Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kratovil Backs Legislation to Help Returning Veterans and Surviving Spouses

Introduces new bill; co-sponsors two others after meetings with local veterans groups.

Date: 2-23-10 – For Immediate Release

Contact: Kevin Lawlor, 202 225 5311

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Kratovil today backed legislation to protect returning veterans and surviving spouses from the threat of home foreclosure and to promote opportunities for returning service members to transition into careers in education, after discussing the proposals in recent meetings with his Veterans Advisory Committee and other local veterans groups.

Kratovil convened roundtable discussions during last week’s Congressional recess with young veterans at both Anne Arundel Community College and Towson University to hear about issues they confront as they return from their service and transition back to civilian life. With Congress now back in session this week, Kratovil today introduced one piece of legislation and co-sponsored two others that he had discussed with the young veterans at these roundtable discussions.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 enacted a foreclosure moratorium for service members returning from active service, protecting them from the threat of foreclosure for a 9 month period after their return. The provision is set to expire at the end of 2010. Today, Kratovil backed H.R. 3976 – Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act of 2009 , which will extend the provision for five additional years through 2015. He also introduced H.R. 4664 – the Mortgage Foreclosure Moratorium for Surviving Spouses Act of 2010, which extends the same protections to the surviving spouses of service members killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan for a one-year period following the service member’s death.

“When our service men and women make the ultimate sacrifice, we have the responsibility to look out for those they have left behind,” said Rep. Kratovil. “Giving surviving spouses a protection against foreclosure in the immediate aftermath of the death of their loved one is the least we can do for families that have already given so much for their country. Losing a loved one to war is a tragedy that should never be compounded by losing a home.”

Additionally, Kratovil Cosponsored H.R. 3943, the Post 9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act . Since its inception, the Troops to Teachers program has helped place over 12,000 members of the military who are leaving the service in classrooms across the country. This legislation reduces the length of service requirements for participation, to encourage involvement by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans; expands the number of school districts in which participants can qualify for a $5,000 stipend towards the costs of becoming a teacher; and creates an advisory board charged with improving awareness of the program, increasing participation, and ensuring that the program meets the needs of our schools and veterans.

“We should always be finding ways to get veterans back into the workforce as soon as they are ready,” said Rep. Kratovil. “The Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act is not only a way to find good jobs for returning vets but it bolsters our classrooms by creating top notch educators.”

No comments: