Judicial Council named member of the Returning Veterans Task Force

With six operational veterans court programs as part of the accountability court system, as well as the proposed legislation being worked on this fall to provide statutory authority to veterans court divisions, the Judicial Council has been invited to serve as a member of the Returning Veterans Task Force (Task Force), administered by the Georgia Department of Veterans Service (DVS).

Created by legislation during the 2013 session, the Task Force is charged with:

·       investigating how state services can be provided to veterans returning from military service from which the veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable within the most recent three years in order to assist them in integrating into society;
·       issuing recommendations to each relevant state agency regarding improving the delivery of services to returning veterans; and,
·       transmitting specific suggestions for legislation designed to assist returning veterans to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Governor.
(O.C.G.A. § 38-4-92)

Membership consists of representatives from state agencies: including DVS; Department of Community Health; Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities; Department of Labor; Department of Defense; Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia; and the Technical College System of Georgia.  Other agencies may be invited at the Task Force’s discretion, and the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has been named a member in that regard.  Ms. Tracy Mason, Program Administrator with the AOC Office of Governmental and Trial Court Liaison, is attending the meetings on behalf of the Judicial Council while a permanent representative is identified.  The Task Force will issue its first report to the Governor and legislative leadership by November 1, and will continue engagement on this issue.

Chief Judge Brenda Weaver (Chair, Judicial Council Accountability Court Committee) attended the October 9 meeting of the Task Force to discuss veterans courts and the judiciary’s commitment to serving veterans.  Judge Weaver presides over a veterans court program in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit.  The membership voiced their appreciation for the judiciary’s work and provided information on their own services that may be beneficial to veterans court programs.  

On September 19, Marla S. Moore, AOC Director, and Ms. Mason attended the Georgia Commemoration Ceremony for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.  This ceremony, hosted by DVS, served to formalize the partnership between the State of Georgia and the U.S. Department of Defense to kick off commemorative events occurring nationwide through Nov. 11, 2025.  For more information on this national program, visit http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/.

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