Senator King’s July 10 News Letter

News from Senator King’s officeYou can find all press releases, other news, social media and podcasts at the newsroom link on Senator King’s website.  While there, check out Veterans Services and Answering the Call, Senator King’s interviews with Maine veterans. Also, see the map of the game-changing federal investments coming to Maine communities
King-Led Legislation to Broaden Military Spouses’ Career Options Passes SenateJune 26, 2023WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, announced that the Senate has unanimously passed his bipartisan legislation to help military spouses build successful careers while their family members serve the country. The Military Spouse Employment Act allows military spouses to have a remote work career with any federal agency, which would help them to maintain consistent… Continue Reading »—
King, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Support Veterans with Mental TraumasJune 27, 2023WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC), along with Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Thom Tillis (R-NC), has introduced bipartisan legislation to help veterans who received a less than honorable discharge due to behavior tied to service-related mental conditions. Currently, veterans can appeal their discharge status and access the full benefits of an honorable discharge, however, data shows that… Continue Reading »—
King to Attend NATO Summit in Lithuania With Bipartisan Congressional DelegationJuly 5, 2023WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate NATO Observer Group, Senate Armed Services and Senate Intelligence Committees, today announced that he will be joining a bipartisan congressional delegation to the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania this weekend. Joining King on the trip will be Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tom Tillis (R-NC), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL). “The NATO alliance is… Continue Reading »—
King Welcomes $271 Million Investment as “Game Changer” for Maine BroadbandJune 26, 2023WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus, today celebrated the news that $271 million will be headed to deploy Maine broadband infrastructure from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program.  Senator King will join Governor Janet Mills on Thursday morning at the University of Maine Augusta at an event hosted by the Maine Connectivity Authority to formally announce… Continue Reading »—
In June Podcast, King Highlights Potential Solutions for Affordable Housing ShortageJune 24, 2023WASHINGTON D.C. – The Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today released the June episode of his “Inside Maine” podcast, in which he discusses the affordable housing shortage in Maine and recently introduced bipartisan approaches to address the crisis. Senator King was joined by Rebecca Hatfield, the President and CEO of Maine non-profit Avesta Housing, as well as Senator Todd Young (R-Indiana), sponsor of legislation that Senator King recently joined, the Affordable… Continue Reading »—
King Secures Investments for Maine Shipyards, Military Servicemembers in Annual Defense BillJune 23, 2023WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today celebrated the Senate Armed Services Committee’s passage of annual defense legislation that includes a number of important priorities to support Maine communities and strengthen national security. The bipartisan 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers that Bath Iron Works (BIW) can compete to build, the largest pay raise in over 20 years for servicemembers, provisions to… Continue Reading »—
King, Cornyn Introduce Bill to Fight Maine’s Opioid Epidemic with DoD Training for Mexican MilitaryJune 23, 2023WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and John Cornyn (R-Texas) have introduced a bipartisan bill to address America’s epidemic of illegal drugs by improving Mexico’s military capabilities to take on drug cartels. The Partnership for Advancing Regional Training and Narcotics Enforcement Response Strategies (PARTNERS) Act would allow the Department of Defense (DoD) to train Mexican military forces in counter-drug… Continue Reading »
Click HERE to read Senator King’s e-Newsletter
The Veterans Crisis Line:  988 then Press 1— makes it easier to remember and share the number to access help in times of need. Veterans may still reach the Veterans Crisis Line with the current phone number—1-800-273-8255 and Press 1— through chat, and by text (838255).Starting January 17, 2023, VA will provide, pay for or reimburse emergency care for certain Veterans and individuals – including ambulance transportation costs, follow-on inpatient or residential care related to the event for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days, including social work.
Resource Reminders NEW Veterans can now call 1-800-MyVA411 to report sexual assault or sexual harassment at VANEW DoD Skillbridge ProgramThis program helps service members prepare for their next career, increases the workforce in Maine, and provides benefits to Maine companies to support both their business needs and our Vets. Skillbridge is open to all military personnel and allows them to spend the last six months of their time in the military working as an intern in the private sector. Service members can search ‘Maine’ here to see which companies are already involved and apply by contacting their installation SkillBridge point of contact.The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. The full name of the law is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) ActWhere do you start and who can helpIn this month’s VA Maine Today, we learn the answers to those questions and more. The VA Maine Today video series aims to keep Maine Veterans up to date on what is happening in their health care system. Resources to help at-risk renters, landlords and homeowners in Maine: VAMaineHousingConsumer Financial Protection Bureau and United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.If you, or a veteran you know is struggling with a financial emergency please contact the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services at 207-287-7020 or visit their website for more information regarding available resources. MBVS publishes a monthly newsletter with the latest news and happenings regarding veterans issues. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) has a wide range of resources and programs, all working to enable America’s veterans, service members and their spouses to reach their full potential in the workplace.Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS): TRS includes Maine Relay Services, captioned telephone services (CapTel or CTS), and 711. Monthly trainings available. 
ICYMI(Links to the following news and research items are offered in the spirit of outreach and public education. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the Senator or his staff.)
VA Maine Today – June 2023Did you know that VA Maine has its own Fire Department at Togus? What is their mission and how can you learn more? In this month’s VA Maine Today, we learn the answers to those questions and more. VA Maine Today is our video series that aims to keep Maine Veterans up to date on what is happening in our health care system. Please join us and watch VA Maine Today and share it with others.If you are interested in becoming a VA Firefighter visit
Identifying Promising Prevention Strategies and Interventions to Support Justice-Involved Veterans, by Stephanie Brooks Holliday et al.,, visited July 6, 2023 An estimated 8 percent of the 2.2 million people incarcerated in jails and prisons in the United States are veterans, and an unknown number of veterans have had other types of contact with the criminal justice system. A better understanding of these justice-involved veterans can help military leaders, policymakers, and veteran-serving organizations identify promising interventions to prevent veterans from entering the criminal justice system and to support formerly incarcerated veterans as they reintegrate into their communities.—
The Promise and Challenges of VA Community Care
Veterans’ Issues in Focus, by Petra W. Rasmussen and  Carrie M. Farmer,, visited on-line July 4, 2023 Despite an overall decline in the U.S. veteran population, the number of veterans using VA health care has increased. To deliver timely care to as many eligible veterans as possible, VA supplements the care delivered by VA providers with private-sector community care, which is paid for by VA and delivered by non-VA providers. Although community care is a potentially important resource for veterans facing access barriers and long wait times for appointments, questions remain about its cost and quality. With recent expansions in veterans’ eligibility for community care, accurate data are critical to policy and budget decisions and ensuring that veterans receive the high-quality health care they need.—
Chicago’s Hottest Club Is the American Legion Post, by Leigh Giangreco,, July 3, 2023To keep their social hubs open, veterans service organizations like the Legion and VFW are hosting karaoke, comedy nights and pro wrestling events.
Just south of O’Hare Airport, a long freight train rolled through the Chicago suburb of Franklin Park. As the locomotive’s horn faded, another sound emerged from the sand-colored brick building that sits a few steps from the tracks. The cheers and screams, accompanied by occasional thuds, were all emanating from Friday night’s hottest spot: American Legion Post 974.—
VA awards $11.5 million in first-of-their-kind grants for legal services for homeless Veterans,, June 29, 2023Maine’s Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc., is a grant recipientWASHINGTON — Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded $11.5 million in legal services grants for Veterans experiencing or at-risk of homelessness as part of its national homeless prevention efforts.—
US Department of Labor awards more than $58M to support delivery of services to help homeless veterans reenter workforce,, June 29, 2023Maine’s FedCap, Inc., is a Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program continuation grant recipientWASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of more than $58 million in grants to support the efforts of organizations that help homeless veterans by enabling them to overcome barriers to re-entering the workforce and finding meaningful employment.—
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Report Identifies Issues with Increased Servicemember Use of Digital Payment Apps,, June 20, 2023 Annual report also highlights other financial challenges facing the military communityWASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its annual report on the top financial concerns facing military families. The report highlights the growth of digital payment app usage in the servicemember community, the unique risks to servicemembers from these services, and the potential abuse from bad actors. Some servicemembers have also indicated in their complaints about incurring serious financial harm from scams and fraud when using these services, and their complaints suggest digital payment app providers often fail to provide timely and substantive resolutions.
Webinars and other events
Informational Webinar: Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and RanchersSession 2: July 10 at 2 p.m. EDT
Meeting ID: 160 725 6449
Passcode: 595722Funding is made through USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the 2501 Program. This program is administered by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).—
Webinar: National Coalition of Homeless Veterans (NCHV) PanelJULY 11 | 2 PM ETThe Bob Woodruff Foundation was pleased to offer our Got Your 6 partners scholarships to attend the 2023 NCHV annual conference in Washington, D.C. Sixteen representatives from communities nationwide participated in the meeting, where the theme was “Building a Better Future.” Participants examined veteran homelessness, recent policy changes, and accessing resources for special populations.
This upcoming webinar will continue the conference’s goals, offering a platform to share knowledge and foster collaboration in our efforts to combat veteran homelessness.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with Maicie Calvert. —
Capitol Coffee with Senator King and staffEvery few Wednesdays, Senator King likes to open his office up from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for a “Capitol Coffee” with Maine people in the area. It’s always a fun opportunity to see old friends, make some new ones, and hear about the issues that are on their minds. Along with coffee, we are proud to provide homemade blueberry bread made with real Maine blueberries! 

Stop by to say hello on one of the upcoming dates: July: 12th, 19th, 26thThe office is located in 133 Hart Senate Office Building. RSVPs are not required. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-5344. Hope you can visit!—
“PACT Up” and headed to Caribou!

Friday, July 14, 2023

7:00am to 11:00amParking lot of Cary Medical Center, 163 Van Buren Rd., Caribou, MaineThis is a VA and community partners free event you do not want to miss!Join us, and invite all your Veterans, and Service Members and their families to learn about the PACT Act and other benefits and resources available to them, through the State and community.—
Philanthropic Collaborative for Volunteer TransportationJuly 19th, 20231:00 – 2:30pm EDTCo-Hosted by ITNAmerica and the Consumer Technology Association Foundation

In its fourth year, the fast-paced virtual ITNAmerica Philanthropic Collaborative for Volunteer Transportation
convenes leaders from philanthropy, businesses, technology and healthcare to discuss the critical importance
of mobility for America’s aging population. The inspiration for this year’s event is America’s Volunteer Driver Center and a public information campaign
to change the way Americans think about and support mobility for older adults and people with mobility challenges.Registration is free and open to the public through this URL: additional information contact: Nicholas Candela (, 207-558-1644)—
The Expansion of Veteran Peer Support:
Supporting Recovery through Connection
July 20, 2023; August 24, 20232:00–3:30 p.m. ETSponsor: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA)Over the last half a century, the peer support movement has expanded and organized in communities across the nation. Peer supporters are now more than ever valued partners in recovery-oriented systems of care. One of the key goals in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Recovery Agenda is to expand peer-provided services within every community. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peers today support the recovery of service members, Veterans, and their families (SMVF) impacted by mental health and substance use issues in numerous ways.

This learning community will provide participants with an opportunity to learn in a small-group, interactive setting. The objectives of this learning community are to (1) explore the current picture of SMVF peer support services, (2) demonstrate the role of peers in both suicide prevention and the criminal legal system, and (3) examine SAMHSA’s newly developed national standards for peer certification.

The learning community will meet monthly for three sessions beginning in June 2023 via Zoom. Each session will feature an expert presentation with engaging group discussion incorporated throughout.—
Political Extremism Among Veterans:
Understanding Its Roots, Identifying Those Who Have Caused Harm, and Creating Opportunities for Prevention

Thursday, July 20
4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT
Zoom Webinar, sponsored by the RAND Epstein Family Veterans Policy Research Institute. Please register in advance for this webinarPolicymakers, researchers, and the general public have expressed concern that the U.S. veteran community is at increased risk of radicalization and violent extremism, particularly in the wake of the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Extremist groups actively target service members and veterans for recruitment, and some hypothesize that the destabilizing period of transitioning out of the military can increase veterans’ susceptibility to these efforts.

During this webinar, experts will discuss what the research tells us about the prevalence of support among veterans for extremist groups and ideologies, efforts to identify those who have participated in violent events, and how to focus efforts aimed at preventing veterans’ radicalization.— 
Veteran Resource Event 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.Fitzgerald-Cummings American Legion Post #2, 7 Legion Drive, Augusta, MESponsor: The Maine Department of Labor and Fitzgerald-Cummings American Legion Post #2. Auxiliary aids and services are available to people with disabilities upon request.

FMI: contact, 207-530-3210—
Maine Veterans Coordinating Committee (MVCC)Monday, September 18, 20236PM via Zoom Log-in here: Maine Veterans Coordinating Committee is established as a nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonsectarian organization for the purpose of serving the State’s congressional delegation, the Legislature, local governments and the general public as a clearinghouse of information and suggested legislation regarding veterans’ issues at local, state and federal levels.—
Notices of Funding, Proposals, Recognition(Funding opps listed by due date. Additional resources at bottom of this section.)
USDA Announces $45 Million Funding Opportunity to Support Underserved and Veteran Farmers, Ranchers, and Foresters Deadline: Tuesday July 25, 2023Learn more in June and July webinars (see events, above).WASHINGTON, April 27, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced approximately $45 million available to organizations that help underserved and veteran farmers, ranchers, and foresters own and operate successful farms. Funding is made through USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the 2501 Program. This program is administered by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).—
Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural AreasApplication Deadline: July 30, 2023
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsGrants for new organizations to assist veterans with transportation in highly rural areas. Applicants should provide transportation services to VA medical centers and assist with transportation services in connection with the provision of VA medical care to these veterans.—
NEW Request For Proposals for a Senior/Assisted Living Enhanced Use Lease housing development to be located on 8.9 
undeveloped acres of the Togus Campus.Request for Proposals close August 4VA Maine Healthcare System currently maintains over 500 acres on its Togus campus in Augusta that includes
both established buildings and natural woodlands.
To ensure that we continue to be stewards of Veterans’ resources, VA Maine regularly assesses for underutilized
property. The Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) authority is one option available to provide potential opportunities for
growth or additional services. The EUL process allows VA Maine to manage underutilized property by leasing
land (with or without buildings) for specific development purposes. Lessees may be state or local governments
or private sector organizations. During the EUL process, the lessee is responsible to finance, design, develop,
construct, demolish or rehabilitate, operate, and maintain the property. The lessee assumes all financial
obligations and risks associated with the EUL project during all stages of development, implementation, and
operation.VA’s EUL authority was initially enacted in 1991 and codified in 38 U.S.C. § 8161-8169. After its expiration at the
end of 2011, it was reauthorized on August 6, 2012. Additional amendments over time clarified and modified
VA’s authority. The 2022 PACT Act broadened VA’s existing EUL authority by extending the potential duration of
an EUL to 99 years and allowing EUL projects that provide supportive housing or enhance the use of the leased
property by providing services that benefit Veterans directly or indirectly.The EUL process is directed by the national Office of Asset Enterprise Management (OAEM), and includes public
hearings, Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) that are published on, site visits for potential offerors, and
finally, a comprehensive review of submitted proposals. Each proposal must meet all requirements identified in
the RFQ, and VA Maine collaborates with OAEM realty specialists to select the highest quality proposal that
meets our goals.VA Maine previously utilized the EUL process for the Cabin in the Woods development that was completed in
2018. The EUL project provided 21 cabin units as permanent housing on the Togus campus for Veterans who
are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and one administrative/community cabin.In this current EUL project, VA Maine is collaborating with realty specialists at the Office of Asset Enterprise
management to request proposals for a Senior/Assisted Living EUL housing development to be located on 8.9
undeveloped acres of the Togus Campus. The proposed goals of the EUL include providing permanent or
assisted living supportive housing for senior (55+) Veterans and their families, thereby allowing the residents to
age in place.The RFQ was published to on May 4, 2023 and closes on August 4, 2023. VA Maine looks forward to
reviewing the proposals submitted.VA Maine Senior/Assisted Living RFQ Link: (See the attachments at the bottom of the page within this
link for the appropriately formatted RFQ documents)
Additional information on EUL: Investment and Enterprise Development Service (IEDS) – Office of Asset
Enterprise Management (OAEM) ( Department of Veterans Affairs Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Submission Volume 4 of 5 ( (EUL – page 217
of 540, Ch 4 p.85)Current operational housing EULs: VA 3rd Qtr FY 2023 EUL Overview – 2023-04-11 final—
NEW Apply for the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program Closing Date for Applications: August 31, 2023Sponsors:  
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development
Office of Rural Housing and Economic Development

HUD in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced $6.4 million in grant funding to modify or rehabilitate eligible veterans’ primary residences. Eligible applicants for the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program (VHRMP) are nonprofit organizations that provide nationwide or statewide programs that primarily serve veterans or low-income individuals.
More resourcesOn Senator King’s website, see the Grants page as well as info about Congressionally Directed Spending. The Maine Philanthropy Center assists nonprofit organizations by helping them find funding sources for their organizations. They have a variety of services and resources available.Search GuideStar for the most complete, up-to-date nonprofit data available.—
As always, I am eager to hear from you. Please feel free to call or write. Thank you for all that you are doing!