Wednesday, July 1, 2015 | 2 a.m.
It was with great interest that we read the column “Don’t forget about female veterans” (Las Vegas Sun, June 23). We couldn’t agree more that veterans, particularly female veterans, deserve our respect and attention, and we wanted to highlight some of the ways we fought for them during the 2015 legislative session.
Military sexual trauma is a growing national issue, and we worked to address it in Nevada through Senate Bill 268. The bill, which passed unanimously, will create new programs and services to assist veterans and servicemembers who have survived a sexual assault during their service. Sexual trauma survivors often suffer from long-term physical and psychological effects, and SB 268 will put the Department of Veterans Services in a better position to help veterans get the care they need.
We also attempted to expand access to child care for military families. Senate Bills 257 and 359 would have created a child care placement preference for families of active duty military personnel, or personnel who are killed or missing in action. The recent deployment of the 72nd Military Police Company to Afghanistan highlighted the need for this policy, and we had the bipartisan support of Senate Democrats, Assembly Democrats and Assembly Republicans. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans didn’t see the value of this common-sense measure and repeatedly refused to consider it, so the bills died.
While we weren’t able to achieve all our goals to assist Nevada’s veterans and military families, we did make some important progress. None of Nevada’s veterans should ever feel forgotten, and we pledge to continue to fight for them when we return to the Legislature in 2017.