For Immediate Release:
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Aaron Ford for Attorney General Announces Veterans Policy Plan
Las Vegas, NV -- Today, Aaron Ford, candidate for Nevada Attorney General, released his veterans policy plan and made the following statement:
“We must honor and empower veterans, members of our military and their families who have made many sacrifices to protect our freedoms. As Attorney General, I will take on scammers who prey on Nevada veterans and their families and work to ensure veterans transitioning to civilian life and retirement have access to housing, health care, and employment resources. As the brother of an Army reservist, this issue is deeply personal to me and my family. To the hundreds of thousands of veterans, active duty military, and military family members in Nevada, I stand with you.”
Aaron’s brother, TJ Ford, a member of the armed services, said the following:
“I know firsthand how much my brother cares about military families like ours. Supporting veterans is personal for Aaron. As Nevada Attorney General, he'll stand up for veterans and their families.”
Aaron’s plan has already been well-received by leaders in the veterans community:
“Aaron is a proven advocate for veterans,” said Richard Carreon, President of the Nevada Veterans Association. “In the state senate, Aaron fought for veterans. From increasing access to affordable housing, supporting veteran-owned businesses, and expanding consumer protections, Aaron has always looked out for veterans in Nevada. His inclusivity of all veterans opened a much needed dialogue to gain the initiative on a number of key issues. His plan to support veterans is commendable, and I look forward to working with him as Nevada’s next Attorney General.”
“Over the years, veterans have always been able to count on Aaron Ford’s support,” said Mike Kelly, President of Nevada Democratic Veterans and Military Families Caucus. “Aaron has been an outspoken advocate for veteran causes, in both word and deed. His plan includes many critical steps we need to take here in Nevada to protect veterans and their families. I know that Aaron Ford will be the Nevada Attorney General that veterans deserve.”
Aaron Ford For Attorney General Veterans Policy Plan
Veterans, members of the military and military families make great sacrifices to protect and serve our country. We’re proud that over 400,000 veterans and active duty military, as well as their families, call Nevada home. Aaron Ford believes that Nevada should lead the way when it comes to serving those who served our country, and as Attorney General, he will honor and empower veterans and their families and be a vocal advocate on their behalf.
I. Strengthen consumer protections for active duty members of the military and their families.
Members of the military and their families know that service often means having to relocate, sometimes with little notice. Nevada should make this reality as easy as possible. As Senate Majority Leader, Aaron passed legislation allowing military personnel who are ordered to relocate to be able to terminate service contracts like gym memberships, cell phone and internet service agreements without penalty. There is more Nevada can do to make life easier for military families. As Attorney General, Aaron will do the following:
1. Work with the Nevada State Legislature and the Governor to strengthen laws that protect military families when a family member is deployed or must relocate due to service.
2. Ensure that members of the military and veterans know about these laws that protect them. As Attorney General, Aaron will ensure the Nevada Attorney General’s Office of Military Legal Assistance has the resources it needs to assist anyone who is eligible.
3. Ensure that the mission of the Office of Military Legal Assistance includes liaising with the Department of Veterans Services, veterans service organizations and other stakeholders in the veterans community to make sure all members of the military and veterans know their rights and how to access resources here in Nevada.
II. Protect veterans from scams through strict enforcement of existing laws against scammers and toughen laws against those who seek to defraud veterans.
Aaron will get tough on those targeting veterans’ pensions and benefits.
According to the AARP, 80 percent of veterans surveyed reported encountering veteran-specific scams. As Attorney General, Aaron will take on any scammers who prey on veterans, including pension poachers who target veterans’ pensions and benefits. Aaron will work with the Nevada State Legislature to pass legislation that allows the Office of the Attorney General to take these scammers head on and prevent them from doing harm to our veterans.
Aaron will empower veterans and their families to protect themselves from scams.
Under Aaron, the Office of the Attorney General will work with the veterans community and active military installations to make sure veterans, and military families, including surviving spouses, know the warning signs of scams so they can protect themselves. He’ll also work to make sure anyone approached by a scammer knows how to report an attempted scam.
Aaron will stand up for veterans who were defrauded while seeking an education.
Members of the military and veterans have also been targeted by institutions that defraud students through deceptive information and other schemes. For example, Everest College in Henderson, NV was part of the Corinthian College chain of for-profit schools that lost accreditation due to fraudulent practices and went bankrupt. These students, including many veterans, were told that their federal loans would be canceled. But the U.S. Department of Education’s Betsy DeVos has now reneged on that promise and will only cancel a portion of their loans. Other state Attorneys General are fighting to make sure defrauded students and veterans get their money back. Our current Attorney General, however, has not joined them. Aaron will take on the federal government to make sure students and veterans don’t pay for an education built on fraud.
III. Continue to ensure veterans have the resources they need when transitioning to civilian life and retirement.
Transitioning from military to civilian life can be difficult for veterans and their families who face unique housing, employment and health care challenges in civilian life and retirement. The Attorney General’s Office should do everything in its power to ease this transition.
Thanks to the hard work of local governments and community organizations, the number of homeless veterans in Nevada is on the decline. Aaron is proud to have sponsored legislation to construct the Northern Nevada Veterans Home to continue building on this success. As Attorney General, Aaron will work to help veterans get affordable housing. The Office of the Attorney General currently operates Home Again, a free service that educates Nevada residents on housing resources, including down payment assistance and refinancing. As Attorney General, Aaron will work to ensure Home Again has the resources it needs to operate a robust program, including coordination with veterans service organizations.
Veterans have special skills and a commitment to service that make them a valuable asset to any team. Aaron wants to help connect veterans with employers. Aaron is proud to have voted for legislation creating the position of Veteran Personnel Coordinator in the Department of Administration, which focuses on recruiting and hiring veterans and spouses of persons killed in the line of duty. Aaron will work with the Veteran Personnel Coordinator to make sure veterans know about open positions in the Office of the Attorney General and work to make the Office of the Attorney General an example for all state agencies in the successful recruitment and retention of veterans as employees.
Substance abuse treatment
Many veterans and their families suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. To make matters worse, the devastating opioid crisis in Nevada has hit the veterans community particularly hard. Nevada’s current Attorney General chairs the state’s Substance Abuse Working Group, but veterans were not mentioned a single time in the minutes of any meeting of the Working Group in 2017. As Attorney General, Aaron will ensure veteran advocates have a seat at the table as we confront this crisis.
Aaron will also make sure that programs for veterans and their families are fully supported by the Attorney General’s Office. Aaron will coordinate with other agencies to ensure veterans and their families have the resources they need to prevent substance abuse and related problems. Aaron will also support veterans when they encounter the criminal justice system. For example, the 8th Judicial District located in Clark County has a veterans court that specifically addresses the needs of veterans charged with criminal offenses. This veterans court offers treatment and connections to services that provide health care, housing and employment assistance. Aaron will also work with the veterans court and other agencies and organizations to get spouses of veterans in the veterans court program access to the resources they need. Of the 2.6 million veterans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, more than half return with mental health conditions. When underlying issues are not addressed, many continue to cycle through the criminal justice system. By getting people the treatment they need, veterans courts reduce recidivism. Aaron will work with all Nevada courts to facilitate appropriate assistance to veterans.