What is Veterans Day On The Hill?
Most active duty and veterans are aware of the numerous proposed laws originated at the national level. Pay, medical, base services and many other issues are debated annually in the halls of Congress. However, state governments consider and pass laws each year that affect this same population.
Similar to Congress, state capitols are full of lobbyists, special interest groups and regular citizens working to support/reject laws that impact them. Many laws are affected by the “financial pot”, from which all revenue is poured into and portioned out. The “pot” is finite in size and in order for one group to get a slightly bigger portion; some else’s portion may shrink. Groups with interest in the legislative actions at the state capitol, such as educators, farmers, lawyers, health providers, builders, etc., select one day each year in which they make a concentrated effort to meet with legislators on bills and funding that affects their members. While they may not always be successful in getting the support they want one year, they build communication links to address issues in future years.
Since 2016, TNVET (when in its informal organizational setup) has worked to bring members from all Tennessee veteran organizations to the Capitol to voice their concerns with legislators. Past years have seen individual or sometimes teams of veteran groups work the legislative process. Much is owed to their efforts. However, recent history and efforts in other states shows that a joining of ALL veteran organizations is now needed to increase the odds of legislative success. Every year since 2016, several hundred veterans from across the state come and spend a day in early February at meetings with legislators and in attendance of legislative committee meetings. Legislative Day is ONLY ONE PART of the effort to work the issues of our veterans. Weeks afterwards, groups of veterans continue to attend and speak before legislative committees on the veteran bills of interest/need. In 2017, these efforts were rewarded with the FULL restoration of the property tax exemption for 100% P&T veterans and passage of veteran-hiring preference legislation for private business. TNVET got four of five veteran bills passed in 2018’s effort.
On this day you will get to meet with your specific legislators (and help support veteran bills we are engaged with), attend legislative committee meetings, attend presentations on veteran concerns, have lunch with fellow veterans, and we usually try to schedule tours of the Capitol and new state museum, if time allows.
These activities and the results they provide are reasons why you should attend!!!
Lunch meeting of veterans attending “Veterans Day On The Hill”
Veterans meeting and discussing legislative issues at “Veterans Day On The Hill”
Memorial display brought in for “Veterans Day On The Hill”
“Veterans Day On The Hill” allows veterans to network and reconnect old friendships and make new ones.