• Oct 7, 2022
  • 4:48 AM

About the United Veterans Legislative Council

United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC)

The UVLC started because many of us that were involved in legislative matters began to notice we were divided on the issues, and had no credibility with the lawmakers. We were sometimes canceling out each other in our testimony to them causing lawmakers great confusion and indecision. A group of Veterans began meeting to collaborate about issues. We noticed we were much better, but many organizations were absent. We actively campaigned among ourselves to get every Veteran Service organization, and other non-profits who selflessly supported Veterans to come to the table to create a statewide Veterans legislative group. It took a few years and lots of work to get us where we are today.

The UVLC is a formidable unified voice for Veterans, Military, and our families, to find, identify, and lobby for legislative action. There are several things that are unique to the UVLC. We have no treasury, thus not registered as a non-profit, nor with IRS or the State. Membership is free to all Veterans. All of our members are a non-profit and if some kind of funding is needed it comes from the members’ organizations as a sponsor. We operate under a Constitution without bylaws, or standing rules. We follow ‘Robert’s Rules of Order’. We partner with the Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) in many matters. The UVLC Leadership is elected among its members every 2 years. We are absolutely non-partisan. As such, all political parties respect our perspective and generally support our viewpoint. We talk issues, not politics. Our track record displays this very proudly. Every Veterans Organization in the State is represented, so as we lobby, we can proudly state for the record how many Veterans we represent. At present count that is around 300,000. That does not count the Military, or any of our families, or Veteran Advocates, so the number is exponentially much larger, nearing 500,000. The lawmakers know this, and listen very carefully.

We have a structured approach to getting these things done. The Nevada Legislature meets every two years for 120 days. When not in session, they are still working “interim” via committees and commissions. The issues we tackle come from many sources such as our own Veteran Organizations’ leadership and their members, NDVS, various lawmakers who need our military experience and help, among attendance at various local Congressional events, political events, State agencies who cannot lobby [for fiduciary reasons], law enforcement, etc., from almost anywhere. The UVLC then needs to conduct a reasonable review for accuracy and truth to vet the issue fully for a legislative remedy if possible. Sometimes the answer may not be legislative, but administrative. The key is to find a solution, like any good service officer would. So, we are very visible during the session, but almost invisible otherwise. However, we are always digging.

Among the biggest event we use to garner good information are the NDVS/UVLC Legislative Symposiums held in Reno and Las Vegas in the spring of the off-session years. Then just prior to the beginning of the session we then hold a NDVS/UVLC Legislative Summit again in Reno and Las Vegas to share the resulting progress of the symposiums. There is a lot of data to sift through, vet, and prioritize by the state agencies, congressional staff [if federal], Legislative Council Bureau [LCB] on behalf of the lawmakers, and the UVLC, too. We try not to trample on each other, but sometimes an issue is so great it may take several avenues before actually settling into a Bill.

The UVLC is always listening for any kind of issue that may rise where we can help. Among some of those are the Legislative Interim Committees and Commissions [ILC] meetings. These Interim meetings brings experts and reports from all kinds of sources from within and from out of state. These ILC’s can hold meetings [hearings] based on the information presented, or engulf another relevant issue. There are times these issues can involve issues about Veterans, Military, or their families. In this setting, usually, the UVLC is the fly on the wall… just observing and listening. However, many of us take the opportunity to meet the movers and shakers who may matter to us in the future – like any good lobbyist. Lastly, many of the ILC has legislative authority to introduce one or more Bill Draft Requests [BDR] to the legislature which may become a Bill. It’s our responsibility to be aware of its foundation for a legislative head start. Remember, we talk issues, not politics, but that does not mean we ignore the politics around us – we just don’t participate. Knowledge is power.
This is an ongoing education in the vast world of what we can do to serve our comrades.
The UVLC has regular meetings, and during the session the meetings are upon the call of the Chairman.

WHEN: Even numbered years [Interim], Regular UVLC Meetings late in the month of:

  • January – establish Legislative Interim review committees
  • March – NDVS/UVLC Legislative Symposium (details TBD)
  • April – Legislative sub-committees will be established to plan Bill drafts
  • July – review and solidify sub-committee leadership • October – develop strategies
  • November – (after the election dust settles) identify relationship building efforts

Exceptions: sub-committee meetings individually called
About Odd numbered years [Session starts first Monday in February]

  • January – NDVS/UVLC Legislative Summit (details TBD)
  • Meetings will be upon the call of the Chairman during session [February, March, April, May, June] due to the rapid changes, and reactions required.

Regular UVLC Meetings late in the month of:

  • June – Session debriefing, and Officer elections
  • September – review Bills needed to be re-examined
  • November – (after the election dust settles) identify relationship building efforts

For anyone (veteran or advocate) who wishes to get involved, you can contact anyone one of the officers or board members list below: