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Veterans Assistance Bills Not Heard in Committee – Corn Promises to Continue Effort

Two measures that would have provided assistance to Oklahoma veterans have failed to receive a hearing prior to the February 19 deadline for approval of legislation in Senate committees.

Sen. Kenneth Corn filed the measures, including one which would establish a service to help ensure that veterans receive military honors at their funerals. Both bills were assigned to the Senate Appropriations Committee, where they did not receive a hearing. Corn said he was deeply saddened that the measures were not given a hearing, and would continue to use every possible avenue to advance the proposals through the legislative process.

“Disallowing an up or down vote on these two bills sends the wrong message both to our veterans and the people of Oklahoma,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “I think both our veterans and the public deserve to have these bills heard, and to know whether the state Senate wants to honor our military men and women who have sacrificed so much on their behalf.”

Senate Bill 1163, would have required the Veterans Affairs Department to work with community organizations to help place flags at the gravesites of Oklahoma veterans on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The measure would have had no fiscal impact, but would have required the Department to assist volunteer community organizations in locating the gravesites of Oklahoma veterans.

Senate Bill 295 would have established a revolving fund to help provide military funeral honors for Oklahoma veterans. Corn said the measure would have had a minimal fiscal impact, and would have allowed donations to be accepted for the express purpose of ensuring military honors for veterans’ funerals.

“I think burying these bills sends a bad signal,” Corn said. “It’s sad that the state Senate, which has always honored our military men and women, has decided that these measures aren’t worthy of consideration by the entire body.”

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