Photo: State of Texas
AUSTIN – A bill passed by Representative César Blanco and Senator José Rodríguez has raised more than $170,000 for Texas veterans and their families.
House Bill 3710, which was passed by Blanco and Rodríguez during the 84th Regular Session, authorizes a person applying for a handgun license to make a voluntary contribution to the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (FVA).
The bill required the Department of Public Safety (DPS), which administers the handgun licensing program, to modify their paper and online application forms to allow applicants to voluntarily donate any amount to the FVA.
According to DPS, between the bill’s implementation date of September 1, 2015 and March 1, 2016, DPS received more than 13,000 donations to the FVA totaling $173,866.62. Pursuant to H.B. 3710, DPS will continue to send contributions it receives to the FVA on a monthly basis.
“I am proud to have worked with Veterans groups and the TVC to author H.B. 3710,” said Rep. Blanco. “This bill brings much needed donations to the Fund for Veterans Assistance, which has historically been underfunded. Texas veterans will surely benefit from this supplemental funding. Texas Veterans can continue to count on Senator Rodríguez and me to find innovative ways to get our Veterans the quality care they earned.”
“I’m elated to see how successful this bill’s implementation has been. Raising more than $170,000 in just seven months’ time is remarkable,” Sen. Rodríguez said. “When this bill was filed, the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance made possible more than $45 million in direct grants benefiting thousands of Texas veterans. Still, we were told demand for services exceeded available funds. I know this new source of revenue will have a significant positive impact on Texas veterans and their families.”
Funds from the FVA provide direct services to Texas veterans and their families for a broad range of needs, including limited emergency assistance, housing assistance, and transportation, veteran courts, and family and child services.