Congressman Panetta Legislation for Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Unanimously Passes the U.S. House of Representatives

February 26, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s (D-Carmel Valley) bipartisan legislation, the Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act, H.R.3749.  The Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide grants to organizations that provide legal services to homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness.  The legislation would also appropriate at least $20 million to organizations that have a focus on providing assistance to women veterans and their families.

"Accessing legal aid should not be an added hoop to jump through for veterans struggling with or on the brink of homelessness.  The Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act provides veterans, and supportive and surrounding organizations, the resources necessary to help them resolve legal issues and get back on their feet so that they can get back to being an integral part of our community and country," said Congressman Panetta.  "I am proud that the House passed my legislation on such a strong bipartisan vote and I hope to work with my colleagues in the Senate to get this bill passed into law."

"Sadly, the California Central Coast has seen a recent rise in the number of homeless veterans.  Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties have strong Veterans Treatment Court programs to help justice-involved veterans, however resources directed towards assisting homeless veterans overcome legal barriers remain very limited.  The Veterans Transition Center and I congratulate Congressman Panetta on this bipartisan success to help our homeless veterans overcome legal and financial barriers to permanent housing!" said Jack Murphy, Deputy Executive Director, Veterans Transition Center.

Original cosponsors of the bill include fellow veteran members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), Congressman Greg Steube (FL-17), Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18), Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02), and Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-06).  The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and the American Bar Association have endorsed this legislation. 

Watch Congressman Panetta’s remarks on his legislation on the House floor here.