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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
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
Purpose and Summary.............................................. 2
Background and Need for Legislation.............................. 2
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Robert A. Sunshine
(For Douglas W. Elmendorf).
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
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.
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
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
* * * * * * *
Sec. 4102A. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and
Training; program functions; Regional
(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
* * * * * * *