2020 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 72. Soldiers and Sailors
§72-422. Oklahoma Women Veterans Program.
A. In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. "Department" means the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs;
2. "Executive Director" means the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs;
3. "Program" means the Oklahoma Women Veterans Program; and
4. "Woman veteran" means a woman who served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States or in the Oklahoma National Guard on federal active duty under Title 10 U.S.C., and was discharged or released from that service under conditions other than dishonorable.
B. The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs shall establish the Oklahoma Women Veterans Program. The program shall be housed within the office of the Executive Director. The mission of the program shall be to ensure that women veterans in the State of Oklahoma have equitable access to federal and state veterans' benefits and services. The Executive Director shall designate a women veterans coordinator for the State of Oklahoma.
1. The program shall:
- a.provide assistance to the women veterans of the state as provided by this section,
- b.perform outreach functions to improve the awareness of women veterans regarding eligibility for federal and state veterans' benefits and services,
- c.assess the needs of women veterans with respect to benefits and services,
- d.review programs, research projects, and other initiatives designed to address the needs of the women veterans of the state,
- e.make recommendations to the Executive Director regarding the improvement of benefits and services to women veterans, and
- f.incorporate issues concerning women veterans in Department planning regarding veterans' benefits and services.
2. The program shall advocate for women veterans and work to increase public awareness about the gender-specific needs of women veterans. The program shall recommend legislative initiatives and the development of policies on the local, state and national levels to address the issues affecting women veterans. The program shall collaborate with federal, state, county and municipal governments and with private organizations that provide services to women veterans.
The program shall monitor and research issues relating to women veterans. The program shall disseminate information regarding opportunities for women veterans throughout the network of entities with which the program collaborates.
Through conferences, seminars and training workshops with federal, state, county and municipal governments and with private organizations, the program shall provide guidance and direction to women veterans who are applying for grants, benefits or services. The program shall provide facilities and staff as appropriate in support of the program.
C. On behalf of the program, the Department may:
1. Accept and spend funds:
- a.appropriated to the Department for the operation of the program, and
- b.received from other sources, including donations and grants; and
2. Provide matching grants to assist in the implementation of the program's goals and objectives.
D. Not later than November 1 of each even-numbered year, the Department shall submit to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Oklahoma Veterans Commission and the Legislature a report on women veterans in this state.
The report may be delivered electronically, and shall:
1. Estimate the number of women veterans in this state;
2. Report the number of women veterans who contact the Department for assistance;
3. Identify the unique problems faced by women veterans; and
4. Recommend policy proposals, initiatives and funding levels to address the problems identified.
E. The Oklahoma Veterans Commission is authorized to promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section.
Added by Laws 2018, c. 132, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2018.