State Veterans Issues Focus Of Multiple Studies

Aug 2, 2013

Rep. Tommy Hardin(R-Ardmore) and Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Ardmore) are hosting several interim studies pertaining to the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Centers.

Veterans center in Ardmore, Okla.
Credit Oklahoma Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Hardin’s study focuses on ODVA’s request to declassify certain positions in veteran’s centers. The request was previously approved by a committee but due to its legislative nature, Hardin requested the study.

“We want to make sure we aren’t going to open it back up again where an administrator has a team and can fire people at will without any worries about it,” Hardin said. “Direct care staff that directly handle veterans, it’s not a glamour position by any means. So, is this going to increase the turnover rate? Can unclassified positions get a pay raise?”

Individuals to hopefully be involved with the study, Hardin said, will be ODVA Director John McReynolds and Oklahoma Public Employees Association Executive Director Sterling Zearley.

Hardin said he is working on questions to expedite the study but nothing is confirmed on time, date or participants.

Simpson, R-Ardmore, is conducting three interim studies along the same subject of veterans.

His three studies to be heard by the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, which he chairs, focus on the War Veterans Commission, entry to state veterans centers and staffing in veterans centers.