(photo) Martin, Nicastro Back Student Vets Legislation

April 14, 2015

Rep. Frank Nicastro and Sen. Henri Martin

Sen. Martin Pledges Support for Student Veterans Legislation

Sen. Henri Martin, ranking member of the legislature’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today said he intends to vote in favor of a bill which would study Connecticut’s colleges and universities to find best practices for the veterans OASIS program.

OASIS programs run independently on individual campuses to help ensure that veterans are aware of the benefits that they can use to further their education in the civilian world. OASIS stands for Operation Academic Support for Incoming Service Members.

The bill will be voted on by the state Senate today (April 14).

Martin and Veterans’ Affairs Committee co-chair Rep. Frank Nicastro of Bristol are co-sponsoring the legislation. If approved, the bill will head to the House of Representatives.

“The OASIS system at Tunxis Community College is really a role model for the rest of the state,” Sen. Martin said. “It’s a place for veterans to have an on-campus support system. It’s a place which helps vets to avoid some of the difficulties of a transition from service member to student. By passing this bill, we can identify what is working at Tunxis and other colleges and spread that success across Connecticut. We can create a system to look out for veterans on campus, help them further their education, and help them to get good jobs. They have served our country and they have made great sacrifices to protect us. We owe it to them to do all we can to strengthen these state policies.”

The legislation states that not later than January 15, 2016, state higher education officials must report the results of the study to state legislators. The report will include any recommendations to enhance services at all such centers in the state.
“I am pleased to have co-sponsored this bill concerning the veterans OASIS program,” Rep. Nicastro said. “Passage in the state Senate is welcomed and I look forward to having this legislation approved in the House. There is no question that we have a program at nearby Tunxis Community College that works and will be hopefully duplicated at colleges across the state. It’s imperative that we continue to support our veterans so they can continue to improve their skills and be better prepared for future employment.”

Last week, Sen. Martin voted in favor of a measure which aims to help make women veterans more aware of available programs and services. The legislation would create an organization – the Connecticut Women Veterans’ Program — that would work to educate female veterans about federal and state benefits and services.

Sen. Martin represents Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, and Thomaston.