SALT LAKE CITY — A bill reauthorizing a task force to create a statewide action plan that assists veterans to adjust to civilian society passed 68-7 Wednesday in the House.

The bill already passed the Senate and will now go to the governor for his consideration.

Under SB38, sponsored by Sen. Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City, the Veteran's Reintegration Task Force would be reauthorized to examine the issues affecting veterans and their families dealing with the challenges associated with returning home and adjusting to civilian society.

The U.S. has been in one of its longest engagements with repeated and frequent deployments since Sept. 11, 2001, said the bill's House sponsor, Rep. Tim Cosgrove, D-Murray.

"A lot of people think that our work is done once we are no longer deploying service men and women," Cosgrove said. "Over 1 million servicemen and women will be separating and discharging from the military within the next five years. The task force provides support and leadership through a collaborative and comprehensive approach to increase access to appropriate services the servicemen and women have earned.”

He said the task force will take a collaborative approach to addressing such challenges as managing finances, mental health, obtaining healthcare, accessing benefits, post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, suicide and difficulties re-establishing family relationships. 

The bill passed without discussion.

Rachel Lowry