Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Four House Dems named to military committee

House Speaker Frank Chopp has newly appointed three members of the House Democratic Caucus to the Legislature's Joint Committee on Veterans' and Military Affairs.

Representatives Zack Hudgins and Tina Orwall, along with House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, are new to the committee this year. Speaker Chopp also reappointed Rep. Fred Finn, who already serves on the Executive Committee.

Rep. Finn, a United States Army veteran, was the House sponsor this year of a bill that directs the state Lottery Commission to conduct a raffle once a year to benefit the Veterans Innovations Program (VIP). VIP provides crisis and emergency relief, education, training and employment assistance to Washington state veterans and their families. State budget cutbacks have hit VIP as well, but the yearly raffle should bring in the necessary additional funds to continue helping Washington's veterans in need. Over 1800 veterans have been helped through the VIP program since it began in 2006.

The raffle won't compete with ongoing state lottery games because it is limited to the period between Labor Day (September) and Veteran's Day (November). Drawings will be held each year on Veteran's Day, beginning this year.

Photo: Members of Washington's National Guard are recognized in the House Gallery on National Guard Day, 2011. Photo courtesy of House of Representatives.

To read this blog post in Spanish, go here.