REPORT TITLE:
Filipino Veterans; Burial


DESCRIPTION:
Requires the office of veterans services (OVS), at the request of
a deceased Filipino veteran's survivor or an interested party, to
make payment directly to a mortuary or crematory for providing
funeral and burial services; and for transporting the veteran's
remains to the Philippines, upon submission of an invoice to the
OVS reflecting services will be satisfactorily performed on
behalf fo the deceased WWII Filipino veteran.  (SD1)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        645
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO VETERANS RIGHTS AND BENEFITS.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that a World War II
 
 2 Filipino veteran who dies after June 30, 1994, and who is, at the
 
 3 time of the veteran's death, a United States citizen and a
 
 4 resident of the State of Hawaii, is entitled to receive a burial
 
 5 grant from the office of veterans' services to pay for the cost
 
 6 of:
 
 7      (1)  Providing funeral and burial services for the deceased
 
 8           veteran; and
 
 9      (2)  Transporting the remains of the deceased veteran to the
 
10           Philippines.
 
11      In order to qualify for this burial grant, however, the
 
12 Filipino veteran's survivor or an interested party must produce
 
13 an itemized paid invoice showing the specific services rendered
 
14 on behalf of the deceased veteran.  Because of the tremendous
 
15 upfront costs associated with funeral and burial services, and
 
16 transportation to the Philippines, some World War II Filipino
 
17 veterans, including the families and friends of these veterans,
 
18 cannot afford to pay for these activities in advance.
 
19 Consequently, some World War II Filipino veterans will not be
 

 
Page 2                                                     645
                                     H.B. NO.           S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 able to qualify for these burial grants from the office of
 
 2 veterans' services on account of their being too "poor".  Because
 
 3 of these financial constraints, the bodies of some deceased
 
 4 veterans have had to "sit on ice" for weeks until the deceased
 
 5 veteran's survivor or interested parties could raise the
 
 6 necessary funds to pay the mortuary for funeral and other related
 
 7 services.
 
 8      The purpose of this Act is to right this injustice to World
 
 9 War II Filipino veterans by requiring the office of veterans
 
10 services, at the request of a deceased Filipino veteran's
 
11 survivor or an interested party, to receive, review, and approve
 
12 requests for direct payments to a mortuary or crematory for
 
13 providing funeral and burial services; and for transporting the
 
14 veteran's remains to the Philippines, upon the submission of an
 
15 invoice reflecting that the services will be satisfactorily
 
16 performed on behalf of the deceased World War II Filipino
 
17 veteran.
 
18      This Act provides an alternative to the procedures currently
 
19 specified in the rules of the office of veterans' services which
 
20 apply in situations where a deceased Filipino veteran's survivor
 
21 or an interested party has already made payment for services
 
22 rendered on behalf of the deceased veteran, or in situations
 
23 where the deceased veteran may have purchased a pre-paid funeral
 

 
Page 3                                                     645
                                     H.B. NO.           S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 and burial plan.
 
 2      SECTION 2.  Chapter 363, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
 3 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
 
 4 read as follows:
 
 5      "363-     Disbursement of World War II Filipino veterans
 
 6 burial grant funds.  (a)  The office of veterans services, at the
 
 7 request of a deceased Filipino veteran's survivor or an
 
 8 interested party, shall receive, review, and approve requests for
 
 9 payment to:
 
10      (1)  Provide funeral and burial services for a deceased
 
11           World War II Filipino veteran; and
 
12      (2)  Transport the remains of a deceased World War II
 
13           Filipino veteran to the Philippines.
 
14      (b)  The office shall establish the maximum amounts of
 
15 burial grant funds that may be disbursed on behalf of a deceased
 
16 World War II Filipino veteran.
 
17      (c)  The office shall not expend more than the amount
 
18 appropriated for the fiscal year to provide burial grants for
 
19 deceased World War II Filipino veterans.
 
20      (d)  Specific eligibility criteria, application and appeal
 
21 procedures, service choices, and invoicing arrangements shall be
 
22 established by the office.
 
23      (e)  Payment shall be authorized by the office upon the
 

 
Page 4                                                     645
                                     H.B. NO.           S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 submission of an invoice reflecting that the services will be
 
 2 satisfactorily performed on behalf of the deceased World War II
 
 3 Filipino veteran.
 
 4      (f)  For the purposes of this section, "World War II
 
 5 Filipino veteran" means any Filipino veteran, who is now a
 
 6 citizen of the United States, who served honorably in an active
 
 7 duty status in any of the armed services of the United States
 
 8 between September 1, 1939, and December 31, 1946."
 
 9      SECTION 3.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that
 
10 matured, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective
 
11 date.
 
12      SECTION 4.  New statutory material is underscored.
 
13      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.