Manning's Bill to Help Veterans with Necessary Expenses Passes House, Heads to the Governor
COLUMBUS—The Ohio House unanimously passed Senate Bill 287, sponsored by Senator Nathan Manning
(R-North Ridgeville) by a vote of 88-0. The bill would allow county veterans service commissions (VSCs) to use a county credit card to pay for temporary and necessary assistance for veterans.
Current law allows county agencies to use their credit cards strictly for travel, vehicle maintenance, food, phone, and internet expenses. However, Senate Bill 287 seeks an exception for VSCs to utilize the card for necessary needs such as housing or workforce development. Similar exceptions are granted in Ohio Revised Code for County Children's Service agencies, which can use an agency credit card for child assistance.
By allowing this exception, VSCs can meet the necessary needs of veterans and quickly provide emergency services without the commission relying on other forms of finances such as donations that may not be able to cover costs in a timely manner.
The legislation would allow VSCs to have oversight on authorized card users and expenditure approval while the County Auditor’s office will review charges on the card. In addition, any expenses incurred via credit card must fall under funds appropriated for the temporary and necessary assistance care provided by VSCs and other county veteran services offices.
“This legislation demonstrates government can improve services to our veterans and the public, while leveraging existing technology to improve government efficiency while maintaining the necessary accountability for the spending of public funds,” said Jacob Smith, Executive Director of the Lorain County Veteran Service Commission.
“Our veterans have provided invaluable service to our country, and we want to make sure they are taken care of with basic needs later in life,” said Manning. “This legislation will aid Veteran Service Commissions and other county veteran service offices accomplish that goal in a timely and responsible manner.”
“I am very proud that Lorain County took the lead in working with Senator Manning on Senate Bill 287 to make it easier for our veteran service commission to help our veterans with necessary needs,” said Lorain County Commissioner David Moore.
Senate Bill 287 previously passed the Senate in April with a 32-0 vote. The bill will now head to Governor DeWine for his signature.