• Feb 26, 2024
  • 3:30 PM

About the United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC)

Need support to testify during the 2023 Nevada Legislative Session? Download the two UVLC forms below. 

DOWNLOAD: How to Testify Before a Legislative Committee

DOWNLOAD: How to Prepare Your Testimony Template  

DOWNLOAD: Legislative Process Explained

DOWNLOAD: UVLC Constitution 

(Summary by the late Tony Yarbrough, former UVLC President.)  The UVLC started after those working with the Nevada Legislature noticed members of the veterans’ community were divided on the issues and lacked credibility with the lawmakers. At times, we canceled out each other in our testimony causing lawmakers great confusion and indecision. A group of veterans began meeting to collaborate about issues and while this improved our process, many veterans organizations remained absent. So, we actively campaigned among ourselves to get every Veteran Service Organization and other nonprofits 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 their families, to find, identify, and lobby for legislative action. Membership is free.

There are several things unique to the UVLC. It has no treasury, thus the UVLC is not registered as a nonprofit with the IRS or Nevada Secretary of State. If funding is needed, it comes from the members’ organizations as a sponsor. The UVLC operates under a Constitution without bylaws or standing rules following ‘Robert’s Rules of Order’.

The UVLC partners with the Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) in many matters. Leadership is elected among members every 2 years. We are absolutely nonpartisan. 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 Nevada 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, family members, or veteran advocates so the number is exponentially much larger, nearing 500,000. 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 each 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 do. We are very visible during the session, but almost invisible otherwise. 

Among the biggest event we use to garner good information are the NDVS/UVLC Legislative Symposia 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 symposia. 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. 

Our involvement includes the Legislative Interim Committees and Commissions [ILC] meetings. These Interim meetings bring experts and reports from sources from both within and outside the State Nevada. Many of the ILC’s have 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. 

The UVLC has regular meetings. During the Legislative Session, meetings are called by 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 may contact anyone one of the officers or board members list below: