The primary function of the Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations (TCVO) is to provide texas-state-capitol-2a information of benefit to the Texas veteran membership of its member organizations. Through the guidance and leadership of the TCVO Officers and Legislative Liaison and using the links on this page, the veteran has access to up-to-date veteran legislative matters of the most recent Texas Legislative session, the legislative priorities established by the TCVO for the current Texas Legislative session, and additional information as appropriate. The outcome of major veteran related bills considered by the 83rd Texas Legislature may be found here.
TCVO Proposed Priorities for the 83rd Texas Legislature Interim Study
Tax Relief: Follow up to SB 540 (82nd), and SB 465 (83rd), both authored by Senator Leticia Van de Putte, to provide increased dollar amount exemptions to the ad valorem taxes of the principal residence of a veteran disabled less than 100%.
Military Voting: Putting enforcement teeth into SB 100 (82nd) covering implementation of MOVE (Military Overseas Voting Empowerment Act). Make military absentee voting as a voter friendly as early voting is here in Texas.
Update Madden HB-551 (81st) to simplify and facilitate military absentee voter registration from any combat zone (drawing hostile fire pay) to permit a Unit Voting Assistance Officer to validate by affirming identity and signature on a scanned mini-affidavit# returned to a â€œhome county clerk via scan attached to an email registration request.
Affidavit to identify member, home county, home address, etc to county clerk signed/validated some way by Voting Assistance-or Personnel Officer from command.
Education: Carryover from the 82nd Interim Study:
Examine methods to support veteran participation in higher education. Examine the use of the Hazlewood Act by Texas veterans, and include recommendations to maximize programs to effectively serve veterans and their families. Determine the efficacy of establishing Veteran Resource Centers at institutions of higher education to assist in student veteran academic achievement, provide additional funding for institutions from increased Montgomery GI Bill revenue, and better integrate veterans on college campuses.
For the 83rd Interim Study:
What we need to do moving forward to protect the Hazelwood Act:
Work with the TVC to develop a student veteran survey that asks the questions we would need to prove how impactful the benefit is to veteran families.
Monitor the progress of the Higher Education Coordinating Board study commissioned in order to to ensure the right data is being gathered.
Maintain strong media contacts.
Identify and adequately prepare industry experts and student veterans for interim testimony.
Urge that all universities and colleges with any significant veteran population establish a Student Veteran Services Center, staffed with people familiar with veteran issues and specifically school related benefits.
We want all military members to receive in-state tuition in Texas, at all schools public and private, in order to increase the educational benefit and decrease the financial burden of our veterans.
We all want to ensure we maintain current Hazlewood credit hour levels as well as the legacy portions flexibility for families.
Eliminate the current age cap of 25 for dependents of veterans who are receiving Hazelwood benefits. Older veterans, such as Vietnam veterans, have children that are older on average than the current cut-off limit of 25 years old. Eliminate the age cap for children receiving Hazelwood benefits earned by their veteran parent.