Report Title:

Veterans Cemetery; Filipino Veterans

 

Description:

Requires Office of Veterans' Services make burial grant payments directly to a mortuary for its services and for transportation to the Philippines of the remains of a deceased veteran who joined the New Filipino Scouts between 10/06/1945 and 06/30/1947 and died after 06/30/2004. Appropriates funds. (HB556 HD1)

 


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

556

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT


 

 

RELATING TO VETERAN BURIAL GRANTS.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that a Filipino veteran of the New Filipino Scouts who enlisted between October 6, 1945, and June 30, 1947, who died after June 30, 2004, and who was, at the time of the veteran's death, a United States citizen and a resident of the State of Hawaii, is presently entitled to receive a burial grant from the office of veterans' services to pay for the cost of:

(1) Funeral and burial services for the deceased veteran; and

(2) Transporting the remains of the deceased veteran to the Philippines.

To qualify for this burial grant, however, the Filipino veteran's survivor or an interested party must produce an itemized paid invoice showing the specific services were rendered. However, because of the tremendous upfront costs associated with funeral and burial services as well as transportation to the Philippines, some World War II Filipino veterans, and their families and friends, cannot afford to pay for these activities in advance. Consequently, they will not be able to qualify for these burial grants from the office of veterans' services.

This Act requires the office of veterans' services to provide an alternative to the procedures currently specified in the rules of the office of veterans' services, which only apply in situations where a deceased Filipino veteran's survivor or an interested party has already paid for services rendered on behalf of the deceased veteran, or in situations where the deceased veteran may have purchased a pre-paid funeral and burial plan.

The purpose of this Act is to provide payment of up to $2,500 per veteran, under the veterans' burial grant program, to a mortuary or crematory directly for:

(1) Providing funeral and burial services at the request of a qualifying deceased Filipino veteran's survivor or an interested party; and

(2) Transporting the veteran's remains to the Philippines, upon the submission of a contract for services.

SECTION 2. Chapter 363, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"363-    Disbursement of World War II Filipino veterans burial grant funds. (a) At the request of a deceased Filipino veteran's survivor or an interested party, the office shall receive, review, and, as appropriate, approve requests for payments for:

(1) Providing funeral and burial services for a New Filipino Scout who died after June 30, 2004; and

(2) Transporting the remains of a New Filipino Scout to the Philippines.

(b) The office shall establish the amount of burial grant funds that may be disbursed on behalf of a New Filipino Scout; provided that the amount shall not exceed $2,500 per person.

(c) The office shall not expend more than the amount appropriated for the fiscal year to provide burial grants for deceased World War II Filipino veterans.

(d) The office shall establish specific eligibility criteria, application and appeal procedures, service choices, and invoicing arrangements.

(e) The office shall authorize payment upon the submission of a paid and itemized invoice or invoices reflecting funeral and burial services and transportation of remains; provided that these services were performed satisfactorily on behalf of a New Filipino Scout.

(f) As used in this section, "New Filipino Scout" means a Filipino veteran who served during World War II, enlisted in the New Filipino Scouts between October 6, 1945, and June 30, 1947, and who, at the time of the veteran's death, was a United States citizen and a resident of Hawaii."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $        or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2009-2010 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 for burial grant funds for deceased Filipino veterans.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of defense, office of veterans' services for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that section 3 shall take effect on July 1, 2009.