Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 3rd Meeting

of the 2011 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> August 11, 2011

 

Call to Order and Roll Call

The<MeetNo2> 3rd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection was held on<Day> Thursday,<MeetMDY2> August 11, 2011, at<MeetTime> 1:00 PM, in<Room> Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Jack Westwood, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Jack Westwood, Co-Chair; Representative Tanya Pullin, Co-Chair; Senators Carroll Gibson, Vernie McGaha, Dennis Parrett, Joey Pendleton, Dan "Malano" Seum, Kathy W. Stein, Katie Kratz Stine, and Mike Wilson; Representatives Royce W. Adams, Dwight D. Butler, Mike Cherry, Tim Couch, Myron Dossett, David Floyd, Jimmie Lee, Rick G. Nelson, Fred Nesler, Tom Riner, Carl Rollins II, and Ben Waide.

 

Guests:† John Glisson, President, Jack Strunk, Lucy Strunk, and Jack Strunk Jr., members, Lexington Chapter of the Kentuckiana Regional Group of the Blinded Veterans Association, Inc.; Pamela Glisson, Executive Director, Gina Wallace, Executive Administrative Coordinator, Todd Stevens, Board Treasurer and Special Projects Coordinator, Hampton Washington Graves, Chaplain, Independent Place, Inc.; Brett Morris, Associate Director for Veterans Affairs, Eastern Kentucky University; Dr. Roosevelt Shelton, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, Kentucky State University; Jeffrey Liles, Assistant Vice President Enrollment Services, Jill McBride, Student Veteran Advocate, Morehead State University; Dr. John Yates, Professor Emeritus and Director of the Transfer Center, Murray State University; Dave Merriss, Director of the One Stop Shop, Northern Kentucky University; Tony Dotson, Coordinator for Veterans Resource Center, University of Kentucky; Terri Hernandez, Director of Transfer for Adult Services and Military and Veterans Affairs Services, University of Louisville; and Tonya Archey, Director of Military Student Services, Western Kentucky University.

 

LRC Staff:Erica Warren, Clint Newman II, Kristopher Shera, and Rhonda Schierer.

 

Minutes

Representative Lee moved to approve the July minutes. Representative Pullin seconded the motion. The minutes were approved.

 

Resolution

Representative Royce Adams read a resolution in memory and honor of Sergeant Jeremy Russell Summers. Representative Pullin moved to adopt the resolution, Senator Parrett seconded the motion, and the motion was adopted.

 

KY NFB-NEWSLINE Demonstration

John Glisson, President of the Lexington Chapter of the Kentuckiana Regional Group of the Blind Veterans Association, Inc., introduced his guest and team members to include: Pamela Glisson, Executive Director, Gina Wallace, Executive Administrative Coordinator, Todd Stevens, Board Treasurer and Special Projects Coordinator, Hampton Washington Graves, Chaplain, Independence Place, Inc., and Jack Strunk, Lucy Strunk, and Jack Strunk Jr., members of the Kentuckiana Regional Group of the Blinded Veterans Association of Lexington Chapter, Inc.

 

Mr. Glisson spoke to the committee about the KY NFB-NEWSLINE and discussed its importance to blinded or severely disabled individuals, including veterans. He shared stories of veterans who have greatly benefited from the newsline service. He explained that a veteran does not have to be blind in order to be eligible for the service. There are 3,000 known blinded veterans in Kentucky and upwards of 41,000 veterans and family members who are eligible for the service. The service allows him and all other veterans that are eligible to connect with their audiences, communities, and families.

 

Mr. Stevens gave a demonstration of a Victor Reader device which reads written material in an audio format. On the KY NFB-NEWSLINE website, there is a tool that will help individuals transfer their favorite articles or an entire newspaper from their computer onto the device easily in a matter of seconds. Mr. Stevens downloaded the USA Today paper and demonstrated the various ways to use the device and listen to the editorials. Jack Strunk gave a demonstration of the KY NFB-NEWSLINE with a phone in the committee room. He said there is no other service like it in the world.

 

In response to a question from Senator Stine, Mr. Glisson stated that a KNFB reader mobile phone device is portable and will scan items quickly, but it is costly. The mobile device costs around $4,500.

 

In response to a question from Representative Floyd regarding veterans who are retirees and receive disability compensation exempt from taxes, Mr. Glisson stated that he believes that those veterans are also eligible to receive service. He said that many times veterans do not admit that they are blind or even visually impaired.

 

In response to a question from Chair Westwood regarding the Accessible Electronic Information Act which became law in 2004, Mr. Glisson stated that although the Governor line-item vetoed the funding mechanism, the legislation is still in place but is not being funded, except for $40,000 for the service to be accessible to Kentucky. †He said that operations, technical assistance, content, development, outreach, and marketing are not being funded and therefore the program is not accessible to the number of individuals that need it.

 

Veterans Services Offices of Kentuckyís State Universities

Brett Morris, Associate Director for Veterans Affairs, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the veteransí services available at Eastern Kentucky University. Dr. Roosevelt Shelton, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the veteransí services available at Kentucky State University. Jeffrey Liles, Assistant Vice President Enrollment Services and Jill McBride, Student Veteran Advocate, presented a packet of information on the veteransí services available at Morehead State University. Dr. John Yates, Professor Emeritus and Director of the Transfer Center, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the veteransí services available at Murray State University. Dave Merriss, Director of the One Stop Shop, gave a PowerPoint presentation and a short video on the veteransí services available at Northern Kentucky University. Tony Dotson, Coordinator for Veterans Resource Center, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the veteransí services available at University of Kentucky. Terri Hernandez, Director of Transfer for Adult Services and Military and Veterans Affairs Services, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the veteransí services available at University of Louisville. Tonya Archey, Director of Military Student Services, presented a packet of information on the veteransí services available at Western Kentucky University. All PowerPoint presentations and correspondence are a part of this record located in the Legislative Research Commissionís library.

 

In response to a question from Senator Seum regarding the GI Bill, Mr. Morris, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), stated that the Montgomery GI Bill has a 10 year delimiting date. The Post 9/11 GI Bill has a 15 year timeframe upon discharge. In response to Senator Seum, Mr. Morris stated that the KEES Program is available to high school graduates who leave for military duty and return.

 

In response to a question from Representative Floyd, Mr. Morris stated that the most common degree veterans are seeking at EKU is criminal justice and occupational safety.

 

In response to Senator Pendleton, Mr. Morris stated that the Army Times ranked EKU as the number one college in Kentucky for being veteran friendly based upon a survey of responses from the Kentucky schools.

 

In response to Senator Pendleton, Dr. Shelton, Kentucky State University, stated that the university has counselors on hand to help veterans who have to take out loans and also to counsel them on doing so as a last resort.

 

In response to a question from Representative Floyd, Mr. Liles, Morehead State University, stated that he was not sure if students need to be full time in order to be eligible for a housing allowance.

 

In response to a comment from Representative Waide, Dr. Yates, Murray State University (MuSU), stated that the two most popular programs for veterans are the Bachelor of Integrated Studies Program and the Bachelorís of Business Administration which are both available online.

 

In response to a comment from Senator Pendleton, Dr. Yates stated that MuSU is working hard to try to attract military and military family members to the campus in Hopkinsville.

 

Co-Chair Pullin commented to Mr. Merriss, Northern Kentucky University, that on behalf of the Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection, the committee salutes his mother and all the members of the Womenís Army Core as they participated in saving the world.

 

In response to a question from Representative Floyd, Mr. Dotson, University of Kentucky (UK), stated that UK does not have very many classes online. However, students do not have to be full time in order to receive a portion of their stipend.

 

In response to a question from Senator Stein, Mr. Dotson stated that he was unsure of why there were few courses online at UK. However, UK has the Graduate Level Program for Library Science Degree online. He added that the new Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is working to increase the online class output of UK tenfold.

 

In response to a question from Chair Westwood, Mr. Dotson stated that UK is not accepting out of state veterans for in state tuition. He added that UK increased its Yellow Ribbon Program participation.

 

In response to a question from Representative Lee, Mr. Dotson stated that he was not aware of any restrictions on veterans being involved in the athletic programs of any of the colleges.

 

In response to a question from Chair Westwood, Ms. Hernandez, University of Louisville (U of L), stated that to the best of her knowledge U of L is accepting the option of out-of-state veterans receiving in-state tuition.

 

In response to a suggestion from Representative Riner, Ms. Hernandez stated that U of L will strive to make sure that the military friendly designation is known throughout the community.

 

Other Business

Co-Chair Pullin noted that the Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection Committee will meet on the regular meeting date, time, and place for the rest of the interim.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.