CHAPTER 449

VETERANS MILITARY PAY ACT

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR PAYMENTS TO PERSONS WHO SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES DURING THE PERIOD BEGINNING JUNE 25, 1950, AND ENDING JANUARY 31, 1955, AND TO DESIGNATED BENEFICIARIES OF SUCH PERSONS; TO RECREATE AND REESTABLISH THE DELAWARE VETERANS' MILITARY PAY COMMISSION TO CARRY OUT CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; TO AUTHORIZE THE SELECTION OF ASSISTANTS TO SAID COMMISSION; TO PROVIDE FOR A REVIEW OF DECISIONS AFFECTING CLAIMS MADE UNDER THE ACT; TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS AND TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS AND BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE TO . CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; TO ACCEPT FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTARY FUNDS FOR SAID PURPOSE; AND TO PRESCRIBE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (three-fourths of all the Members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. This Act shall be known as the "Veterans' Military Pay Act No. II."

Section 2. As used in this Act :

(a) The term "Veteran" means any person, male or female, who served honorably for 90 or more consecutive days on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, or if less than 90 days, died or was discharged or released by reason of an actual service-incurred injury or disability, and who was a resident of the State of Delaware as defined in this Act, and who has not received a similar payment from another state.

(b) The term "Armed Forces," as used in this Act shall mean the following: The United States Army, Army of the United States, United States Air Force, United States Air Force Reserve, United States Navy, United States Naval Reserve,

United States Marine Corps, United States Marine Corps Reserve, United States Coast Guard, United States Coast Guard Reserve, Women's Army Corps, Women's Auxiliary-Navy, Women in the Air Force, Women's Auxiliary-United States Marine Corps, Women's Auxiliary-United States Coast Guard, Army Nurse Corps, Navy Nurse Corps, and Air Force Nurse Corps.

(c) The term "Beneficiary" means, in relation to a deceased veteran: (1) surviving husband or wife, (2) surviving child or children, share and share alike; (3) surviving mother and surviving father in equal shares, or if only one parent be living, all to such parent; (4) surviving person standing in loco parentis; in order named and none other.

(d) The term "served honorably" incudes only such service as is evidenced as follows:

(1) An honorable discharge or separation from service in a manner other than dishonorable through no fault or misconduct of such person; or

(0) In the case of an officer, a certificate of service; or

(0) In the case of a veteran who has not been discharged or who died in service, a certificate from the appropriate service authority of the armed forces stating either that his or her service was honorable or that he or she was separated from the armed forces under conditions other than dishonorable.

(e) The term "Resident" means a person who:

(1) Was born in and lived in the State of Delaware until entrance into the armed forces of the United States or was inducted into service from the State of Delaware; or

(2) Was born elsewhere but had resided within the State of Delaware for at least twelve (12) months immediately prior to entrance into military service.

Section 3. (a) Each veteran who during the period from June 25, 1950, to January 31, 1955, both inclusive, served on active duty within the limits of the States or the District of Columbia of the United States shall be paid the sum of Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) for each month of such service, or major fraction thereof, provided, however, that the maximum amount payable under this sub-section shall not exceed the sum of Two Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($225.00).

(b) Each veteran who during the period from June 25, 1950 to January 31, 1955, both inclusive, served on active duty outside the limits of the States or District of Columbia of the United States shall be paid the sum of Twenty Dollars ($20.00) for each month of such service, or major fraction thereof, provided that the maximum amount payable under this sub-section shall not exceed the sum of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00).

(c) In the event the veteran is deceased, the payment to which he would have been entitled under the provisions of this Act had he survived shall be paid to his or her beneficiary, except as otherwise provided in sub-section (d) below.

(d) In the event the veteran died during his service and while in the course of or as a direct result of the performance of his duty; his or her beneficiary shall be paid the sum of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00).

(e) In the event the veteran has a 60% or greater service-connected disability as determined by the Veteran Administration records at time of application for payment, the veteran shall be entitled to a payment of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) regardless of his or her place of service.

(f) No payments made under this Act to any veteran or to his or her beneficiary shall exceed Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00).

(g) The payment to each veteran or beneficiary under this Act shall be computed by first giving to the said veteran or beneficiary his or her payment under Section 3 (b) to the maximum extent allowed under said Section 3 (b) to that particular veteran or beneficiary, and in the event the veteran or beneficiary is not entitled to payment for fifteen (15) months' service under said Section 3 (b), he or she shall then be entitled to compensa-

tion under Section 3 (a) if properly qualified by service for payment under that Section. In no event shall the veteran or beneficiary receive payment under this Act for more than fifteen (15) months' service. In any event, this Act shall be liberally construed so that cases of doubt shall be resolved in favor of the veterans or beneficiaries.

(h) No claim for payment under this Act shall be assignable, or subject to garnishment, attachment, or levy or execution.

(i) The payments herein provided for are declared by the Legislature to be gifts or gratuities and shall not be deemed to be pay for services rendered, nor shall said payments be taxable in the State of Delaware as income.

Section 4. (a) The "Delaware Veterans' Military Pay Commission" as created in Chapter 1, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, and its membership as appointed by the then Governor of the State of Delaware in accordance therewith is hereby reactivated, recreated and reestablished as the Commission under this Act to be known again as the "Delaware Veterans' 'Military Pay Commission". The said Commission is to be composed of the same 4 members as appointed pursuant to the aforesaid Chapter 1, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, shortly after the passage thereof. Vacancies on the Commission occurring from any cause shall be filled by appointment of the Governor, provided that a person so appointed must be from the same area and from the same political party as the member whose place is thus filled. In the event the members of the Commission are unable to agree upon any question or matter before it because of a tie vote, then the Auditor of Accounts of the State of Delaware shall be called upon to cast a vote upon such question or matter causing said tie vote. In no other respect shall the Auditor of Accounts have any voice in matters before the Commission.

(b) The Commission shall appoint an Executive Director who may be one of the members of the Commission, who, with the advice and approval of the said Commission, shall have the power and the duty of carrying out the provisions of this Act relating to payments to veterans and beneficiaries and shall have

charge and control of the complete scheme of payments authorized in this Act, and for this purpose the said Executive Director may adopt general rules for the making of such payments, for the ascertainment of veterans and beneficiaries in accordance with Section 2 (a) and Section 2 (c), and for determining the amounts to which such veterans or beneficiaries are entitled under this Act and, in general, shall establish methods and procedure and do whatever is necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act relating to payments to veterans and beneficiaries. The salary of the said Executive Director shall be fixed by the said Commission but if the Executive Director shall be one of the Commissioners he shall not vote to fix his own salary. The salary fixed for the Executive Director, if he shall be one of the Commissioners, shall be in lieu of all other salary regardless of any other provisions herein contained.

(c) The life of the Delaware Veterans' Military Pay Commission shall extend through the biennium ending on the Thirtieth day of June, A. D. 1957, and no longer.

(d) The members of the said Commission shall receive compensation at the rate of Ten Dollars ($10.00) for each day that the said Commission shall sit, and they shall be allowed their actual expenses in attending the meetings of the Commission. The members of the Commission shall not receive such compensation or expenses for more than sixty (60) days in any calendar year or fraction thereof.

(e) The said Commission may select one of its members to be its Secretary or it may direct the Executive Director, herein provided for, to act in that capacity.

Section 5. (a) Each veteran or his or her beneficiary entitled to payments shall make application to the Executive Director upon such forms as may be prescribed; provided that, if the veteran is incompetent or his or her beneficiary is incompetent, application shall be made by his or her guardian or trustee.

(b) All applications for payments under this Act shall be made to the Executive Director herein provided for on or before January 1, 1957.

(c) No payments authorized by this Act shall be made after June 30, 1957.

Section 6. The Commission may select and appoint such employees, in addition to an Executive Director, and may fix their compensation as it may deem necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Act relating to payments to veterans and beneficiaries, always giving preference in making such appointments to veterans having a service-connected disability.

Section 7. (a) There shall be a right of review to every veteran or beneficiary under this Act.

(b) Any person aggrieved by the decisions affecting him or her in the matter of payments provided for in this Act may appeal for a review of such decisions within 90 days after final notice thereof to the Commission' and shall be entitled to a hearing before said Commission. The decision of said Commission shall be final.

Whoever intentionally makes or aids and abets another in making a false statement, oral or written, relating to a material fact concerning or affecting a claim for payment under the provisions of this Act or who demands, accepts or receives any compensation for his services in prosecuting any claim under the provisions of this Act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than One Thousand ($1,000.00) Dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Offenses under this Act shall be prosecuted by the Attorney General and all fines collected thereunder shall be paid to the General Fund of the State.

Section 8. The expenses of the administration of this Act shall be paid from State appropriated funds upon warrants duly approved by the President of the Commission, attested by the Secretary. For this purpose there is hereby appropriated to the Delaware Veterans' Military Pay Commission from the General Fund of the State of Delaware the sum of Seventy-five Thousand ($75,000.00) Dollars, to be available for the period from the date of the approval of this Act through the biennium ending on the Thirtieth day of June, A. D. 1957. When funds

become available through the sale of bonds or bond anticipation notes, as hereinafter provided, the General Fund of the State shall be reimbursed therefrom to the extent of the expenditures made under this appropriation.

Section 9. There is hereby appropriated to the Delaware Veterans' Military Pay Commission created under the provisions of this Act the sum of Three Million Five Hundred Thousand ($3,500,000.00) Dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act. The sums hereby appropriated shall not revert to the General Fund of the State in any fiscal year, but shall be available through June 30, 1957. After June 30, 1957, any part of the appropriation hereby made which remains unexpended shall revert to the General Fund of the State.

Section 10. For the purpose of providing funds out of which said appropriation of Three Million Five Hundred Thousand ($3,500,000.00) Dollars may be paid the Governor, the State Treasurer and the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware, herein sometimes referred to as the "issuing officers," are hereby authorized and fully empowered to issue bonds of the State of Delaware in a principal amount not exceeding Three Million Five Hundred Thousand ($3,500,000.00) Dollars.

Section 11. Said bonds shall be issued at one time or from time to time as money is required, as the issuing officers shall determine. The bonds of each issue shall constitute a separate series. Each series of bonds shall mature in annual installments, beginning not more than one year after the issuance of such series ; and no such annual installment shall be less than one twentieth of the principal amount of such series unless it be the final installment. Each series of bonds shall bear interest at a rate or rates not exceeding 3% per annum, payable semi-annually.

Section 12. Said bonds shall be sold by the issuing officers at not less than par and accrued interest under such terms, conditions and regulations as the issuing officers may prescribe, after notice of such sale published at least once ten days or more before the date of sale in at least one daily newspaper published in the State of Delaware and in a financial journal published in the City of New York.

Section 13. In anticipation of the issuance of said bonds, the issuing officers may issue and sell notes of the State of Delaware at either public or private sale for not less than par and accrued interest. Said notes shall bear interest at a rate not exceeding 3% per annum. They may be renewed from time to time by the issuance and sale of new notes, but all such notes shall mature and be paid not later than December 31, 1958. The total amount of said notes outstanding at any one time, together with the total amount of said bonds theretofore issued, shall not exceed Three Million Five Hundred Thousand ($3,500,000.00) Dollars. Said notes may be redeemed at par and accrued interest prior to their maturity, if the right of the State to do so shall have been reserved by an express provision in the notes. Said notes shall be paid, both principal and interest, out of the proceeds of the sale of said bonds or notes.

Section 14. Said bonds and notes shall be direct general obligations of the State of Delaware, and the faith and credit of the State of Delaware are hereby pledged for the payment of the principal of and the interest on said bonds and notes as such principal and interest respectively become due. The principal of and the interest on said bonds and notes shall be exempt from taxation by the State of Delaware or by any political sub-division thereof for any purpose whatsoever.

Section 15. The said bonds and notes shall be signed in the name of the State of Delaware by the State Treasurer and shall be authenticated by the signature or facsimile signature of the Governor and Secretary of State, and they shall have the Great Seal of the State impressed thereon. Interest coupons shall be attached to said bonds and shall be authenticated by the signature or facsimile signature of the State Treasurer. The said bonds and notes may be issued notwithstanding that any of the officers signing them or whose facsimile signature appears thereon or on the coupons of said bonds shall have ceased to hold office at the time of such issue or at the time of the delivery of said bonds or notes.

Section 16. The said bonds and notes shall recite that they are issued in pursuance of this Act and the Constitution of this State, and such recital shall be conclusive evidence of the validity of said bonds and notes. Any such bonds or notes containing such

recital shall in any suit, action or proceeding involving their validity be conclusively deemed to be fully authorized by this Act and to have been issued, executed and delivered in conformity herewith and shall be incontestable for any cause.

Section 17. The said bonds and notes shall be in such form and in such denomination and may contain such other and further recital and be subject to such terms and conditions, with such privileges as to registration, conversion, reconversion, redemption and exchange, and may contain such other provisions as may be determined by the said "issuing officers."

Section 18. All monies received from the sale of said bonds or notes shall be deposited by the State Treasurer in a Special Fund in the Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware, at Dover, and shall be used exclusively for the purpose of making the payments to veterans and beneficiaries provided for in this Act, for the purpose of paying expenses of the administration of this Act, for the purpose of paying the costs and expenses incident to the issuance of said bonds and notes, and for the purpose of paying the principal of and interest on said notes. All payments to veterans and beneficiaries under this Act and expenses of administration of this Act shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon warrants signed by the President of the Commission, attested by its Secretary and approved by the Auditor of Accounts. All payments for expenses incident to the issuance of said bonds and notes shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon warrants signed by the Governor and approved by the Auditor of Accounts.

Section 19. There is hereby appropriated to the State Treasurer of the State of Delaware such sums as shall be necessary during the biennium beginning July 1, 1955, and ending June 30, 1957, to pay the installments of interest and principal of said bonds becoming due during said biennium period.

Section 20. The Budget Appropriation Bill enacted and approved by the General Assembly at the One Hundred and Nineteenth Session, and at each and every subsequent biennial session thereof, shall contain under the Debt Service Item provisions for the payment of the principal and interest on all bonds issued under this Act, as such principal and interest respectively become due, and all such revenues of the State of Delaware that

are not prohibited by constitutional provisions or committed by preceding statutes for other purposes are hereby pledged for the payment of the said bonds and interest thereon.

Section 21. Should the Congress of the United States adopt measures providing for financial aid or other assistance available to the State of Delaware for carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Commission and/or State Treasurer is hereby authorized on behalf of the State of Delaware to accept any such financial aid or other assistance, and should there be such financial aid, the Commission is hereby authorized and directed to deposit with the State Treasurer any funds received and to expend the same for carrying out the provisions of this Act in accordance with whatever conditions are imposed by the law of the United States providing such aid or other assistance, upon warrants signed by the proper officers of the Commission and approved by the Auditor of Accounts.

Section 22. If any clause, sentence, section, provision or part of this Act shall be adjudged to be unconstitutional or invalid for any reason by any court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not impair, invalidate or affect the remainder of this Act, which shall remain in full effect.

Section 23. The Commission shall make a complete report of its administration of this Act to the Governor and to each branch of the General Assembly on the first day of the regular session of the General Assembly in January, A. D. 1957. A final report shall be made by the Commission on June 30, 1957, to the Governor and to the Executive-Director of the Legislative Reference Bureau for transmission to each Branch of the General Assembly on the first day of its meeting in January, 1959.

Section 24. This Act shall be effective immediately upon passage.