SENATE BILL 5696
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Senators Conner, Thorsness, Vognild, Rasmussen, Murray, Amondson, Stratton, Bauer, Moore, Snyder, L. Kreidler, Gaspard, Skratek, Madsen, A. Smith, McMullen, Hansen, Wojahn, Williams, Owen, Sutherland, Roach, Jesernig, Johnson and Oke.
Read first time February 15, 1991. Referred to Committee on Governmental Operations.
AN ACT Relating to Washington citizens serving in the Middle East conflict; adding new sections to chapter 43.60A RCW; adding new sections to chapter 43.131 RCW; creating a new section; and declaring an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. It is the intent of the legislature to begin the process of paying the debt of honor owed to Middle East conflict veterans, and to ensure that this debt is eventually paid in full. The legislature finds that:
(1) Citizens of the state of Washington are rendering valuable active service in the armed forces of the United States in the Middle East conflict, and are fully deserving of the thanks, support, aid, and assistance of the United States and the state of Washington;
(2) The aid and assistance needed now and in the future by Middle East conflict veterans and their families and dependents, and owed to them as a debt of honor by the United States and the state of Washington, takes and will take many different forms and therefore it is both necessary and prudent for the state of Washington to immediately begin the process of identifying these needs and to commence planning ways and means to adequately and efficiently provide needed aid and assistance;
(3) The provision of aid and assistance to Middle East conflict veterans and their families and dependents is, in the first instance, the responsibility of the federal government and therefore the provision of such aid and assistance by the state of Washington is intended to supplement, and not to replace, the efforts of the federal government;
(4) In numerous cases aid and assistance is urgently required by Washington citizens on active duty in the Persian Gulf and their families and dependents, thus demanding immediate, material state action.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. The office of Middle East veterans affairs is hereby created as a separate office within the department of veterans affairs. The director of the department shall immediately appoint a coordinator to manage the office of Middle East veterans affairs, and shall assign such staff and resources to the office as shall be required to fully implement the intent of the legislature.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. Upon appointment the coordinator of the office of Middle East veterans affairs shall prepare a preliminary action plan for the office, taking into account the current needs for aid and assistance by Middle East conflict veterans and their families and dependents, the potential for encouraging the voluntary activities of private groups and individuals at minimal state expense, and the advisability of close cooperation with the United States department of defense, the United States department of veterans affairs, and other agencies of the federal government. The coordinator shall submit this action plan to the legislature for review within ninety days of the effective date of this act.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. The Middle East veterans affairs advisory council is hereby created to advise the governor, the department, and the coordinator of the office of Middle East affairs. The advisory council shall consist of no more than fifteen and no less than five members appointed by and at the pleasure of the governor. Members shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be entitled to reimbursement for travel and other expenses under RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. A new section is added to chapter 43.131 RCW to read as follows:
The office of Middle East veterans affairs and the Middle East veterans affairs advisory council shall each be terminated on June 30, 1996, as provided in section 6 of this act.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. A new section is added to chapter 43.131 RCW to read as follows:
The following acts or parts of acts, as now existing or hereafter amended, are each repealed, effective June 30, 1997:
(1) RCW 43.60A.___ and 1991 c ___ s 2 (section 2 of this act);
(2) RCW 43.60A.___ and 1991 c ___ s 3 (section 3 of this act); and
(3) RCW 43.60A.___ and 1991 c ___ s 4 (section 4 of this act).
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. Sections 2 and 4 of this act are each added to chapter 43.60A RCW.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately.