“OWVA has proven to be a valuable resource to the Oregon National Guard, providing goods and services to help to eliminate stress to our soldiers and their families by always offering a helping hand wherever and whenever possible," said BG Caldwell during a media conference today. “I asked for their help because the public knows them and supports their efforts to help our troops.”
With gigantic budget cuts affecting ORNG they simply do not have the funds to bring these veterans home for the holidays. The unit is currently at
With your support, OWVA needs to locate and pay for a charter plane to help with this project. OWVA is also asking several of the organizations in
There are only a few days remaining to raise the $40,000 required to fly our troops home for Christmas before their deployment.
Please find it in your hearts to help OWVA bring
Three ways to make a charitable donation for this project:
1. Go online to www.OWVA.org, and click on the donate button.
2. Deposit at any branch at US Bank to Oregon War Veterans Association/ORNG account ending in 5051.
3. Mail a check to OWVA,
**All funds over the amount needed will be used toward sending
This morning, OWVA was notified that two members of the Oregon National Guard's 41st Infantry Combat Brigade were killed in Iraq. A third soldier was wounded. Very few details are available yet, but OWVA has told the Governor's Office, ORNG's General Staff and the 41st's Family Readiness Support Team that "we are here to help as needed."
Nearly 3,500 ORNG families are reeling from the news, especially since it has come so soon after our troops arrived in Iraq.
In the past, OWVA has been asked to assist with funeral costs and transportation for extended family members. "We do whatever is asked of us," said Greg Warnock, OWVA's executive director. OWVA is one of the few charitable organizations that has developed a close relationship with the 41st, and the General Staff of the Oregon National Guard.
"Thank you again, I know you are tired of hearing me say this, but I really appreciate you and all you have done for me and the families of our soldiers," said Donna Herr, the Family Rediness Assistant for the 41st, to Warnock today.
OWVA spent time during the legislative session trying to get the legislature to fund the National Guard's Family Emergency Fund, and only had minor success. Barely one-half of the funds requested were budgeted, so OWVA is asking for the public to help with their own emergency fund. OWVA has operated an emergency fund for the National Guard since 2002, and has supported them as needed.
Please consider donating desperately needed charitable contributions to OWVA's ORNG Emergency Fund TODAY. Contributions of any amount can be sent to OWVA, PO Box 8043, Salem, OR 97303.
Salem, Oregon – The Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA) is encouraged to announce that Jeff Maxwell, the Western Oregon University (WOU) student and veteran Marine who was wrongfully arrested and subsequently suspended from school for lawfully carrying a concealed weapon, may now re-enter the Oregon University System.
Earlier this year, Western Oregon University demanded Maxwell write a special research paper on the importance of following their policies – essentially a denouncement of his own lawful actions. “We appreciate WOU’s concern and cooperation on this issue,” said Jesse Barton, the Salem attorney retained by OWVA to represent Maxwell. “Maxwell will now be able to reenroll while the court case continues.”
Maxwell recently signed an agreement, negotiated by Jesse Barton with Assistant Attorney General Gary Cordy, effectively staying the research paper requirement until the Court of Appeals has a chance to review his case.
After Maxwell’s arrest, OWVA retained Barton, who is also a veteran member of OWVA, to defend Maxwell after it became aware of the level of humiliation forced on him.
“He did nothing wrong, but was arrested, humiliated, and suspended without the ability to properly defend himself. WOU’s actions infuriated veterans and gun rights advocates from all over the State,” said Greg Warnock, the Executive Director of OWVA.
WOU’s action against Maxwell caused him to lose the funds he prepaid for his education, lose academic credits for the courses he was enrolled in, and also lose his GI Bill educational benefits during his suspension.
“We are happy that Maxwell may continue his education,” said Greg Warnock, the Executive Director of OWVA. “We’re excited that WOU and Maxwell could reach a compromise on this one issue.”
Salem, OR - OWVA is saddened by the Oregon Legislature's decision to cut the Oregon Military Department/National Guard (OMD) budget by more than 16% while 3,200 Oregon National Guard troops deploy to Iraq this year.
"I am so sick of hearing 'we got your back' by politicians in Oregon who voice their support for our military in pubic forums, but in committee and session hearings cut their support so drastically," said Greg Warnock, Director of Oregon War Veterans Association.
During the budget vote by the Oregon House, Representative Tim Freeman (R-Roseburg) - the only member to voice his opinion on the budget bill - said, "I voted yes on this bill in committee, and will vote yes on this bill today. But, I think it is unconscionable that we could be passing a budget with such drastic cuts, while we are in a war with Oregon Troops deployed."
Most of the troops deploying to war zones this year have been there two or three times already, and some have been there four times. Each of these families has suffered for many years while in the deployment cycle, and needed more help than ever from the legislature, especially for their emergency family fund support.
During the 2009 legislative session, OWVA asked for $850,000 to properly fund the National Guard's family emergency assistance fund. The legislative sub committee which oversaw the military budget process this year only authorized $250,000 to fund the emergency fund. After OWVA's loud complaints to the legislative leadership, they decided to raise the fund contribution from $250,000 to $450,000, which is still a decrease from previous years.
In the past two biennia, the legislature gave the fund $500,000. But, during each of those biennia the Oregon Military Department ran out of funds for emergencies within 18 months, so OWVA asked for more money this session. This year, the Oregon Military Department/National Guard has deployed more troops to war than at any other time since WWII.
This is a legislative FAILURE, in our opinion, and a tragedy for our military families. Military members, who have endured multiple years of deployments and subsequent financial hardships, cannot continue to support their families with even the most basic housing and utility costs. Many of them have already used up their home equities to subsidize their income, cashed in their savings accounts, sold assets and depleted other family resources just to survive the previous 18-24 month deployments. Some of these families will undoubtedly become homeless while their heads of household are dodging bullets and IEDs in Iraq.
During the next week, the directors and supporters of OWVA will more thoroughly review this legislative session's treatment of Oregon's veterans and military members by reviewing all of the veteran related bills, and will publish their review online and as a press release.
The following email was sent to Oregon's legislative leaders, in an attempt to express how important it is to help the Oregon National Guard in their time of extraordinary need:
Dear President Courtney, Speaker Hunt, Senators Burdick and Carter, and Representatives Buckley and Barnhart:
Our constituents have been hounding us for more information regarding our legislation to assist the Oregon Nation Guard Emergency Fund funding, and Oregon Youth Challenge Program. We have not been critical of the legislature so far, and would honestly like to keep it that way.
Since 2005, the Oregon National Guard has received funding for their Emergency Fund, which, as you know is critical for their operations, both at home, and also in the battlefield, where our guys don't have the energy to worry about the financial constraints placed on their families (3,200 of them) while they are dodging bullets and IED's.
OWVA wrote SB921, which will satisfy ORNG's emergency funding needs for the next biennium. But, this bill has not seen the light of day yet. How can we as Oregon Citizens, and you as our leaders realize how much in Federal money the ORNG brings into the State for all of the non-military related special projects sponsored by this legislature, and then purposely decide NOT to fund their most critical programs?
As you know, the National Guard's budget has been cut deeper than any of the other major agencies - but for every dollar in their budget, they bring in more than 190 dollars. To us, this seems to be more than an oversight by Leadership, but is an abuse our National Guard. It seems to us, and to our constituency, that you folks are using the National Guard for financial gain, but will not help them when they need it the most. Amazing.
Since I know that you do not read lengthy emails during session, especially at the end it - I will be very brief about our other issues.
SB920 will save the Oregon Youth Challenge from impending financial disaster, and do it with a simple solution. A 2.0 ADM is all they need to make this program the best in the country. By the way, the Federal match for this program will be 50% beginning next year. How can we let this program fail? We have a meeting with Senator Verger about this bill on Monday, and would very much appreciate your support to move the bill ahead.
SB917 is a placeholder bill (can be amended in two days) to fix the TRICARE tax benefit fiasco from 2007. The orignal bill (HB3201) was supposed to help military families get sufficient healthcare by encouraging providers to enroll as TRICARE providers. TRICARE is the ONLY medical program for ORNG families. Without providers, they have NO health care. I can give you many anecdotes about how important this is. The solution is relatively simple too: take out the Dept of Rual Health as the administrator of the tax program, and let the providers simply apply for the deductions and credits from the Dept of Revenue. The middleman is unnecessary and problematic. Not fixing the TRICARE problem in Oregon will keep families from a health care service that would otherwise be available to them.
Did you know that if they qualify for TRICARE they do not qualify for other low income health programs? Even if they have no providers through TRICARE? This means that the military families whom you have publicly sworn to "watch your back" will lose all access to affordable health care. (Isn't that an important issue for this legislature?)
OWVA has been sending out regular press releases and Twitters to our constituents and the general public. It is important (as we face the end of this session), that you help get these bills moving and fund the National Guard programs as requested. We want our next few press releases to be excited about how well the legislature is "watching your backs," while our troops are deployed. Time is running out. Please help.
I would value an email, or phone call from each of you, or even a meeting explaining how you plan to resolve these issues, or if you plan to move these bills forward.
Oregon War Veterans Association
The Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA) worked with others to pass a bill that designates the U.S. Highway 97 in Oregon as the World War II Veterans Historic Highway. SB 449 passed the House unanimously Thursday.
“The passage of this bill is a huge victory,” said Greg Warnock, the Executive Director of OWVA. “Oregonians often forget the history behind World War II, the war that played a major role in central Oregon. This bill will place plaques along the highway with facts and reminders of those that fought for our country.”
The signage will be paid for by veteran groups and will be organized by the US Highway 97 WWII Veterans Historic Highway Committee, chaired by Dick Tobiason, LTC US Army Retired, of Bend Oregon. The Committee first promoted the idea of the historical highway in 2005. The Vice Chair of the committee, Mr. Bob Maxwell, the only surviving Metal of Honor recipient in living in Oregon, attended the House Floor Session and watched SB 449 become reality.
Also occurring this week, SB 731B passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Consumer Affairs. This important legislation will help disabled veterans better protect their disability pensions from illegal collections. SB 731B implements the policy and principle behind state and federal exemption laws by ensuring that protection is offered up front, at the bank account level, rather than requiring an expensive and delayed court hearing. OWVA joined the Oregon Law Center, and Ms. Sybil Hebb on this legislation soon after her organization drafted it, and made it a priority bill for 2009.
SB 731B is expected to land on the House floor this Tuesday for a vote. OWVA is writing a Floor Letter to all of the Representatives in support of the bill.
The VIP Discount Card Program, which allows consumers to save money at their favorite restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and attractions, has partnered with the Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA) this Memorial Day weekend. The program will donate 25% of their direct card sales to OWVA's charitable projects. OWVA is currently helping families of deployed National Guard troops with emergency funding relating to medical and housing issues.
"VIP's contributions are especially helpful during the beginning of this National Guard deployment, as the recession has impacted the families harder than normal,” said Greg Warnock, the Executive Director of the Oregon War Veterans Association. “We are very excited about VIP's decision to support our charities. I want to take this opportunity to encourage those of you in Salem this weekend to support Oregon’s Veterans."
Individuals may buy the discount cards in front of Walmart (Turner Road, in Salem) throughout the weekend.
Salem, Oregon – Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA) urges a "do pass" recommendation on the SB 731A version of the bill that is now in the House Committee on Consumer Protection. This important legislation will help disabled veterans better protect their disability pensions from illegal collections. SB 731A implements the policy and principle behind state and federal exemption laws by ensuring that protection is offered up front, at the bank account level, rather than requiring an expensive and delayed court hearing.
OWVA's director, Greg Warnock, told a group of OWVA supporters on Wednesday that some legislators feel that the banks have had a difficult time trying to understand regulations regarding funds that are exempt from garnishments. They feel that the burden to help their disabled customers is too great.
Warnock, who is a former banker with US Bank, provided public testimony and said, "Banks and Credit Unions are not burdened at all by protecting legally exempt funds from garnishment, especially when affidavits of the protected funds are on file, and when additional fees have been paid to help the banks process the necessary forms. Frankly, most banks and credit unions prefer to bend over backward for their disabled veteran customers, instead of supporting illegal debt collections."
OWVA put off an amendment to SB731 to fine institutions which violate the rights of disabled veterans on the illegal garnishment issue. This decision was a compromise to see the bill get through this year's session as it is currently written.
"We have all compromised enough on this legislation, and it is time to move the bill forward," Warnock said.
# # #
Salem, Oregon – Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA) is proud to partner with Mattress World in an effort to help veterans and military families during the month of May. OWVA has actively participated with the Oregon National Guard's Family Readiness Group (ORNG's FRG) and family assistance program providers. Since 2002, OWVA has helped hundreds of families with emergency housing, medical bills, and transportation issues. OWVA works directly with the general staff and FRG system for the ORNG.
"I am so proud to help OWVA raise funds to help Oregon's military families,” said Sherri, the owner of Mattress World. “I can't imagine what it would be like to leave your family to serve your country, and be forced to rely on the charity of others. Thank you so much for the opportunity to let us help you."
This month, 3,200 members of the Oregon National Guard are being deployed to Iraq and will leave their families behind to struggle during this economic recession. OWVA will do everything possible to help relieve the stress that comes with financial emergencies.
All funds donated through the Mattress World Public Service project will be dedicated to OWVA's charitable service projects and programs. We will provide a tax deductible receipt for your contribution upon request.
Please send your donations to:
PO Box 8043
Salem, OR 97303
OR, donate online at: www.owva.org
Thank you for supporting Oregon's veterans and military families!
# # #
The Oregon Senate passed SB 731! OWVA would like to thank the Senate for its support our of most vulberable citizens, including many veterans. Now, we need to urge the Oregon House to continue pushing this important legislation forward.
A bill that will protect Oregon’s vulnerable veterans is expected to land on the Senate floor early next week. SB 731A will protect exempt funds from garnishment. The bill implements the policy and principle behind state and federal exemption laws by ensuring that protection is offered up front, at the bank account level, rather than requiring an expensive and delayed court hearing.
“Veterans’ benefits, disability benefits, social security benefits – these are crucial programs that are designed to create a safety net for vulnerable people. That’s why state and federal laws declare these benefits exempt from collection,” said Sybil Hebb, an attorney at the Oregon Law Center. “Often, these benefits are our clients’ only source of income. Losing that money to a garnishment means missing rent and utility payments, not being able to pay for food or medication – these garnishments are shredding our safety nets.”
Last month, Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA) was called by a VA veteran service officer in Portland, who had a veteran in ICU for two weeks. During that time, a creditor garnished every single dime from his bank account, and nearly made the disabled veteran homeless because the disability pension funds in his account were just enough for his rent payment. He could do nothing on his own to remedy the situation. OWVA contacted his landlord made arrangements to pay three months rent, so he wouldn't have to worry about losing his house while in the hospital and treatment center. There were no other (veteran or otherwise) resources available to him, and without OWVA's help, he would be on the street today. SB 731A would have stopped the illegal garnishment from ever happening.
“This bill simply implements the policy and principle behind state and federal exemption laws by ensuring that protection is offered up front, at the bank account level, rather than requiring an expensive and delayed court hearing,” said Greg Warnock, the Executive Director of Oregon War Veterans Association. “Current law already provides that creditors are not entitled to exempt funds, so banks and collection companies should not be fighting this legislation, if they already comply with the law.”
The Oregon War Veterans Association urges the Senate to support SB 731A to protect our veterans from further economic vulnerability without attacking creditors.
Salem, Oregon – Today, the Senate unanimously approved a bill to protect servicemembers from violations of their rights under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). HB 2303 will allow servicemembers to effectively fight civil abuses by creditors. The bill, which was drafted by members of the Oregon Bar Association, will make creditors responsible for damages and attorney fees to veterans if they violate the SCRA.
“Congress did not create the protections as something akin to a veterans benefit,” said Jesse Barton, Attorney at Law. “Congress created the protections for the primary purpose of providing for, strengthening, and expediting the national defense. The provisions enable servicemembers to devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the nation without worrying about predator collectors. Passing HB 2303 is a step in the right direction.”
Earlier this week, the Senate Committee on Education and General Government held a work session on Senate Bill 633, which urges the state government to withdraw funds invested in Iran. Oregon seeks to be one of the first states to divest from this unstable country. The bill gained strong support from both the committee and the State Treasurer, Ben Westlund. The bill is expected to pass on the Senate Floor shortly.
“It’s time our state took a stance on Iran’s killing of our soldiers,” said Greg Warnock, the Executive Director of the Oregon War Veterans Association. “SB 633 is not the legislation we sought out to pass, but it is a step that relieves some of the public pressure about doing the right thing for our combat troops.”
During the same committee meeting, Senate Bill 920, a bill that allows the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program (OYCP) to receive State School Fund distribution, gained unanimous support and is now headed to the Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue for further review.
The OYCP is a mentor active, cost free, drug free, coed, residential/post-residential program conducted at the Central Oregon Training and Education Facility (COTEF) in Bend, Oregon. It is an “at-risk” youth program that targets unemployed and underemployed male and female teens ages 16 to 18 who have dropped out or are struggling with school. The program’s mission is to provide work skills and alternative learning opportunities to meet the unique individual needs of students in order to increase positive behavioral and academic skills.
“SB 920 enjoyed unanimous support by the committee, and we are thankful to the members and Chair Hass for their insight on how great a program OYCP actually is,” said Greg Warnock, OWVA. “This has been an exciting week and OWVA is thankful for its support from the legislature.”
OWVA Asks for a “Do Pass” Recommendation
Salem, Oregon – Today, the Senate Committee on Education and General Government will hold a public hearing and work session on Senate Bill 920, which allows the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program (OYCP) to receive State School Fund distribution. The OYCP is a mentor active, cost free, drug free, coed, residential/post-residential program conducted at the Central Oregon Training and Education Facility (COTEF) in Bend, Oregon. It is an “at-risk” youth program that targets unemployed and underemployed male and female teens ages 16 to 18 that have dropped out or are struggling with school. The program’s mission is to provide work skills and alternative learning opportunities to meet the unique individual needs of students in order to increase positive behavioral and academic skills.
“We realize that the legislature must deal with a faltering economy during one of the worst recessions this state has seen,” said Greg Warnock, the Executive Director of the Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA). “However, cutting the nation’s most successful program for “at risk” teens will not solve the problem. It will make it worse. In fact, that for every $1.00 dollar spent on the Oregon Youth Challenge Program, the State will receive $3.00 in matching Federal monies as of next year. This is money our state must maintain. ”
The OYCP is the number one “at-risk” educational program in the nation and has successfully graduated over 3,000 students since 1994. Over 80% of its graduates are successful post graduation and only 1% of its students have been detained in jail-a dramatically lower number than the “at-risk” teens who do not attend the program.
Day after day, we hear legislators talk about the solution to Oregon’s economic recession being education. In a year when education is a priority, diminishing the best academic program for “at-risk” teens is counterproductive. Our teens and our state need this program.
“OWVA is heavily involved in the Oregon Youth Challenge Program in mentorship and fundraising “said Greg Warnock, the President of OWVA. “In fact, one of my own sons is a successful graduate of OYCP. OYCP is a very high priority for OWVA. We will do whatever it takes to keep this program running.”
If SB 920 is passed out of committee with a “do pass” recommendation, it will head to Finance and Revenue for further consideration.
# # #
OWVA Supports Maxwell’s Appeal
Salem, Oregon – Today, Jeffery Maxwell, the Marine veteran WOU suspended after learning that he was lawfully carrying a concealed weapon on campus, filed a petition with the Oregon Court of Appeals for judicial review. This petition starts an appeal of Western Oregon University’s (WOU) decision to suspend Maxwell and seeks to override the university’s requirements to be reinstated into the college. These requirements add an extra burden solely on Maxwell for his reinstatement to any university under the Oregon University System.
“This particular case encompasses much more than the Second Amendment right,” said Greg Warnock, the Executive Director of the Oregon War Veterans Association. “This case is about protecting this veteran’s rights. Our association is about placing veterans first for their service to our country, and we want to ensure that Jeff Maxwell receives that same courtesy.”
In January, Maxwell was arrested for carrying a concealed handgun on campus. The Polk County District Attorney’s Office later dismissed these charges when Maxwell confirmed that he had the necessary permit to carry a concealed weapon. However, the dismissal of his charges did not change the university’s disciplinary decision to suspend Maxwell until June 12, 2009.
“This issue has become a matter of principle,” said Maxwell. “I should not be punished for something that is unwarranted. I’ve lost my educational benefits from the G.I. Bill, and have been publicly humiliated in front of my peers. The university’s suspension decision is no more supported by the law than was my false arrest for lawful possession of concealed handgun. I should be allowed to re-enroll under the same terms as anyone else.”
Without the appeal, Maxwell must complete a 10-page paper, with citations of authority, to be reinstated into the university in June. Even with the completion of the paper, WOU still has the power and authority to accept or deny the essay, meaning it could further delay Maxwell’s re-enrollment. WOU does not impose this type of enrollment requirement on anyone but Maxwell.
“It will be several months until the court issues its decision, so time becomes a factor,” said Jesse Barton, Maxwell’s legal counsel and one of OWVA’s attorneys. “Our goal of the petition is to allow Jeff Maxwell, an honorably discharged Marine who compiled an excellent record at Western Oregon and at Linn-Benton Community College before that, and who is on the staff of the Mitchell Group Home in Albany, to continue his pursuit of his chosen professional field.”
The university now has 30 days to provide the Court of Appeals with the entire record of the university’s proceedings regarding this case. A court date is expected in the upcoming months.
For more information, contact:
Attorney at Law
Phone (503) 391-6283
Executive Director, OWVA
Phone (503) 689-4145
# # #
SALEM, OR -- Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA) just learned that Jeff Maxwell, the Western Oregon University (WOU) Student who was illegally arrested and subsequently suspended from school for carrying a concealed weapon was just told that he cannot attend ANY Oregon University.
Michelle Sandlin, admissions director of Oregon State University, told Maxwell today that he would not be allowed to attend OSU, even though they admitted him recently- after he was suspended by WOU.
Maxwell has a concealed handgun permit, and is permitted to carry a handgun according to Oregon Law, and the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. Western Oregon University has since withdrawn their charge against Maxwell for carrying a handgun, but came up with a trumped charge about his carrying a knife and having an unloaded hunting rifle in his locked vehicle. All charges were dropped by the Sheriff’s office as inappropriate, but WOU officials stand by their ruling and punishment of Maxwell.
Jess Barton, the Salem attorney retained by OWVA to represent Maxwell, who is a veteran Marine and member of the association, told OWVA’s executive director, Greg Warnock, that, “Oregon law affords Jeff Maxwell a full and fair opportunity to establish that WOU wrongfully suspended him based on his mere possession of items that ordinary and constitutional law deem lawful....” Barton, a seasoned appellate attorney is confident in winning the case for Maxwell.
Barton will file a petition for judicial review at the Oregon Court of Appeals this month, to force the university to redress their wrong official action taken, as well as ask for penalties and attorney fees. Restitution will also be sought now, since Maxwell has lost his GI Educational Benefits, including housing and other expenses when he was suspended. He also lost the tuition and fees and book charges for last semester, which he prepaid.
OWVA and their legal counsel is representing Maxwell in this case because “we believe that the U.S. Constitution, and Oregon Statues trump the policies of the university system, and we are shocked at the humiliating treatment WOU has dished out to a responsible, veteran Marine, who broke no laws what-so-ever,” reported Warnock to Melica Johnson, from KATU News recently. “WOU’s immature, irresponsible and illegal actions will unfortunately cost the State of Oregon an enormous amount of money in damages- when they have no money to spare. It is shameful.”
In addition to filing a petition for a State judicial review in the Oregon Courts, OWVA and the Oregon Firearms Federation are supporting federal charges against WOU and the Oregon University System (OUS), for violations against Maxwell’s civil rights. The Law firm of BOPP, COLESON & BOSTROM, a very successful firm out of Indiana, have been retained by OWVA and will provide counsel in this case as needed.
For more information, please contact:
Attorney at Law
Phone (503) 391-6283
Executive Director, OWVA
Phone (503) 689-4145
On behalf of the directors, members and staff of Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA), OWVA would like to voice its support for SB 731 to protect the vulnerability of Oregon War Veterans. SB 731 will protect a basic minimum level of funds (proposed at $2,500) in accounts containing reasonably identifiable exempt direct deposits from garnishment.
Day after day, even more so during these tough economic times, veterans find themselves struggling to pay their bills. Even more disheartening is when veterans lose their exempt funds. Veterans often assume their money is safe when it is being directly deposited, when in reality the money can be garnished. A garnishment often results in multiple bank overdraw fees merely adding to the pre-existing debt. Some veterans that find themselves in this situation may choose to participate in the Claim of Exemption Process. This process allows the person to go to court to fight the garnishment. Unfortunately, when participating in the Claim of Exemption Process, the individual often ends up paying additional fees. Time also becomes a factor as many people spend many weeks (sometimes months) without their exempt income.
It is important to understand that exempt funds over the minimum level of protections may still be exempt from collection. SB 731 states that the court must be the “first in, first out” method of accounting to determine which amounts are exempt from collection. This is the most commonly used principle of accounting and will not be a difficult transition.
Finally, this bill is fair to creditors because creditors are not entitled to exempt funds. If passed, SB 731 will allow creditors to avoid going through the garnishment and claim of exemption process. In addition, amounts over the minimum level will still be subject to garnishment, even if exempt. And while the minimum level of automatic protection provided by the bill may, in some cases, protect some co-mingled non-exempt funds, the reality is that the majority of these vulnerable people do not have many non-exempt funds in their accounts.
The Oregon War Veterans Association urges your support of SB 731 to protect our veterans from further economic vulnerability without attacking creditors.
Prepared by Nellie deVries, Public Affairs Director of the Oregon War Veterans Association
Oregon War Veterans Association is proud to announce the publication of the following bills for the 2009 Oregon Legislative Assembly:
SB 917 - Expands number of health care providers eligible for income tax credit allowed for initially contracting to provide health care services in TRICARE system by including providers who entered contracts on or after January 1, 2006.
SB 918 - Creates tax credit for taxpayer who is veteran and who pays or incurs premium costs during tax year for long term care insurance that provides long term care coverage of taxpayer.
SB 919 - Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Oregon Military Department for Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program.
SB 920 - Allows Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program to receive State School Fund distribution.
SB 921 - Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Oregon Military Emergency Financial Assistance Fund for purpose of funding Oregon Military Emergency Financial Assistance Program.
SB 922 - Directs each public post-secondary institution to report on number of veterans who are attending institution.
SB 923 - Makes retroactive a solution made in 2003, involving disabled veterans who pay child support, and requires DOJ to repair damaged credit reports.
SB 924 - Expands exemption from taxable income allowed for compensation earned by members of Armed Forces of United States by including inactive duty training pay.
SB 925 - Establishes Oregon Graduate and Professional Education Program for Veterans. Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Oregon Student Assistance Commission for tuition grants for 2009-2011 biennium.
SB 926 - Exempts honorably discharged and retired members of military from various crimes relating to possession of weapon.
Oregon War Veterans Association would like to thank Senator Boquist (R-Dallas) for sponsoring this legislation on behalf of the organization.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more Information: Nellie deVries (541) 601-7272
Salem, Oregon—Today, the Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA) publicly announced its decision to file a lawsuit against Western Oregon University (WOU) for its violation of the Second Amendment right to carry a gun and its decision to expel veteran Marine, Jeff Maxwell. The university suspended Maxwell for a year upon discovering he carried a concealed handgun onto campus.
In addition to his unlawful discipline, WOU humiliated the 30 year old, veteran Marine by mandating that he receive psychiatric evaluation and write a ten page paper on civil obedience before his readmission into the university.
Greg Warnock, the Executive Director of OWVA, believes that state leaders must acknowledge this injustice. “Attorney General John Kroger, a marine veteran, raised his right hand and swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America,” said Warnock. “His sworn pledge does not include protections for the administrative rules of Western Oregon University. OWVA thinks it would be wise for the Attorney General to intervene in this complex situation and advise Western Oregon University to correct its wrongdoing and apologize to Maxwell.”
“This issue is not only about protecting constitutional gun rights,” Warnock. “It’s also about protecting a veteran marine from an unjust suspension.” Maxwell is a competent gun owner, with a license (CHL) to carry a concealed handgun. According to Oregon Statutes, all legal CHL holders are authorized to carry a concealed weapon in all areas, even capitol buildings, unless there is a physical posting outside the entrance to the facility or building specifically banning weapons. OWVA’s legal counsel is preparing to file a law suit against WOU, on behalf of Jeff Maxwell.
OWVA firmly expects Western Oregon University to reverse its decision to suspend Maxwell, restore his lost academic credits, present an apology to the Marine for the humiliation this ordeal caused, and develop a sound policy that protects his right to carry a concealed handgun, in accordance with the law. On these things, “we will not waiver,” said Warnock to members of the media earlier today.