Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (07/24/2006)

Veterans Small Business and Memorial Affairs Act of 2006 - Title I: Small Business - (Sec. 101) Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a goal for each year for participation in Department of Veterans Affairs (Department) contracts and subcontracts by small businesses owned and controlled by veterans and veterans with service-connected disabilities. Requires the performance review of each senior Department official and Assistant Secretary with procurement authority to include an assessment of that official's performance in meeting such goals. Allows: (1) the use of noncompetitive procedures (a preference) within the Department in entering into contracts with such small businesses for an amount less than the simplified acquisition threshold (as defined under the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act); (2) Department contracting officers to award sole source contracts to such businesses for contracts above the simplified acquisition threshold but below $5 million; and (3) the use of restricted competition to such small businesses if two or more such businesses will submit offers and the award can be made at a fair and reasonable price. Directs the Secretary, for purposes of this section, to maintain a database of small businesses owned and controlled by veterans and the veteran owners of such businesses. Bars any small business that misrepresents itself as a small business owned and controlled by veterans from Department contracts for a five-year period. Continues to treat a business as veteran owned and controlled, for a conditional temporary period, after the death of the veteran causes the business to be less than 51 percent veteran-owned and controlled. Allows for the completion of the contract term in the case of a termination of veteran management or control over a small business. Requires: (1) quarterly reports from the Secretary to Congress on small business contracting; (2) a study by the Comptroller General (CG) on efforts made by the Secretary to meet such contracting goals; and (3) interim and final reports from the CG to Congress on study results.

(Sec. 102) Directs the Secretary, in procuring goods and services pursuant to a contracting preference, to give priority to small businesses owned and controlled by veterans, if such business also meets the requirements of that contracting preference.

Title II: Memorial Affairs - (Sec. 201) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to tribal organizations for establishing, expanding, or improving veterans' cemeteries on trust land owned by, or held in trust for, such organizations.

(Sec. 202) Makes permanent (currently terminates on December 31, 2006) the authority of the Secretary to place markers on the graves of veterans buried in national cemeteries. Repeals a related reporting requirement.

Amends the Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001 to provide the government marker benefit to veterans dying on or after November 1, 1990 (currently September 11, 2001). Authorizes the provision of headstones (currently, only markers). Allows for the placing of a headstone or marker as close as possible to the grave when its placing on the grave itself is impossible or impracticable.

(Sec. 203) Authorizes the provision of a memorial headstone or marker (with an inscription) for the eligible dependent child of a veteran.

Title III: Veterans' Employment and Training - (Sec. 301) Directs the Secretary of Labor to maintain state guidelines for professional qualifications of disabled veterans' outreach program specialists (specialists) and local veterans' employment representatives (representatives). Requires states to submit such qualifications and training programs for such specialists and representatives as a condition for receipt of a grant or contract from the Veterans' Employment and Training Services (VETS).

(Sec. 302) States that part-time employment of such specialists and representatives shall be performed on a half-time basis.

(Sec. 303) Requires states, as a condition to VETS funding, to provide licensing and certification programs for veterans.

(Sec. 304) Requires states, as a condition to VETS funding, to require each employee hired as a specialist or representative to satisfactorily complete training provided by the National Veterans' Employment and Training Services Institute during the three-year period beginning on the date the employee is so designated. Requires states to submit to VETS information on employee training conducted at the Institute. Outlines provisions concerning the application of such training requirements to new employees and certain employees hired before the date of enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 305) Requires information on veterans' employment and training services required under this Act to be included within annual VETS program reports from the Secretary to the congressional veterans' committees.

(Sec. 306) Authorizes the Secretary of Labor to enter into a contract with a nongovernmental entity to carry out job placement services for veterans in a locality where the unemployment rate for veterans exceeds the national average unemployment rate. Allows such Secretary, in carrying out such contract, to use procedures other than competitive procedures. Limits to $3 million the total amount to be obligated for such contracts in a fiscal year. Terminates such contract authority five years after the enactment of this Act. Requires a report from the CG to the veterans' committees on the services provided.

(Sec. 307) Allows the Assistant Secretary of VETS to give incentive awards to employment service offices (currently, only to eligible employees).

(Sec. 308) Directs the Secretary of Labor to prescribe regulations on the implementation of priority of service for veterans in Department of Labor programs.

(Sec. 309) Directs the Assistant Secretary of VETS to carry out a demonstration project on veteran credentialing in order to facilitate the seamless transition of members of the Armed Forces from active-duty service to civilian employment. Requires the Assistant Secretary to select at least ten military occupational specialties for the demonstration project. Authorizes the Assistant Secretary to establish a task force to assist in carrying out the project. Requires the project to begin 60 days after the enactment of this Act and to continue until the end of FY2009. Authorizes appropriations.

Includes the National Governors Association within the membership of the Advisory Committee on Veterans Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach.

Title IV: Education - (Sec. 401) Exempts federal, state, or local government institutions, or institutions primarily supported by funding from a federal, state, or local government entity, from the requirement that non-accredited education programs have a pro-rata refund policy.

(Sec. 402) Extends, through June 30, 2007, the authorized work-study allowance for jobs at national cemeteries, state veterans' homes, and state approving agencies.

(Sec. 403) Requires a report from the Secretary to Congress on streamlining processes and procedures for the administration of veterans' educational assistance benefits.

(Sec. 404) Restores entitlement to educational benefits for individuals who had to discontinue a course of education due to being ordered to full-time National Guard duty after September 11, 2001.