Governor signs bills to support Delaware veteransLegislation establishes trust fund
Joined by representatives from various veterans organizations, state officials and members of the Delaware General Assembly, Gov. Jack Markell signed House Bill 85 and House Bill 140 recently, establishing the Delaware Veterans Trust Fund and adding it to the list of programs that may receive contributions from personal income tax filings.
The fund will provide financial assistance or grants to honorably discharged veterans by covering costs associated with medical/dental needs and transportation, home repairs and safety modifications, household utilities, homelessness support and educational programs.
“We have an obligation to ensure veterans receive the support, services and respect they rightly deserve,” said Markell. “This legislation underscores our commitment to the men and women who bravely serve in our armed forces.”
Established with a one-time appropriation of $25,000 from the state, the fund will be administered by the Commission of Veterans Affairs as a 501c3, with grants awarded to pay vendors directly for utilities or other needs. The Commission has established an application process whereby a veterans services officer will assist a veteran with the application and make recommendations to the Commission Health and Human Services Committee for approval.
Its companion bill, HB 140, adds the Delaware Veterans Trust Fund to the list of programs that may receive contributions from personal income tax filings. The fund will rely upon the generous support of donors to continue providing its intended services to Delaware veterans, making this piece of legislation an important component of the overall effort.
Several organizations were in attendance to make formal donations to the fund, including: Delaware Veterans Post 2, Military Officer’s Association of America, Disabled Veterans of America, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Combined, the organizations presented over $4,000.
The fund complements other efforts by the state that aim to support Delaware’s veterans, including the Veterans Opportunity Tax Credit, which gives companies a $1,500 annual tax credit for each recent veteran they hire; and the Delaware Veterans Service Directory, which launched earlier this year and serves as a state-wide, online listing of public and private organizations offering services to Delaware veterans and their families.