Friday, May 16, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter today signed into law House Bill 08-1078, which restores to the Colorado Veterans Trust Fund nearly $3 million that was used in March 2003 to help the state pay for General Fund expenses.


Gov. Ritter signed the bill at the Aurora Chamber of Commerce's annual Armed Forces Recognition Luncheon. He was joined by bill sponsor Rep. Bernie Buescher as well as Rep. Nancy Todd.


"Colorado has a proud tradition of honoring its military communities," Gov. Ritter said. "As a society, we have a moral obligation to fully provide for our veterans and active-duty personnel. 

During my campaign, I promised to ensure that our veterans and their families would receive every available dollar, and I'm pleased that we are able to fulfill that promise today."


HB 1078 returns $2.9 million from the General Fund to the Trust Fund, representing the $2.3 million initially removed from the Trust Fund plus interest.
"This legislation is long overdue," Rep. Buescher said. "We value the commitment of our veterans and their service to our great country."
By restoring these funds, the Veterans Trust Fund will be able to maintain and continue providing grants to non-profit veterans programs across the state.
The Trust Fund was created to receive 1 percent, up to $1 million, in tobacco settlement monies. A percentage of those funds were to be kept in the Trust Fund as principal, and the dollars were to be available to the Colorado State Veterans Board to help with:
·         Capital improvement projects for veterans nursing homes;
·         Veteran cemetery costs; and
·         Grants to non-profit veterans programs.