‘This is a big win for our veterans’ community and for rural Washington,’ says Maycumber
Veterans living in northeast Washington and other rural counties throughout the state could receive assistance accessing federal benefits and programs thanks to legislation passed in Olympia this week.
House Bill 1448, sponsored by Seventh District State Representative Jacquelin Maycumber, creates the Veterans Service Officer Program along with a funding mechanism to establish a veterans service officer within underserved rural counties.
Ferry, Stevens, Okanogan, and Pend Oreille counties all qualify for the Veterans Service Officer Program.
Maycumber’s bill passed the House of Representatives unanimously at the beginning of March, and passed the state Senate unanimously this week. She has worked on the legislation for the past three years and said she fought back tears upon hearing Senate committee testimony about veteran suicides, homelessness and hopelessness.
“It has been a hard fight to bring attention to this issue of rural, underserved counties not having the resources available to fully serve our veterans,” said Maycumber. “This has been my number one priority since I was first elected. This legislation will help ensure that veterans in our local communities receive assistance accessing the services and financial benefits they’ve earned. This is a big win for our veterans’ community and for rural Washington.”
Once the governor signs the bill, which Maycumber expects he will do, the legislation becomes law 90 days after the end of the legislative session.
The 105-day 2019 legislative session is scheduled to end April 28.