The Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs interim report to the 88th Legislature covers the TSVC, veteran benefits, alternative PTSD treatments, and urban and rural first responders. For more information see the full report here.

Charge 1. Evaluate the current oversight of the Texas State Veteran Cemeteries to ensure that these sacred and essential grounds are being maintained, repaired, and treated with respect. Ensure that the needs of our veterans are being met by reviewing the number, location, and funding of the cemeteries. Examine and make recommendations for the financing mechanism for the Texas State Veterans Cemeteries to ensure sustainability.

  • Recommend continued monitoring of the oversight and operations of the state veteran cemeteries to ensure our veterans and their families are served in a manner suitable for the sacrifices they have made for our country. The committee recommends that the Legislature ensure that ample resources are made available to continue to provide low cost and reliable services for our veterans.

Charge 2. Explore and report on options to remove barriers for companies offering veteran benefits and consider policies that could leverage additional public-private-partnerships. Identify opportunities to connect veterans to existing business resources and available state services. Recommend ways to increase matching federal funding for veteran benefits. Review current law for consistency in eligibility for state veteran benefits and recommend any necessary changes.

  • Recommend to explore the creation of an interagency database to collect and disseminate the contact information of veterans exiting military service. This would allow veterans to receive information on existing business resources and state benefits prior to leaving military service, which would properly equip them to enter the workforce
  • Recommend to explore the creation of a program that acts as a direct line of contact between private companies and military installations to provide awareness of existing resources and programs and promote collaboration between the two entities.

Charge 3. Review the currently accepted forms of treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and consider the creation of a program which would require completion of a multi-modality treatment plan including traditional talk therapy, limbic system therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and emotionally focused individual therapy (EFIT).

  • Recommend to explore treatment options for PTSD and consider creating a multi-modality treatment program that could include, but would not be limited to, traditional talk therapy, limbic system therapy, CBT and emotionally focused therapy. The committee recommends that the Legislature ensure the program includes a variety of treatment options to better serve veterans’ individual needs.

Charge 4. Identify the training and resources available to urban and rural first responders when assisting veterans experiencing a mental health crisis. Make recommendations for how to best support first responders in these crisis situations.

  • Recommend to improve the current peace officer training requirements so officers are trained to respond effectively to veteran-specific crisis situations. The committee recommends that the agency work to increase awareness and outreach for existing training courses and resources on veteran-related trauma currently available to first responders.