REPORT TITLE:
Filipino Veterans; Burial


DESCRIPTION:
Requires comptroller, on request of a deceased Filipino veteran's
survivor or interested party, to make payment directly to a
mortuary or crematory for funeral/burial services and to
transport the veteran's remains to the Philippines, upon
submission of an unpaid invoice to the OVS; $50,000 for three
years.  (SD1)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        1441
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                   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                                                     1441
                                     S.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 comptroller, at the
 
10 request of a deceased Filipino veteran's survivor or an
 
11 interested party, to make payment directly to a mortuary or
 
12 crematory for providing funeral and burial services; and for
 
13 transporting the veteran's remains to the Philippines, upon the
 
14 submission of a contract for services on behalf of the deceased
 
15 veteran and an itemized unpaid invoice.
 
16      This Act provides an alternative to the procedures currently
 
17 specified in the rules of the office of veterans' services which
 
18 apply in situations where a deceased Filipino veteran's survivor
 
19 or an interested party has already made payment for services
 
20 rendered on behalf of the deceased veteran, or in situations
 
21 where the deceased veteran may have purchased a pre-paid funeral
 
22 and burial plan.
 
23      SECTION 2.  Chapter 363, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 

 
Page 3                                                     1441
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
 
 2 read as follows:
 
 3      "363-     Disbursement of World War II Filipino veterans
 
 4 burial grant funds.  (a)  The comptroller, at the request of a
 
 5 deceased Filipino veteran's survivor or an interested party,
 
 6 shall make payment directly to a licensed provider of mortuary or
 
 7 crematory services in the State for the cost of:
 
 8      (1)  Providing funeral and burial services for a deceased
 
 9           World War II Filipino veteran; and
 
10      (2)  Transporting the remains of a deceased World War II
 
11           Filipino veteran to the Philippines.
 
12      (b)  The office shall establish the maximum amounts of
 
13 burial grant funds that may be disbursed on behalf of a deceased
 
14 World War II Filipino veteran.
 
15      (c)  The office shall not expend more than the amount
 
16 appropriated for the fiscal year to provide burial grants for
 
17 deceased World War II Filipino veterans.
 
18      (d)  Specific eligibility criteria, application and appeal
 
19 procedures, service choices, and invoicing arrangements shall be
 
20 established by the office.
 
21      (e)  Payment shall be made by the comptroller upon the
 
22 submission of a contract for services on behalf of the deceased
 
23 World War II Filipino veteran and an itemized unpaid invoice to
 

 
Page 4                                                     1441
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 the office.
 
 2      (f)  For the purposes of this section, "World War II
 
 3 Filipino veteran" means any Filipino veteran, who is now a
 
 4 citizen of the United States, who served honorably in an active
 
 5 duty status in any of the armed services of the United States
 
 6 between September 1, 1939, and December 31, 1946."
 
 7      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general
 
 8 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $50,000, or so much
 
 9 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, and the
 
10 same sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year
 
11 2000-2001, and the same sum, or so much thereof as may be
 
12 necessary for fiscal year 2001-2002, for burial grant funds for
 
13 World War II Filipino veterans.
 
14      SECTION 4.  The sums appropriated shall be expended by the
 
15 department of accounting and general services for the purposes of
 
16 this Act.
 
17      SECTION 5.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that
 
18 matured, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective
 
19 date.
 
20      SECTION 6.  New statutory material is underscored.
 
21      SECTION 7.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.