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March 16, 2023

Bills to Save Veterans Money and Improve Veteran Services Passes Committee

Two bills to support veterans passes committee

DENVER, CO - The House State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs Committee today passed two bills that will improve access to veteran services and benefits.

“This legislation removes unnecessary barriers to the property tax exemptions that veterans with a disability are owed,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton, sponsor of SB23-036. “I know firsthand how difficult it can be to come home from war and have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to receive the benefits and services that were promised. Our bill streamlines the application process for veterans with a disability to more easily receive property tax exemptions that save them money on housing.”

This bipartisan bill, also sponsored by Representative Ryan Armagost, streamlines the property tax exemption application process for veterans with a disability. The Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently created the Summary of Benefits letter, a question-and-answer form that gathers key details of a veteran’s personal information to determine service eligibility. Under SB23-036, veterans will only need to send the Summary of Benefits letter to the Colorado Department of Veterans and Military Affairs (DMVA) instead of both the DMVA and their county government, expediting the process to receive property tax exemptions. Veterans who have received this exemption before January 2024 will not be required to reapply to continue receiving this benefit. The bill passed unanimously by a vote of 9-0.

“The Western Regional One Source is a vital resource to our veterans, military members and their families on the Western Slope,” said Rep. Jennifer Parenti, D-Erie, sponsor of SB23-154. “In collaboration with community partners, they're providing a wide range of services from mental and behavioral health, to housing, transportation and more. I'm proud to support my fellow veterans by continuing the Western Region One Source making it easier for all Colorado veterans to access the services they need."

SB23-154, also sponsored by Representative Rick Taggart, is a bipartisan bill that continues the Western Region One Source, a one-stop center based in Grand Junction for veterans services. The center opened in 2019 to host various veterans services under one roof, making it easier for veterans in rural areas to be connected to resources like health benefits, employment opportunities, housing, transportation, and more. This bill extends the program to keep the center running until 2030. The bill unanimously passed by a vote of 9-0.

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