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U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, Representing the 30th District of Texas

CONGRESSWOMAN EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON REINTRODUCES VETERANS' MEDICAL PERSONNEL RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION ACT

Feb 9, 2009
Press Release

Legislation will give VA system more tools to recruit and retain medical and professional staff

Washington, DC – (February 9, 2009)  Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson today introduced the Veterans’ Medical Personnel Recruitment and Retention Act of 2009, a bill she also introduced in the 110th Congress.  The legislation will raise salaries for nurses, physicians, dentists and executives who work for the VA system.

“As a former nurse, I know first-hand the importance of high-quality medical care, and how much it can improve the quality of life of returning servicemembers and veterans,” Congresswoman Johnson said.  “We can make our VA system even better than it is now, and I believe this legislation is an important step toward doing so.”

In addition to raising salaries, the Veterans’ Medical Personnel Recruitment and Retention Act will:

* Streamline pay systems, making them easier to understand and to implement;
* Provide incentives to retired employees to return to the VA system by removing annuity and salary offsets, encouraging the qualified workers most familiar with VA to return to work;
* Increase education benefits for new VA hires and current staff;
* Clarify VA regulations regarding work schedules and overtime; and
* Make it easier for VA to hire and retain part-time nurses and allow full-time nurses to transition to part-time work schedules.

The Veterans’ Medical Personnel Recruitment and Retention Act of 2009 is the House companion bill to S. 252, which Senator Daniel K. Akaka has introduced in the Senate.

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U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson is the highest-ranking Texan on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and a senior member of the Science Committee. She represents the 30th Congressional District of Texas, which, includes Downtown Dallas, Fair Park, Oak Lawn, Old East Dallas, Pleasant Grove, & South Oak Cliff; all of Balch Springs, DeSoto, Hutchins, Lancaster & Wilmer and parts of Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Ferris, Glenn Heights and Ovilla.