Committee unanimously supports Carpenter’s Veterans Bill of Rights proposal
AUGUSTA — A proposed Veterans Bill of Rights from Sen. Mike Carpenter, D-Houlton, on Friday received approval from the Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs. LD 2145, “An Act To Help Veterans Access Jobs, Education, Health Care and Housing and Provide General Support to Veterans” would help ensure veterans in Maine get access to vital services including good-paying jobs, education, physical and mental health care, and housing. The Committee unanimously voted in favor of the bill, of those members present.
“Maine is home to a large number of veterans. These are women and men who have served their country with honor, often putting their lives and wellbeing on the line to protect our nation’s safety and freedom,” said Sen. Carpenter. “As a veteran of the Vietnam War, I know the transition back to civilian life can be fraught with challenges. Maine veterans deserve all the support we can give them, to help them successfully make that transition once they come home.”
Sen. Carpenter’s proposal is similar to bills introduced in 11 other states, including New Hampshire. When LD 2145 was stalled by the Legislature’s early adjournment in March, Sen. Carpenter worked to get funding for the United Veterans of Maine (UVM) in Caribou. UVM is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting veterans in transitioning back to civilian life — gaining crucial access to Veterans Affairs benefits, job training and more. Thanks to Sen. Carpenter’s efforts, UVM was awarded a $100,000 grant from Maine’s Attorney General earlier this summer.
LD 2145 now faces votes before the full Legislature, pending possible reconvening for a special session later this year.