Roadrunner Capitol Reports
Legislation Detail


Rep Eliseo Lee Alcon

Actions: [5] HLVMC/HAFC-HLVMC [9] DP-HAFC [10] DP/a [13] PASSED/H (63-1) [9] SHPAC-SHPAC- DP [14] PASSED/S (37-0) SGND BY GOV (Feb. 29) Ch. 20.

Scheduled: Not Scheduled

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 HB 298 creates the Service Members and Veterans Suicide Prevention Act and Program. The Veterans Services Department is directed to initiate a program of community education and planning for suicide prevention services. Certain reports are required.  
Legislation Overview:
 Synopsis: HB 298 enacts the Service Members and Veterans Suicide Prevention Act with the Veterans Services Department Act and provides Department responsibilities to raise awareness regarding suicide with the populations of service members, veterans, and military and veteran family members and to increase access to suicide prevention resources. HB 298 provides definitions and makes an appropriation.

Analysis: House Bill 298 (HB 298) enacts the Service Members and Veterans Suicide Prevention Act and also program.
The Service Members and Veterans Suicide Prevention Program is established within the Department. If deemed appropriate, the Department may develop and operate the program in collaboration with the department of health or other state agencies and when practicable with community services organizations, including nonprofit organizations, and with federal partners and individuals directly impacted by risk of or loss from suicide of a service member, veteran, or family member.
The program shall be designed to: 
1.)raise awareness of and reduce death by suicide, (2) work to reduce barriers at the community and individual level that increase the risk of suicide; (3) connect service members, veterans and family members whose need for services are based upon a risk of death by suicide or other circumstances, (4) raise awareness of and access to behavioral health services and resources and promote evidence of best practices and safe messaging, (5) within the framework of the program, advocate for service members, veterans and family members at risk for suicide; and (6) work to increase public awareness.

The Department shall develop methods to provide support and guidance to communities aiding in the development of strategic planning designed to reduce suicide among service members, veterans, and family members.
The Department shall collaborate with the Department of Health and any other appropriate state agency to promote mental health awareness. The Department shall provide appropriate training to Department staff including appropriate educational materials to staff and other departments. 
An annual written report by October 30, 2024, shall be provided to the Interim Legislative Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and the Governor. The report shall include program efforts made and successes, pertinent data-driven information and barriers faced and shall be posted on the Department's website.
No later than December 1, 2024, the Department shall promulgate rules for the carrying out of the provisions of the Service Members and Veterans Suicide Prevention Act. An appropriation of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for expenditures in fiscal year 2025 is made. 

 Amended February 7, 2024 in HAFC
HAFCa/HB298: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee amended HB298a by striking the entire appropriation (Section 7) of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000)