Legislative Coverage

Committee Approves Bill to Reauthorize Veterans Task Force

A legislative committee on Monday approved a bill to reauthorize a Utah task force charged with helping veterans make a smoother transition back into society. The Political Subdivisions Standing Committee heard testimony from the House sponsor of SB 38, Democratic Representative Tim Cosgrove.

“Our service members don’t ask questions when they’re called to serve – you say jump and they’re already there,” Cosgrove said. “But coming back into the civilian sector presents challenges and frustrations.”

Cosgrove says that the point of reauthorizing the Veterans Reintegration Task Force is to show a continuing commitment to people returning from warzones. “Employment’s a big issue, PTSD’s a big issue, continuing marriages are a big issue, and suicides are a big issue,” he said.

The Task Force was created in 2012 and includes lawmakers and representatives from state agencies, the military and businesses. The new bill increases the number of people on the task force from 15 to 21.

Joe Call, who said his three sons had recently returned from active duty, gave public testimony in support of the legislation.

“They come home from an atmosphere where their adrenaline is about this far from peak the entire time they’re over there; and then to come back here, in a society where they grew up – with the laws they grew up with – I’ve seen that [veterans] really struggle with the things that they did,” Call said.

“But the core values that they were taught are torn apart when they’re in war,” he continued.

Senate Bill 38 was unanimously voted out of the committee with a favorable recommendation.

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