2023 Nevada Veterans Legislative Summit

In March of 2022 Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) and Nevada’s United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC) hosted the Veterans Legislative Symposium where 16 different veteran organizations attended in Las Vegas as well as 16 different veteran organizations attendees in Reno. Those results were taken and brought to this year’s 2023 Nevada Veterans Legislative Summit. In preparation of our 82nd Nevada Legislature Session that will be on February 6, 2023.


The different veteran service organizations recommendations and input of veterans, servicemembers advocates created themes and the formation of veteran friendly bills that are effective and efficient for the veteran population in Nevada.  Currently the Nevada veteran population is 254,851 whereas nationally we have 19,998,799 veterans. This puts Nevada 29 out of the 50 states in 2022. Nevada’s veterans make up 10.35% and the National population is 6.60%. Our issues being addressed will in turn make a big impact for those that want to live here in Nevada in the future.


From the complex healthcare issues across the country after the pandemic healthcare and mental health and gaps in service and care due to pandemic times and systemic hiccups. With chronic care needs for our increasing number of wartime veterans our state must ensure veterans are aware of the needs. It is crucial to implement legislation now to enforce preventive care and measures to reduce the strain on the community, healthcare system, veteran homes, cemeteries, programs, and outreaches.


These legislative bills that are proposed are not just aligned for veterans they ring true to the needs of the citizens in the state. With that the recommendations are also state theme improvement recommendations. These recommendations require veteran interaction and support in building a whole health community by getting involved and voting.


UCLV provided literature and presentations to ensure veterans were equipped and rally ready to stand their positions when called during session dates and times for testimony and advocacy. This ensures there is validity and a true need for bill visibility and consideration. Learning how bills are created and move through legislation, is an educational need fulfilled as veterans in the community transition from their active-duty environment where these interactions are not trained or discussed.


Veterans can get involved in the community through forums, lobbying, and advocacy by connecting to either organization. For decades NVDS has conducted veteran legislative forum to coordinate activities as well as advocate for the bills veterans are benefiting from today. The 2022 Legislative Symposia and Statewide Themes are as follow:


  1. Improve medical and mental healthcare programs.


  1. Require service providers to implement the “Ask the Question” Program to both improve veterans’ healthcare outcomes, and to inform them of earned benefits.


  1. Honor and recognize veteran’s service by reducing certain state fees, offering veteran preferences, and providing medical time off for veterans employed by the State of Nevada


  1. Improve occupational licensure for veterans and military spouses.


  1. Improve programming for veterans in transitioning from the justice system.


Numerous Commission and Committees gave recommendations and will continue to testify and vote during session to ensure the information gathered from the veterans and families within the community is heard and action is taken to ensure that their needs are met, and processes are in place. Meetings will be in Carson City and virtually at the Grant Sawyer building organized through UVLC.


With our new Governor, Joe Lombardo, in place, our top state assessment needs are Access to Healthcare, Mental Health, and Substance Use. All following areas that are gaps in care, are gaps in care for veterans due to the heavy use of Community Care. Community Care Act has been a huge need fulfilled for our veterans to reduce the stress on the veteran VA wait times. With many chronic and complex issues, those needs were also being met in the community, lessening the burden on the delays in the wait system. Community Care ACT, PACT ACT and many more like this, are changing the face of veteran care, and bringing more access to healthcare and services, our veterans deserve and need. It will take legislative work to ensure the ball isn’t dropped on Veteran Care.


Having Legislative Summits is necessary in the preparedness of our veterans being apart of the very freedoms they fought for and the very freedom many veteran advocates continue to fight for after service.


More up to date information on http://veterancontacts.com.  



Veterans Legislation Passed in Congress in November (2022)


At the tail end of November, President Biden signed four new veteran bills into law. These bipartisan bills gear towards reforming the agency to better address the needs of our nation’s veterans. While they have been signed, the Department of Veterans Affairs will still need to determine the implementation of these bills.


The four bills signed were:


  • The Protect Mothers Who Served Act: this bill commissions a comprehensive study of maternal health challenges facing veterans and invest $15 million into maternal care coordination programs at the VA.


  • The Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act: This bill was enacted in response to a 2019 Inspector General of the VA report finding that staff shortages are one of the causes of the many problems faced in veterans’ healthcare. Under this bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs is directed to create a program to recruit military medical personnel who have less than a year left in their service to work in federal healthcare occupations.


  • Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness for Survivors Act: In signing this law, surviving spouses and children of veterans who access the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance program are eligible for in-state tuition wherever they choose to go to school, whether they live in that state or not.


  • Legislative Study on Reviewing for Disparity in VA Benefit Awards – This is a legislative study bill that aims to help review and identify disparity in the awarding of Veteran Benefits


These bills are all big steps that will help the VA care for our veterans and their families. While these bills were at the federal level, for veterans interested in exploring what can be done at the state level, please visit to learn about the United Veterans Legislative Council https://veterans.nv.gov/united-veterans-legislative-council/.

Community Activism