O’Mara bill to fund Veterans’ Trust Fund unanimously passes through House

HARRISBURG, June 20 – A bill by state Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, to raise money for veterans’ care in Pennsylvania unanimously passed the state House of Representatives today.

House Bill 1609 increases the voluntary contribution amount that a person can make to the Veterans’ Trust Fund when renewing a driver’s license, ID card or vehicle registration.

The voluntary contribution amount will be increased from $3 to $5 when applying for or renewing a driver’s license, ID card or vehicle registration. The amount will increase from $6 to $10 when applying for or renewing a two-year vehicle registration through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation website.

“So many of our Commonwealth’s veterans need our help when they return home,” O’Mara said. “Various statewide charities, service organizations and VA offices do their best to assist, and this extra funding ensures that more people – who sacrificed for our safety and freedom – will receive the services they need.”

The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is not currently funded to cover veterans’ homelessness, mental health issues, employment issues, aging issues, judicial issues, education, transportation and training, all needs that the Veterans’ Trust Fund can address so long as funds are available, O’Mara said.

According to the DMVA, increasing the voluntary contribution amount will nearly double the Veterans’ Trust Fund’s annual revenue to nearly $3 million based on numbers from the 2017-18 fiscal year. More than 95% of the Trust Fund’s annual revenue is generated through PennDOT donations.

O’Mara’s husband – a combat veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient – and father-in-law joined her on the House Floor for recognition earlier Thursday.