“Nevada finds funding for every Specialty Court with the exception of Veterans Court”

Press Release
Melody Howard, President, Veterans in Politics – Nevada Chapter 702 400 6021

Steve Sanson President Veterans In Politics International 702 283 8088

 

“Nevada finds funding for every Specialty Court with the exception of Veterans Court”

Carson City Nevada, on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, AB84 will be discussed before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 9:00 a.m. This Bill involves the Veterans Court that was established in the 2009 legislative session.

 

We urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote against AB84 as “Amended,” in which the revised Bill states that a Veterans Court will be allowed “only if funding is available.” To set a condition that targets only the Veterans Court is an injustice to all Veterans, and their families, throughout the State of Nevada.

 

As this Committee knows, Nevada currently has 46 specialty courts and the 2009 legislature unanimously approved the 46th specialty court – Veterans Court. These specialty courts include: 29 urban and 17 rural programs. These 46 programs include 17 adult drug courts including, diversion and child support, 3 family drug courts, 3 mental health courts, 6 juvenile drug courts, 2 prison re-entry courts, 6 DUI courts, 5 hybrid DUI/drug courts, 1 prostitution prevention court, 1 veterans treatment court, and 2 habitual offender courts. See http://www.nevadajudiciary.us/index.php/specalitycourts

We recognize that funding has been brought up by the Clark County District Court as a reason to ignore NRS 176.015, and that the revised AB84 states that this particular court is an “unfunded mandate.” This is simply untrue. NRS 176.0613 authorizes the collection of $7.00 from every traffic ticket “for the provision of specialty court programs.

 

NRS 176.0613 Additional administrative assessment for misdemeanor: Authorization; collection; distribution; limitations on use.

Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, when a defendant pleads guilty or guilty but mentally ill or is found guilty or guilty but mentally ill of a misdemeanor, including the violation of any municipal ordinance, the justice or judge shall include in the sentence the sum of $7 as an administrative assessment        for the provision of specialty court programs and render a judgment against the defendant for the assessment. If a defendant sentenced to perform community service in lieu of a fine, the sentence must include the administrative assessment required pursuant to this subsection.

 

Many states are adopting Veterans Courts. They are the least expensive specialty court. Things such as drug testing, PTSD counseling, and others required by the programs are generally funded by the Veterans Administration (“VA”). Further, while drug courts cater to the average person who became addicted, the Veterans Court and the VA focus on the PTSD issues, as well as the addictions to painkillers they may be suffering as a result of injuries they suffered in war (as opposed to the willing participation of persons addicted to meth, illegal pain killers, heroin, etc.).

 

This legislature should be embracing legislation that helps our Veterans – not placing conditions on the means of helping them integrate into civilian life. We encourage you to either remove the language “only if funding is available,” or allow AB84, as amended, to die in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

Tick Segerblom   (C)

tsegerblom@sen.state.nv.us

775-684-1422

Ruben Kihuen (VC)

Ruben.Kihuen@sen.state.nv.us

775-684-1427

Aaron   D. Ford

Aaron.Ford@sen.state.nv.us

775-684-6502

Justin Jones

Justin.Jones@sen.state.nv.us

775-684-1421

Gregory Brower

Greg.Brower@sen.state.nv.us

775-684-1419

Scott Hammond

Scott.Hammond@sen.state.nv.us

775-684-1442

Mark Hutchison

Mark.Hutchison@sen.state.nv.us

775-684-1475

 

 

                       

1 The veteran’s treatment court referenced on the Supreme Court’s website has not been updated and references the Washoe County Court’s program. Clark County began an “official” veteran’s treatment court in September 2012 under The Honorable Linda Bell.

 

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