Veteran policy update – this week: USS McFaul to visit Eastport; Co-sponsored legislation; Senator King interview on WMPG; Homelessness in Maine; Events & Funding opps

June 11, 2018

 

Hi everyone,

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>Press Releases from Senator King’s office:

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>Senators Collins, King Announce USS McFaul to Visit Eastport for Fourth of July, Friday, June 8, 2018

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that Eastport will receive a port visit during the city’s 2018 Fourth of July celebration.<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> The U.S. Navy has committed to sending the guided missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG-74), which has a crew complement of approximately 280 sailors.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>—

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>Collins, King Applaud FCC Proposal to Increase Funding for Rural Health Care Program, Thursday, June 7, 2018

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” font-style:=”” italic;’=””>Both senators have urged FCC to modernize, increase funding for this program, which hasn’t seen funding increase in more than 20 years.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>WASHINGTON, D.C. –<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) applauded<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>a draft proposal from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>that would significantly increase funding for the Universal Service Fund’s Rural Health Care (RHC) Program.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>Senator King co-sponsored (links to Congress.gov for more details):

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>This bill increases the amounts payable through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for: (1) burial and funeral expenses of certain veterans, and (2) such expenses in connection with a veteran’s death due to a service-connected disability. The VA shall increase such amounts each fiscal year by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” color:=”” #333333;’=””>This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to provide that the Act’s regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties do not apply to a person who produces, possesses, distributes, dispenses, administers, tests, recommends, or delivers medical marijuana in compliance with state law.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” color:=”” #333333;=”” background-color:=”” #ffffff;’=””>This bill directs the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate to arrange for the presentation of a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of Larry Doby in recognition of his achievements and contributions to American major league athletics, civil rights, and the Armed Forces during World War II.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>ICYMI

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>(Links to the following news and research items are offered in the spirit of outreach and public education. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the Senator or his staff.)<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>VA Commits $17 Million to Expand Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program, VA Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, June 7, 2018

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-style:=”” italic;’=””>Services address healing from physical, psychological and social effects of violence.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>WASHINGTON<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>— The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking action to address<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>Intimate Partner Violence<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>(IPV) by earmarking $17 million in funds to support Veterans in need. The funds will strengthen IPV Assistance Programs in VA facilities nationwide.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>—

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>Interview with Senator King on WMPG’s Friendly Fire: A Voice for Veterans, hosted by Don Kimball, June 6, 2018

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Join the conversation as<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Don Kimball,<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> a USAF veteran,<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>covers important issues<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>such as PTSS, homelessness, veteran suicide,<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>endless war<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>and the<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>many other issues confronting military members<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>both active duty and retired.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> ?—

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals resolves record number of claims to date for FY 2018, VA Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, June 4, 2018

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>WASHINGTON<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>— Underscoring the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) pledge to reduce the wait time for those appealing disability benefits claims, the<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>Board of Veterans’ Appeals<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>, as of May 27, has signed more than 53,650 decisions to date in fiscal year (FY) 2018, which is approximately 86 percent more than the 28,839 decisions signed through the same period last year.<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>The Board is currently on track to meet and exceed its FY 2018 total goal of reviewing a historic 81,000 appeals by Sept. 30, 2018.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>—

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>VETERANS CHOICE PROGRAM: Improvements Needed to Address Access-Related Challenges as VA Plans Consolidation of its Community Care Programs, GAO Report, June 4, 2018<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>If services are not readily accessible at VA medical facilities, the Veterans Choice Program allows eligible veterans to receive care from non-VA providers. Congress created the temporary program in 2014, aiming to alleviate the excessive wait times some veterans faced at VA. However, we found that it’s unclear if the Choice Program improved the timeliness of veterans’ care because VA’s data are incomplete and unreliable. When the Choice Program ends, veterans will still receive care from non-VA providers through a new program.<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>We made recommendations<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>related to improving VA’s ability to monitor veterans’ access to care through the new program.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>—

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>Homelessness on one night in Maine:<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””> the 2018 Point in Time (PIT) Survey, June 6, 2018

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>The Point in Time (PIT) Count is a snapshot of homelessness on one night of the year. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that each Continuum of Care (CoC) conduct a sheltered PIT Count annually, and that it occur within the last ten days of January. In 2018, the “Night of the Count” in Maine was January 23. This count included both sheltered and unsheltered populations. Information from emergency shelters and other service providers was primarily collected though Maine’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>—

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>Apply for the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program, HUD Exchange press release, April 20, 2018<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””> Closing Date for Applications: June 25, 2018

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>HUD in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announces $13.7 million in grant funding to modify or rehabilitate eligible veterans’ primary residences. Eligible applicants for the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program are nonprofit organizations that provide nationwide or statewide programs that primarily serve veterans or low-income individuals.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>—

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>VA MAINE IS HOSTING A

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>VETERANS TOWN HALL MEETING

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>IN CARIBOU

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Monday, June 18 at 6:00pm

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Chan Center – Cary Medical Center

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>The VA Center Director and the Togus Regional Office Director will provide updates of the VA Maine Healthcare System and the Togus Regional Office operations. VA staff will be on-site to provide detailed information on VA healthcare and other VA benefits/services and answer questions.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>—

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>COMMUNITY CLERGY TRAINING: Military Culture and Wounds of War

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>June 19, 2018 • 0800–1530

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>St. Anne’s Episcopal Church

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>23 Church Street (Parish Hall)

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Calais, ME

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>~or~

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>June 20, 2018 • 0800–1530

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Centre Street Congregational Church

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>9 Center St

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Machias, ME

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>There is no cost for this training. However, space is limited.<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””> <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-style:=”” italic;’=””>See attached flier for details, including registration.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Many Veterans and their family members seek help for their problems from clergy because they feel the faith community can provide anonymity, confidentiality and a stigma-free environment. Yet clergy members sometimes have limited knowledge about readjustment difficulties and the unique health issues such as post-traumatic stress or depression common to returning warriors. The Community Clergy Training Partner Initiative offers critical resource to educate and support the faith community as you support our Veterans and their family members.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-style:=”” italic;’=””>Co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs National VA Chaplain Center, VA Veteran Experience Office, Togus VA Medical Center and Downeast Maine Military & Community Network

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>—

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>safeTALK Veteran Suicide Prevention Training

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>by York County Veteran Suicide Prevention Task Force

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>Free

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Wed, June 27, 2018

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>6:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>35 South Street

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Biddeford, ME 04005

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>REGISTER

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Suicide is preventable. Anyone can make a difference. Please join representatives from the Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center, Sanford Vet Center, the VFW, Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services and Volunteers of America Northern New England for a free safeTALK training to help prevent veteran suicide. This event is open to the public and is suitable for anyone 15 or over. Everyone is welcome! Whether you are veteran, know a veteran, or just want to help members of your community who are struggling, this event is for you. You’ll strengthen your suicide alertness skills, learn four basic steps to create a life-saving connection in a crisis situation, and will get information on the valuable intervention resources in your community. Please join us for this important event! Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact Ms. Jeannie Delahut, 207-432-4533.

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>—

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-weight:=”” bold;’=””>The Maine Military and Community Network

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>8th Annual Conference

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>Bringing Veterans and Support Services Together

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>WHEN: Thursday, July 19, 2018

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>TIME: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>WHERE: Augusta Civic Center

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>76 Community Drive, Augusta, Maine

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” font-size:=”” 11pt;=”” text-decoration:=”” underline;=”” color:=”” #0563c1;’=””>FMI and Registration

<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;’=””>—

As always, I am eager to hear from you. Thank you for all that you are doing! Please feel free to call or write.

 

Best Regards,

Teague Morris
Outreach Director | Senator Angus S. King, Jr., Maine
4 Gabriel Drive, Suite 3 | Augusta, ME 04330
Tel: 207-622-8292 | Tel:1-800-432-1599| Cell: 207-252-8997
Fax: 207-621-0286 |teague_morris@king.senate.gov

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