Senator Stabenow’s Bipartisan Bill to Support Veterans Passes Senate, Heads to President’s DeskTuesday, December 17, 2019
The IMPROVE Transition for Service Members Act Will Help Veterans Transition from Military to Civilian Life
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate passed a bill authored by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to improve the transition from military to civilian life for veterans. This legislation is part of the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which now heads to the President’s desk to be signed.
This bipartisan legislation is called the IMPROVE Transition for Service Members Act and will reform the Defense Department’s Transition Assistance Program. This program is charged with providing counseling, training, and assistance to service members who are leaving the military for civilian life. IMPROVE stands for “Improving Preparation and Resources for Occupational, Vocational, and Education.”
“One of the top issues I heard about when meeting with veterans, commanders, and service providers in roundtables across Michigan was the problems veterans have in transitioning back to civilian life. Many times, help is available and the veteran just doesn’t know it exists, and local service providers have no way of contacting the veteran who has come home. This bipartisan legislation reforms this transition program to help make sure that veterans returning home get the help and support they need,” said Senator Stabenow.
The IMPROVE Act will allow service members to opt into a system that will send their contact information to their respective State Veterans Affairs Agency. This system will ensure that returning service members and their families are properly connected to local community groups – including veterans’ service organizations – that can provide employment, healthcare, and other transition services.
The bipartisan legislation directs the Department of Defense to ensure that service members receive regular information at different points in their military careers about professional development and education opportunities such as Military Tuition Assistance. The bill also creates greater accountability by requiring the Defense Department to ask veterans about their transition experience on a regular basis.
Senator Stabenow previously introduced the IMPROVE Transition for Service Members Act on May 21, 2019. This legislation included in the NDAA will become law when signed by the President.
The NDAA also includes a 3.1 percent pay raise for service members.
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