North Carolina Seal

RALEIGH — The North Carolina House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 370: No Veteran Left Behind. on April 21. This legislation would establish and implement a pilot program to expand the Veterans Justice Intervention program.

The Veterans Justice Intervention program helps justice-involved veterans who suffer from unique mental health and substance abuse issues avoid unnecessary extended incarceration by ensuring that eligible veterans have timely access to veterans’ services.

“We are very fortunate to partner with the Independence Fund” said Speaker Tim Moore. “The work they have done to support veterans has made a tremendous impact and we are excited to continue the work of helping the heroes who have sacrificed so much for us.”

The bill appropriates a directed grant of $1,000,000 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year to The Independence Fund, Inc., to establish and implement the pilot program. The Independence Fund, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of veterans and their families.

“As a thirty-three year law enforcement veteran, this is a much-needed bill that will be a great benefit to local communities,” said Rep. Charlie Miller (R-Brunswick), who is a primary bill sponsor and the Chief Deputy of the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. “I have personally dealt with situations where this training would have been very helpful. I want to thank The Independence Fund for their partnership in this effort to provide law enforcement with additional tools to assist veterans.”

“I was humbled to be on the House floor with a number of wounded warriors who sacrificed for our freedom as we considered the “No Veteran Left Behind Act,” Rep. Dudley Greene, who represents Avery, Mitchell and McDowell counties in the NC House, said. “As a former sheriff, son of a WWII veteran, and dad of an active soldier I was honored to speak in favor of the bill (which passed unanimously)... and especially proud that an agency in our district (McDowell County Sheriff’s Office) has been designated as a pilot location for this important program.”

House Bill 370 was sent to the Senate for consideration.

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