Text: H.R.4879 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/06/2002)

 
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4879 Introduced in House (IH)]







107th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4879

 To amend title 38, United States Code, to transfer from the Secretary 
of Labor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs certain responsibilities 
relating to the provision of employment and other services to veterans 
   and other eligible persons; to require the establishment of a new 
 competitive grants program through which employment services shall be 
 provided to veterans, servicemembers, and other eligible persons, and 
                          for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              June 6, 2002

  Mr. Smith of New Jersey (by request) introduced the following bill; 
        which was referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend title 38, United States Code, to transfer from the Secretary 
of Labor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs certain responsibilities 
relating to the provision of employment and other services to veterans 
   and other eligible persons; to require the establishment of a new 
 competitive grants program through which employment services shall be 
 provided to veterans, servicemembers, and other eligible persons, and 
                          for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans' 
Employment, Business Opportunity, and Training Act of 2002''.
    (b) References.--Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever 
in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an 
amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference 
shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of title 
38, United States Code.

                      TITLE I--EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

SEC. 101. DEFINITIONS.

    As used in this title:
            (1) The term ``veteran'' has the same meaning as ``eligible 
        veteran'' as defined in section 4211(4) of title 38, United 
        States Code.
            (2) The term ``eligible person'' means--
                    (A) the spouse of any person who died of a service-
                connected disability;
                    (B) the spouse of any member of the Armed Forces 
                serving on active duty who, at the time of application 
                for assistance under this Act, is listed, pursuant to 
                section 556 of title 37, United States Code, and 
                regulations issued thereunder, by the Secretary 
                concerned in one or more of the following categories 
                and has been so listed for a total of more than ninety 
                days--
                            (i) missing in action,
                            (ii) captured in line of duty by a hostile 
                        force, or
                            (iii) forcibly detained or interned in line 
                        of duty by a foreign government or power; or
                    (C) the spouse of any person who has a total 
                disability permanent in nature resulting from a 
                service-connected disability or the spouse of a veteran 
                who died while a disability so evaluated was in 
                existence.
            (3) The term ``State'' means each of the several States of 
        the United States, the District of Columbia, and the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and may include, to the extent 
        determined necessary by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and 
        feasible for all purposes of this title, Guam, American Samoa, 
        the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas 
        Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
            (4) The term ``servicemember'' has the same meaning as an 
        individual who is a member of the Armed Forces as defined in 
        section 101(10) of title 38, United States Code, and who is 
        being separated from the Armed Forces within the time periods 
        specified in section 1142(a)(3) of title 10, United States 
        Code.

SEC. 102. PURPOSE.

    In furtherance of the Nation's responsibility toward alleviating 
unemployment and underemployment among veterans, there shall be 
established a national performance-based job-search assistance program 
that--
            (1) will provide high-quality, job-search service to 
        veterans, servicemembers, and other eligible persons, focused 
        on assisting such individuals in obtaining and maintaining 
        employment, as well as reducing the duration of individual's 
        unemployment;
            (2) will assist employers in locating and hiring qualified 
        veterans, servicemembers, and other eligible persons; and
            (3) will be accessible to veterans, servicemembers, and 
        other eligible persons.
The Department of Veterans Affairs would continue to aggressively use 
web-based technology to provide better service to veterans around the 
world.

SEC. 103. ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment of New Program.--Notwithstanding any other 
provision of law, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish a 
competitive grants program to be referred to as the ``Veterans' 
Employment, Business Opportunity and Training Program'' (``VEBOT'') 
through which State Governors or other entities, as may be appropriate, 
would receive grants for the purpose of providing employment services 
to veterans, servicemembers, and other eligible persons within each 
State. The purpose of such program shall be to assist veterans, 
servicemembers, and other eligible persons in obtaining employment by 
providing for access to optimal employment opportunities.
    (b) Implementation of New Program.--The Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs shall prescribe such regulations as the Secretary considers 
appropriate to implement the VEBOT program required to be established 
under this section. Such regulations shall address matters relating to 
the development and implementation of the program, including--
            (1) the determination of eligibility criteria for affected 
        veterans, servicemembers, or other eligible persons, for 
        employment services and other related services that shall be 
        provided;
            (2) the nature and type of services to be provided;
            (3) the most appropriate and efficient means to provide 
        such services;
            (4) the most appropriate means to monitor and assess the 
        performance of entities providing employment services;
            (5) the manner in which the Department of Veterans Affairs 
        will cooperate with State employment agencies to ensure that 
        veterans continue to have access to the full range of workforce 
services available through existing State and local one-stop 
employment-service delivery systems;
            (6) the manner in which the Department of Veterans Affairs 
        will coordinate with the Department of Labor to ensure that 
        veterans continue to receive priority or other special 
        consideration in the provision of employment services through 
        existing State and local one-stop employment-service delivery 
        systems, as required by law or regulation; and
            (7) the entity or organization within the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs that will administer the program. In 
        developing the regulations, the Secretary shall take into 
        consideration the recommendations of the task force required to 
        be established under subsection (c) of this section and shall 
        consult with the Secretary of Defense with respect to 
        eligibility criteria affecting servicemembers.
    (c) Task Force To Be Established; Consultation With Designated 
Parties.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish a task 
force comprised of at least eleven (but not more than fifteen) members 
which shall, not later than 180 days from the date of its 
establishment, make recommendations to the Secretary regarding the 
matters described in subsection (b) of this section. The task force 
shall include representatives of veterans service organizations, 
representatives of employers in private industry or employer 
organizations, and representatives of State Governors. The Secretary of 
Labor, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Transportation 
shall be ex officio members of the task force.
    (d) Grants, Program To Be Competitive; Grants To Include 
Performance Requirements.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
ensure that all services under the VEBOT program are provided through 
grants awarded either directly or indirectly on a competitive basis and 
that such grants include appropriate performance requirements with 
clear outcome measures. States or other entities may join in consortia 
to provide services to veterans.
    (e) Performance Measurement.--
            (1) Each Governor of a State or other entity receiving 
        funds under a grant authorized by this section shall achieve 
        the performance requirements as agreed in the established 
        provisions for such grant. If unanticipated circumstances 
        arising in a State would adversely affect a grantee's ability 
        to meet its performance requirements, the grantee may request 
        that the Secretary adjust the agreed-to levels of performance. 
        If a grantee fails to meet the agreed-to levels of performance, 
        the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may provide to the grantee 
        assistance in such form as the Secretary may consider 
        appropriate, including training, technical assistance, staff 
        development, and activities replicating those used by other 
        successful grants and projects with demonstrated effectiveness. 
        In the event of continued non-performance, the Secretary may, 
        pursuant to such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, 
        remove the funds from a grantee and directly or indirectly 
        solicit through a competition a new grantee and service 
        provider.
            (2) Consistent with State law, the Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs and States and other entities identified to deliver 
        services under the VEBOT program may utilize wage record 
information for program performance measurement as prescribed by the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The Secretary of Labor shall provide 
assistance to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in gaining access to 
wage information for this purpose.
    (f) Cost Principles.--
            (1)(A) Each Governor of a State or other entity receiving 
        funds under this section shall comply with the applicable 
        uniform-cost principles included in the appropriate circulars 
        or directives of the Office of Management and Budget for the 
        type of entity receiving the funds, as well as regulations 
        prescribed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Each grantee 
        shall establish such fiscal controls and fund accounting 
        procedures as may be necessary to assure the proper disbursal 
        of, and accounting for, Federal funds allocated to any provider 
        receiving funds under this section and shall maintain 
        appropriate records in accordance with generally accepted 
        accounting principles applicable in each State. Each grantee 
        shall comply with the appropriate uniform administrative 
        requirements for grants, contracts and agreements applicable 
        for the type of entity receiving funds, as promulgated in 
        circulars or directives of the Office of Management and Budget.
            (B) If a grantee determines that a service provider acting 
        under a contract or sub-grant is not in compliance with the 
        requirements of this Act, the grantee shall take corrective 
        action either to secure the service provider's prompt 
        compliance or to remove the funds from the service provider for 
        failure to so comply. If the grantee fails to take such 
        corrective action, the Secretary may, pursuant to such 
        regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, remove funds from 
        the grantee and directly or indirectly solicit through a 
        competition a new grantee and service provider.
            (2) Unless approved by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 
        not more than 15 percent of the funds available under this 
        section to each State Governor or other entity may be expended 
        by a service provider and State Governor for costs of 
        administration. The Secretary shall prescribe regulations 
        governing the expenditure of funds for costs of administration 
        under this paragraph.
    (g) Pilot Projects Authorized.--In connection with the development 
and implementation of the VEBOT program, the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs, during each fiscal year, may reserve up to 25 percent of the 
total available funding for grants to finance national-level primary 
services and to create pilot programs and demonstration projects to 
establish the effectiveness and viability of specific proposed 
innovative program designs and service delivery systems.

SEC. 104. TRANSFER OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR ADMINISTRATION OF CERTAIN 
              EMPLOYMENT SERVICES TO SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, during the period 
beginning on October 1, 2002, and ending on the later of September 30, 
2003, or the date upon which regulations prescribed by the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs under section 103(b) of this title become effective, 
responsibilities assigned to the Secretary of Labor under sections 4101 
through 4102A (other than responsibilities assigned under section 4102A 
regarding the purposes of chapters 42 and 43 of title 38, United States 
Code), sections 4103 through 4108, and section 4110 of title 38, United 
States Code, shall be assumed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and 
the function of the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' 
Employment and Training in the Department of Labor, as well as such 
personnel of the Department of Labor as may be deemed necessary to 
carry out such function, shall be transferred from the Department of 
Labor to the Department of Veterans Affairs. During that period, the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall coordinate activities with the 
Secretary of Labor to facilitate the transfer of functions associated 
with the administration of employment services provided under chapter 
41 of title 38, United States Code, that are conducted by disabled 
veterans' outreach programs specialists and local veterans' employment 
representatives.

SEC. 105. REPEAL OR AMENDMENT OF EXISTING AUTHORITIES.

    (a) Repeal of Authorities.--Effective on the later of September 30, 
2003, or the date upon which regulations prescribed by the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs under section 103(b) of this Act become effective, the 
following sections are repealed: 4100 through 4104A, 4105(b), 4106 
through 4109, and 4110A.
    (b) Conforming Amendment to Chapter 43 Provision.--Section 4321 is 
amended by striking out ``(through the Veterans' Employment and 
Training Service)''.
    (c) Advisory Committee.--Section 4110 is amended)--
            (1) in subsection (a)(1), by striking out ``Department of 
        Labor'' and by inserting in lieu thereof ``Department of 
        Veterans Affairs'';
            (2) in subsection (a)(2), by inserting ``Department of 
        Veterans Affairs and the'' before ``Department of Labor'';
            (3) in subsection (b), by striking out ``Secretary of 
        Labor'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs'';
            (4) in subsection (c), by striking out ``Labor'' each place 
        it appears and inserting in lieu thereof ``Veterans Affairs'';
            (5) in subsection (d)--
                    (A) by striking out ``Secretary of Veterans 
                Affairs'' each place it appears and inserting in lieu 
                thereof ``Secretary of Labor'';
                    (B) by striking out in paragraph (6) ``The 
                Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans Employment 
                and Training'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``The 
                official designated by the Secretary of Veterans 
                Affairs to administer the Veterans' Employment, 
                Business Opportunity and Training Program'';
                    (C) by striking out in paragraph (11) ``The 
                Director of the United States Employment Service.'' and 
                inserting in lieu thereof ``A representative of State 
                Governors.''; and
                    (D) by striking out in paragraph (12) ``Secretary 
                of Labor'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``Secretary of 
                Veterans Affairs'';
            (6) in subsection (e)--
                    (A) by striking out ``Secretary of Labor'' each 
                place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof 
                ``Secretary of Veterans Affairs''; and
                    (B) by striking out in paragraph (4) ``through the 
                Veterans Employment and Training Service'';
            (7) in subsection (f)--
                    (A) by striking out ``Secretary of Labor'' each 
                place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof 
                ``Secretary of Veterans Affairs''; and
                    (B) by striking out ``Department of Labor'' and 
                inserting in lieu thereof ``Department of Veterans 
                Affairs''; and
            (8) in subsection (g), by striking out ``Secretary of 
        Labor'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs''.

                    TITLE II--TRANSITION ASSISTANCE

SEC. 201. TRANSFER OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR ADMINISTRATION OF TRANSITION 
              ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law--
            (1) references to the ``Secretary of Labor'' in section 
        1144 of title 10, United States Code, shall be deemed to be 
        references to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs;
            (2) references to the ``Secretary of Veterans Affairs'' in 
        section 1144 of title 10, United States Code, shall be deemed 
        to be references to the Secretary of Labor; and
            (3) section 1144(d) of title 10, United States Code, is 
        amended by striking out paragraph (1) and inserting in lieu 
        thereof the following:
            ``(1) provide, as the case may be, for the use of personnel 
        of grant recipients under section 103(b) of the Veterans' 
        Employment, Business Opportunity, and Training Act of 2002 or 
        such other personnel as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may 
        determine to be appropriate, to the extent that the Secretary 
        determines that such use will not significantly interfere with 
        the provision of services or other benefits to eligible 
        veterans and other eligible recipients of services or benefits 
        under programs administered by the Secretary.''.

          TITLE III--HOMELESS VETERANS' REINTEGRATION PROGRAMS

SEC. 301. TRANSFER OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR ADMINISTRATION OF HOMELESS 
              VETERANS' REINTEGRATION PROGRAM TO THE SECRETARY OF 
              VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    Section 2021 is amended--
            (1) by striking out ``Secretary of Labor'' each place it 
        appears and inserting in lieu thereof ``Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs''; and
            (2) by striking out subsection (c) and redesignating 
        subsection (d) as subsection (c).

                        TITLE IV--EFFECTIVE DATE

SEC. 401. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    Except where provided otherwise, the provisions of this Act shall 
become effective on October 1, 2002.
                                 <all>