National Association for Veteran Rights Condemns Maine Legislative Action to Deny Veteran Choice – Urges Governor to Veto

The National Association for Veteran Rights (NAVR) opposes the recent passage of Maine Legislative Document 2259 (ME LD 2259), as it strips Maine Veterans of the right to use NAVR member companies to help them secure their disability benefits, and is urging the Governor to veto the unconstitutional legislation.

In a letter addressed to Governor Janet T. Mills today, NAVR President Peter O’Rourke highlighted the detrimental effects that ME LD 2259 would have on Veterans’ ability to choose how they pursue their benefits claims. The bill, if signed by the Governor, fails to address critical issues such as providing additional oversight and protections for Veterans while preserving their constitutional rights and ensuring access to diverse and effective solutions.

NAVR President O’Rourke emphasized the importance of protecting Veterans’ rights to petition their government, citing similar legislation facing legal challenges on First Amendment grounds in other states. He expressed concerns that the proposed bill threatens to shut down the private expert claims space, potentially denying Maine Veterans critical assistance and trapping them in a broken system.

O’Rourke is the former Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and a Veteran himself, and he stated, “It is crucial to protect the rights of our Veterans and ensure they have access to the support they need. This legislation in Maine falls short of providing adequate protections and, if passed, will have detrimental effects on those who have bravely served our country.”

NAVR urges Governor Mills to veto LD 2259 and consider alternative approaches that address the issues without limiting Veterans’ options. President O’Rourke reiterated NAVR’s willingness to engage in further discussions on the matter.

The National Association for Veteran Rights (NAVR) is a national trade association committed to promoting ethical and transparent business practices among companies engaging with the service-disabled Veteran community. NAVR advocates for businesses that empower Veterans with professional and transparent solutions while advancing support for Veteran-owned businesses.