economy of the state now and in the future. Likewise, how the state plans for and supports veterans will have not only an impact on their well-being, but on the future of defense and military business in the state. The relationship between state attitudes and actions toward the military and toward its veterans are directly related.

Findings and Recommendations

  • Form standing committees in both the House and Senate on Military and Veterans Affairs.

  • Appropriate $77,800 for the national Women in Military Service memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Reinforce the state veterans preference laws.

  • Create support for veterans' homes programs.

  • Establish support for veterans' cemeteries.

  • Create adequate funding for the Texas Veterans Commission.

  • Establish support for veterans' rehabilitation programs.