H. Rept. 111-110 - 111th Congress (2009-2010)
May 14, 2009, As Reported by the Veterans' Affairs Committee

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House Report 111-110 - MANDATORY VETERAN SPECIALIST TRAINING ACT OF 2009




[House Report 111-110]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    111-110

======================================================================



 
           MANDATORY VETERAN SPECIALIST TRAINING ACT OF 2009

                                _______
                                

  May 14, 2009.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Filner, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1088]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1088) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
provide for a one-year period for the training of new disabled 
veterans' outreach program specialists and local veterans' 
employment representatives by National Veterans' Employment and 
Training Services Institute, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     4
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     6
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     6
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     6

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 1088 was introduced on February 13, 2009, by 
Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, the 
Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs. This legislation would reduce 
the allotted time to attend the training administered by the 
National Veterans' Employment and Training Services Institute 
(NVTI) from three years to one year from the date of hire for 
state employees assigned to perform duties of a Disabled 
Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialist or a Local 
Veterans' Employment Representative (LVER).

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) of the 
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is responsible for overseeing 
transition services programs, employment programs, and 
protecting employment rights, in addition to other workforce-
related matters for veterans. Furthermore, VETS oversees DVOP 
and LVER programs dedicated to assisting transitioning 
servicemembers and disabled veterans to the civilian workforce.
    The role and responsibilities of DVOPs and LVERs are to 
assist veterans with securing gainful employment. To help 
veterans achieve employment, they help facilitate services for 
veterans who have special needs, provide training 
opportunities, career counseling, and job referrals. While not 
limited to these tasks, they also attend or coordinate job 
fairs, and help build relationships with potential employers to 
increase employment opportunities.
    The U.S. Department of Labor established the NVTI to 
provide specialized training and professional skills 
enhancement of veterans' service providers' staff. NVTI is 
operated by the University of Colorado at Denver, with classes 
offered on campus and by long-distance learning.
    The NVTI basic training focuses on improving employment 
services for veterans through a professional skills-development 
program. Those that attend training include DVOPs and LVERs. 
Training is designed to provide the necessary skills sets and 
competence to participants to meet the needs of veterans. The 
offered courses address the following core issues: veterans' 
benefits, transition assistance, case management, marketing and 
accessing the media, management of veterans' services, and 
includes a basic employment course.
    During the 110th Congress, the Subcommittee on Economic 
Opportunity held various hearings in which concerns were raised 
over inadequately trained DVOPs and LVERs. Currently, DVOPs and 
LVERs are required to attend NVTI courses within three years of 
being employed. Veterans service organizations argued that the 
three-year time limitation does not meet the needs of veterans 
because the average time it takes DVOPs and LVERs to attend 
NVTI is 2.5 years. In other words, these untrained specialists 
spend time doing work unrelated to employment service and lack 
the necessary skills to help veterans.
    The Committee agrees that while the current core training 
requirements provide critical information necessary for a 
successful DVOP and LVER, current law fails to meet the needs 
of veterans by permitting DVOPs and LVERs to work while lacking 
the skills to effectively assist military veterans.
    The Committee believes that requiring early training for 
DVOPs and LVERs is the best way to ascertain that a greater 
number of employment service programs will increase the 
proficiency of DVOPs and LVERs to assist servicemembers with 
transition assistance, veterans' benefits, and a higher 
employment track.

                                Hearings

    On March 4, 2009, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
held a legislative hearing on several bills introduced during 
the 111th Congress, including H.R. 1088. The following 
witnesses testified: The Honorable Steve Israel of New York; 
The Honorable Peter Welch of Vermont; The Honorable Lloyd 
Doggett of Texas; Mr. Justin Brown, Legislative Associate, 
National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States; Ms. Cheryl Beversdorf, RN, MHS, MA, President 
and Chief Executive Officer, National Coalition for Homeless 
Veterans; Mr. John L. Wilson, Associate National Legislative 
Director, Disabled American Veterans; Mr. Mark Walker, 
Assistant Director, National Economic Commission, The American 
Legion; Mr. Thomas Zampieri, Ph.D., Director of Government 
Relations, Blinded Veterans Association; Mr. Patrick H. Boulay, 
Chief, USERRA Unit, U.S. Office of Special Counsel; Mr. Keith 
M. Wilson, Director, Education Service, Veterans Benefits 
Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Those 
submitting statements for the record included: Mr. John M. 
McWilliam, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Veterans' Employment and 
Training Service, U.S. Department of Labor; The Honorable 
Rodney Alexander of Louisiana; The Honorable Steve Buyer of 
Indiana; The Honorable Bob Filner of California; Mr. David 
French, Vice President, Government Relations, International 
Franchise Association; Mr. Thomas S. Whitaker, President and 
Deputy Chairman, North Carolina Employment Security Commission, 
on behalf of National Association of State Workforce Agencies; 
and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On March 19, 2009, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met in open markup session and ordered favorably forwarded to 
the full Committee H.R. 1088 by voice vote.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 6, 2009, the full Committee met in an open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 1088 reported 
favorably to the House of Representatives, by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report the legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken on amendments or in connection 
with ordering H.R. 1088 reported to the House. A motion by Mr. 
Buyer of Indiana to order H.R. 1088 reported favorably to the 
House of Representatives was agreed to by voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in the descriptive portions of this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 1088 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
1088 prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
for H.R. 1088 provided by the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 13, 2009.
Hon. Bob Filner,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1088, the 
Mandatory Veteran Specialist Training Act of 2009.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Camille 
Woodland.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                                        (For Douglas W. Elmendorf).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1088--Mandatory Veteran Specialist Training Act of 2009

    H.R. 1088 would require the Department of Labor (DOL) to 
accelerate the training currently provided to certain employees 
who assist eligible veterans in finding suitable training and 
employment. New employees and current employees hired since the 
beginning of 2006 who have not yet received training would be 
required to complete the training within a year. CBO estimates 
that implementing this bill would cost approximately $3 million 
over the 2010-2014 period, assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amounts. Enacting the bill would not affect direct 
spending or revenues.
    Under current law, affected employees are required to 
complete training through the National Veterans' Employment and 
Training Services Institute (NVTI) within three years of being 
hired. Based on information from the DOL and NVTI, CBO 
estimates that a backlog of approximately 600 current employees 
and an estimated 300 new employees would need accelerated 
training. CBO estimates that the training cost, including two 
five-day courses, travel, and lodging, would be approximately 
$3,500 per person. Once those employees have been trained, 
costs for such training would return to the level under current 
law.
    H.R. 1088 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. States 
that receive grants for providing employment and training 
service to veterans would be required to comply with new 
requirements for training state personnel. Any costs those 
governments incur to comply with the new grant conditions would 
be incurred voluntarily.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Camille 
Woodland. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 1088 prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
1088.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for H.R. 1088 is provided by Article 
I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United States.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the short title of H.R. 1088 as the 
``Mandatory Veteran Specialist Training Act of 2009.''

Section 2. One-year period for training of new disabled veterans' 
        outreach program specialists and local veterans' employment 
        representatives by national veterans' employment and training 
        service institute

    This section reduces from a three-year period to a one-year 
period the length of time in which state employees assigned to 
perform duties of a Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program 
Specialist or a Local Veterans' Employment Representative to 
obtain training administered by the National Veterans' 
Employment and Training Services Institute.
    This section provides effective dates for employee 
training. New employees would be required to take the training 
on or after the date of enactment and previously hired 
employees, hired on or after January 1, 2006, and before the 
date of enactment, would have one year after the date of 
enactment in which to complete training.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    CHAPTER 41--JOB COUNSELING, TRAINING, AND PLACEMENT SERVICE FOR 
VETERANS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4102A. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and 
                    Training; program functions; Regional 
                    Administrators

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (c) Conditions for Receipt of Funds.--(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (8)(A) As a condition of a grant or contract under which 
funds are made available to a State in order to carry out 
section 4103A or 4104 of this title, the Secretary shall 
require the State to require each employee hired by the State 
who is assigned to perform the duties of a disabled veterans' 
outreach program specialist or a local veterans' employment 
representative under this chapter to satisfactorily complete 
training provided by the National Veterans' Employment and 
Training Services Institute during the [three-year period] one-
year period that begins on the date on which the employee is so 
assigned.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *