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Introduced by   Representatives Dowland of Holland, Canfield of Fair Haven and Randall of Troy

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Appropriations; military veterans; state veterans’ benefits

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to extend state veterans’ benefits to any veteran who served in an armed conflict and who, after March 31, 1973, was a state resident at the time of enlistment, induction, or mobilization for active duty.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  20 V.S.A. § 1544 is amended to read:


(a)  Each enlisted man and woman in the military or naval forces of the United States subsequent to August 5, 1964 and not later than military veteran, whether officer or enlisted, who, during the period after March 31, 1973, who served and performed duty in any armed conflict, and resided in the state of Vermont at the time of his or her enlistment or induction into the service any branch of the United States armed forces, shall be entitled to receive from the state, in addition to the pay received from the federal government, the sum of $10.00 for each month, or part of a month, not exceeding a total of twelve 12 months served in such forces or part of a month, for each tour of duty in armed conflict.  For the purposes of this section, “armed conflict” means service in a foreign location of active combat for which the veteran received a federal combat ribbon.  Payment may be made upon completion of each period of service in an armed conflict or after honorable discharge from service, or upon death in service, or upon honorable separation from active federal service; and in the case of the death of the enlisted man or woman after discharge and prior to the receipt of payment, it shall be paid to his or her spouse, or if there is no spouse living, to the next of kin who are lineal heirs.  

(b)  In case any enlisted man or woman Any military veteran who dies while in service, his or her spouse, or if there is no spouse living, the next of kin who are lineal heirs, armed conflict after September 11, 2001, shall be entitled to receive from the state the sum of $120.00, except that if any claim is made under this section by a claimant other than a spouse or issue of the deceased, the claim shall not be paid for a period of nine months after the decease of such enlisted man or woman, and payment made by the state after such nine months’ period shall be in and constitute full compliance with this section $500.00.

(c)  No person individual shall receive compensation from the state of Vermont under this section if he or she enlisted with the armed services for a period of six months or less for the sole purpose of training.

(d)  No person shall receive compensation from the state of Vermont for any service performed subsequent to the date that the President or the Congress of the United States declares that the so-called Vietnam action has ceased.

Eligibility for benefits under this section shall not be contingent on the duration of the eligible military veteran’s residency in Vermont.  If a military veteran eligible for benefits under this section dies after discharge or prior to receipt of payment, payment shall be made to the veteran’s spouse, or if there is no spouse, to the next of kin who is a lineal heir.  

(e)  Application for payment of benefits under this section by or on behalf of an eligible military veteran shall be filed in a form required by the Vermont office of veterans’ affairs.


There is appropriated in fiscal year 2006 $100,000.00 from the general fund to the Vermont office of veterans’ affairs for the purposes of this act.  This money shall be available until expended.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont