Dems: Veterans Affairs Committee Report – week 5, 2018

February 6, 2018

SSB 3052 – Public Defense omnibus technical updates;
SSB 3067 – Veterans benefits services, events disclosure. 



SSB 3052 is a recommendation by the Department of Public Defense. It authorizes the Adjutant General to establish and manage self-funded Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities and activities for the Iowa National Guard, similar to those operated by the U.S. Armed Forces on military reservations and air bases, and designate suitable buildings and land on ING properties. For example, this would allow food trucks to offer services at Camp Dodge in Johnston. The bill also requires law enforcement officers to assign a case number to a sexual assault allegation and initiate an investigation. This more closely mirrors federal military requirements while preserving the discretion of local law enforcement to close a case that does not meet evidentiary requirements for prosecution. The Iowa State Bar Association supports this change.
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SSB 3067 is a recommendation by the Iowa Attorney General to strengthen laws applicable to for-profit veterans’ benefits services by individuals and companies that provide such advice or assistance for a fee. A person who advertises or promotes any event, presentation, seminar, workshop or other public gathering regarding veterans’ benefits or entitlements must include a disclosure and disseminate it both verbally and in writing at the beginning of the event. The written disclosure must be in the same type size and font as the term “veteran” or any variation of that term as used in the advertisement or promotional materials or at the event. The disclosure must be in this format: “This event is not sponsored by, or affiliated with, the  United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, or any other congressionally-chartered or recognized organization of honorably discharged  members of the Armed Forces of the United States or any of their auxiliaries; products or services that may be discussed at this event are not necessarily endorsed by those organizations; you may qualify for benefits other than or in addition to the benefits discussed at this event.”

The disclosure is not required if permission has been given by a government agency for veterans or by an officially-recognized organization of veterans to use the agency’s or organization’s name for the event, or if the event is part of an accredited continuing legal education course. The provisions do not apply to government employees or volunteers acting in their official capacity. The legislation authorizes the Attorney General to obtain injunctive relief related to unfair practices and to recover a civil penalty of up to $40,000 per violation. Any civil penalty recovered will be deposited in the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund.
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