House next stop for bills to provide better
services and representation to Oklahoma’s veterans
Two Senate bills to help better address the needs of
Oklahoma’s veterans will soon be considered in the House. Sen.
is the principal Senate author of Senate Bills 1610 and 1970, which
both received unanimous approval in the Senate last week.
SB 1610 redefines “veteran” in Oklahoma statutes to include
all honorably discharged veterans regardless of when they served.
The measure makes all veterans eligible for state benefits including
admission into the state’s seven veterans centers. Currently,
only those who served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the
Persian Gulf are eligible for state benefits or are allowed into the
“By simply clarifying the definition of a veteran in Oklahoma,
we’ll be allowing an additional 78,000 veterans to be eligible
for state benefits and have the opportunity, if they wish, to spend
their final days in a state veterans center with their brothers in
arms,” said Simpson, R-Ardmore.
SB 1970 changes the name of the War Veterans Commission of Oklahoma
to the Oklahoma Veterans Commission to expand the representation of
the commission to include a broader demographic of Oklahoma veterans.
The bill specifies that at least eight of the nine members of the
commission will be honorably discharged veterans, one of the members
will be a Persian Gulf War veteran and another will be someone who
has a family member residing in one of the state’s veterans
“The current membership of the commission doesn’t properly
represent the interests of all of Oklahoma’s veterans,”
explained Simpson. “These changes will ensure that all veterans
have a voice and representation in this commission, which will hopefully
help the state better address their needs.”
The bills will next be heard in the House Committee on Veterans and
“I hope the House will take up and approve these important measures
quickly so that we can get our veterans the services they need and
bravely earned fighting for their country and state,” said Simpson.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Simpson: (405) 521-5607