Committee OKs bill to boost VA training
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Thursday, February 14, 2013
2/14/13 at 5:19 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Senate Veterans Committee passed a measure Wednesday aimed at increasing the longevity and education of employees at seven state veterans centers.
Senate Bill 228 would create an education and training program for critical posts that care for the centers' residents.
The measure, which heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee, would allow the state Department of Veterans Affairs to pay for salaries, tuition and subsistence for employees in the training program.
"Employees may be in work status while engaging in training and education programs," the bill states.
Employee who receives the training would have to agree to work for the agency for a certain period, the measure states.
Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, the bill's author, led an interim study on care in veterans' centers in the wake of high-profile cases of neglect and abuse.
The study focused on staffing levels and high turnover rates, he said.
The goal of the measure is to provide employees with a career ladder where they can receive higher education, Simpson said.
"One example would be a personal care assistant who wants to become a licensed practical nurse," he said.
The cost of the proposed program was not immediately available, Simpson said.
Original Print Headline: Committee OKs bill to boost VA site training
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465