Bill providing equitable benefits for LGBT+ veterans passes
Legislation would ensure LGBT+ veterans are able to access benefits despite being discharged due to their personal identity
The Senate unanimously passed the Restoration of Honor Act, sponsored by Senator Dominick Moreno. The bill, SB21-026, would ensure that LGBT+ veterans who receive a dishonorable discharge from the military can access the same veteran benefits as their peers, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Anyone who serves this country should be able to return home and be provided with all of the resources our state can muster to improve and enhance their lives after service,” said Senator Dominick Moreno, D-Denver. “However, LGBT+ veterans who were discharged from the military for being who they are, cannot access the same benefits as their peers. This is unacceptable. We must ensure that all veterans – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity – can access the benefits they deserve, and that’s what this bill seeks to accomplish.”
During the era of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”, servicemen and women were discharged other than honorably due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. Because of this kind of discharge status, there are currently LGBTQ+ Coloradans that do not qualify for certain state programs and benefits.
As such, Senator Moreno’s bill would establish a “discharged LGBT veteran” status for the purpose of Colorado law and amend various existing state programs to make a discharged LGBT veteran eligible for such benefits.
Having passed the Senate on Third Reading, the bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. To track the progress of the bill, visit the Colorado General Assembly’s website.
IRS extends April 15 deadlines for Texas and other residents
Victims of this month’s winter storms in Texas will have until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced.
Following The recent disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS is providing this relief to the entire state of Texas. But taxpayers in other states impacted by these winter storms that receive similar FEMA disaster declarations will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. made additional disaster assistance available to the State of Louisiana by authorizing an increase in the level of federal funding for Public Assistance projects undertaken in the State of Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Laura during the period of August 22 to August 27, 2020. Under the major disaster declaration issued for the State of Louisiana on August 28, 2020, federal funding was made available for Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation, and Other Needs Assistance at 75 percent of the total eligible costs.
The Governor extended an Executive Order requiring hospitals and freestanding emergency departments that have reached capacity or are reasonably anticipated to reach capacity to notify the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and providing CDPHE with authority to direct those facilities to cease admitting new patients and/or transfer patients.
To support Denver’s communities of color and older adult residents, Mayor Michael B. Hancock is leading a series of vaccine-focused panel discussions, town halls and honest conversations about the impacts of COVID-19. Vaccinating a significant majority of the population will be key to ending this pandemic, and it is critical that people have the facts. (https://bit.ly/2NPvPhA).