• Jun 13, 2024
  • 10:01 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

The UVLC started after veterans involved in legislative matters noticed the veteran community was divided on issues and lacked credibility with lawmakers. At times, the veteran community canceled out each other during testimony at legislative hearings causing lawmakers great confusion and indecision. A group of veterans began meeting to collaborate about the issues at hand, and while this was a better process, many organizations were absent. Early organizers campaigned among themselves to get every Veteran Service Organization, and other nonprofits who selflessly support veterans, to come to the table to create a statewide veterans’ legislative group. It took a few years and lots of work to get the UVLC where it is today.

The UVLC is a formidable, unified voice for veterans, military, and their families, to find, identify, and lobby for legislative action. There are several things that are unique to the structure of the UVLC. It has NO treasury, thus the UVLC is not registered as a nonprofit, nor with the IRS, nor with the State. Membership is free to all veterans. If funding is ever needed, it comes through the membership’s organizations as a sponsorship. The UVLC operates under a constitution without bylaws or standing rules. The organization follows ‘Robert’s Rules of Order.’ The UVLC partners with the Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) in many matters. Leadership is elected among UVLC members every two years. The UVLC is absolutely nonpartisan. As such, all political parties respect the perspective and generally support the UVLC’s viewpoint. The UVLC talks issues, not politics and its track record demonstrates this is a winning strategy.

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, the count is around 250,000. That does not count the military, or any of our families, or veteran advocates, so the number is exponentially much larger, exceeding 500,000. The lawmakers know this and listen very carefully.

The UVLC has a structured approach to getting these things done. The Nevada Legislature meets every two years for 120 days. When not in session, lawmakers are still working “interim” via committees and commissions. The issues the UVLC tackles come from many sources including the leadership and members of veterans’ organizations, NDVS, as well as various lawmakers who need our military experience and help. Other examples of sources where issues surface include various local Congressional events, political events, State agencies (that cannot lobby for fiduciary reasons), law enforcement, and more. The UVLC then conducts a reasonable review of identified issues for accuracy and truth, vetting 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. The UVLC is very visible during the session, but almost invisible otherwise; however, even during the quiet times the UVLC never stops digging.

Among the biggest events used to identify and prioritize issues are the two NDVS/UVLC Legislative Symposia held in Reno and Las Vegas. The symposia are held during the spring in the off-session years. Then, just prior to the beginning of the session, a NDVS/UVLC Legislative Summit is held in the north and south 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. 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 it 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, UVLC leadership takes 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 have legislative authority to introduce one or more Bill Draft Requests [BDR] to the legislature which may become a bill. It is the UVLC’s responsibility to be aware of its foundation for a legislative head start.

Meetings and Officers: The UVLC has periodic 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:

Chairman, Andy LePeilbet, andy@nevadaandy.com,(775) 772-8747
Vice Chairwoman, Bobi Oates, boates4616@aol.com, (702) 498-3045
Secretary, Peggy Bohn, pbohn@unr.edu, (775) 800-4515
Board, Norman Allen, allen89407@yahoo.com, (775) 813-3847
Board, Jim Kelly, jimkellylaw@yahoo.com, (775) 229-1503
Board, Bruno Moya, bmoyasw@gmail.com, (702)-498-4660