By Sean Whaley | Nevada News Bureau
CARSON CITY – A legislative panel on Wednesday voted to request that a bill be drafted and introduced in the 2013 session requiring the Clark County District Court to create a Veterans’ specialty court.
The Legislative Committee on Senior Citizens, Veterans and Adults with Special Needs voted unanimously in a work session to seek the legislation. But the interim committee also voted to write a letter to the Clark County District Court asking it to establish a Veterans’ Court on its own so legislative action would not be necessary.
The Legislature authorized the creation of Veterans’ Courts through a bill sponsored by former Speaker Barbara Buckley in 2009. But the measure authorized rather than mandated courts to establish such specialty courts program for veterans and members of the military.
The Washoe County District Court has established a Veterans’ Court, but it is the only district court that has established such a program.
The aim of the court would be to handle special cases of veterans struggling to adjust to civilian life after ending their military service.
Assemblyman Elliot Anderson, D-Las Vegas, a veteran and member of the committee, said testimony indicated the Washoe Veterans’ Court has been successful in reducing recidivism among veterans, ultimately reducing money spent on incarceration. The testimony also indicated the court has assisted veterans in obtaining a variety of services and benefits, he said.