REPORT TITLE:
Filipino Veterans; Burial


DESCRIPTION:
Requires the office of veterans' services to pay the costs of
providing funeral and burial services for a deceased World War II
Filipino veteran; and of transporting the remains of the veteran
to the Philippines, upon the submission of an invoice for
services performed.  Appropriates funds.  (SD2)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        2093
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO VETERANS RIGHTS AND BENEFITS.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that a World War II
 
 2 Filipino veteran who dies after June 30, 1994, and who is, at the
 
 3 time of the veteran's death, a United States citizen and a
 
 4 resident of the State of Hawaii, is entitled to receive a burial
 
 5 grant from the office of veterans' services to pay for the cost
 
 6 of:
 
 7      (1)  Providing funeral and burial services for the deceased
 
 8           veteran; and
 
 9      (2)  Transporting the remains of the deceased veteran to the
 
10           Philippines.
 
11      In order to qualify for this burial grant, however, the
 
12 Filipino veteran's survivor or an interested party must produce
 
13 an itemized paid invoice showing the specific services rendered
 
14 on behalf of the deceased veteran.  Because of the tremendous
 
15 upfront costs associated with funeral and burial services, and
 
16 transportation to the Philippines, some World War II Filipino
 
17 veterans, including the families and friends of these veterans,
 
18 cannot afford to pay for these activities in advance.
 
19 Consequently, some World War II Filipino veterans will not be
 

 
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                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 able to qualify for these burial grants from the office of
 
 2 veterans' services on account of their being too "poor".  Because
 
 3 of these financial constraints, the bodies of some deceased
 
 4 veterans have had to "sit on ice" for weeks until the deceased
 
 5 veteran's survivor or interested parties could raise the
 
 6 necessary funds to pay the mortuary for funeral and other related
 
 7 services.
 
 8      The purpose of this Act is to right this injustice to World
 
 9 War II Filipino veterans by requiring the office of veterans'
 
10 services, at the request of a deceased Filipino veteran's
 
11 survivor or an interested party, to pay the costs of providing
 
12 funeral and burial services for the veteran; and of transporting
 
13 the veteran's remains to the Philippines, upon the submission of
 
14 an invoice for services performed.  The amount paid for funeral
 
15 and burial services, and transportation costs, shall not exceed
 
16 $2,500 per person. 
 
17      This Act provides an alternative to the procedures currently
 
18 specified in the rules of the office of veterans' services which
 
19 apply in situations where a deceased Filipino veteran's survivor
 
20 or an interested party has already made payment for services
 
21 rendered on behalf of the deceased veteran, or in situations
 
22 where the deceased veteran may have purchased a pre-paid funeral
 

 
 
 
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                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 and burial plan.
 
 2      SECTION 2.  Chapter 363, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
 3 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
 
 4 read as follows:
 
 5      "363-     Disbursement of World War II Filipino veterans
 
 6 burial grant funds.  (a)  The office of veterans' services, at
 
 7 the request of a deceased World War II Filipino veteran's
 
 8 survivor or an interested party, shall receive, review, and
 
 9 approve requests for payments of:
 
10      (1)  Providing funeral and burial services for a deceased
 
11           World War II Filipino veteran; and
 
12      (2)  Transporting the remains of a deceased World War II
 
13           Filipino veteran to the Philippines.
 
14      (b)  The office shall establish the amount of burial grant
 
15 funds that may be disbursed on behalf of a deceased World War II
 
16 Filipino veteran; provided that the amount shall not exceed
 
17 $2,500 per person.
 
18      (c)  The office shall not expend more than the amount
 
19 appropriated for the fiscal year to provide burial grants for
 
20 deceased World War II Filipino veterans.
 
21      (d)  Specific eligibility criteria, application and appeal
 
22 procedures, service choices, and invoicing arrangements shall be
 

 
 
 
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                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 established by the office.
 
 2      (e)  Payment shall be authorized by the office upon the
 
 3 submission of an invoice reflecting services have been
 
 4 satisfactorily performed on behalf of the deceased World War II
 
 5 Filipino veteran.
 
 6      (f)  For the purposes of this section, "World War II
 
 7 Filipino veteran" means an individual who served honorably in an
 
 8 active duty status under the command of the United States Armed
 
 9 Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), or within the Philippine Army,
 
10 the Philippine Scouts, or recognized guerilla units.  The World
 
11 War II Filipino veteran must have:  served at any time between
 
12 September 1, 1939, and December 31, 1946; been born in the
 
13 Philippines; and resided in the Philippines prior to the military
 
14 service."
 
15      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general
 
16 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $         , or so much
 
17 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000-2001, for burial
 
18 grant funds for World War II Filipino veterans.
 
19      SECTION 4.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
 
20 department of defense, office of veterans' services for the
 
21 purposes of this Act.
 
22      SECTION 5.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that
 

 
 
 
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 1 matured, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective
 
 2 date.
 
 3      SECTION 6.  New statutory material is underscored.
 
 4      SECTION 7.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval;
 
 5 provided that sections 3 and 4 shall take effect on July 1, 2000.