Friday July 22, 2011 | 11:56 AM

Rep. Chellie Pingree’s legislation easing hurdles to disability benefits for veterans who have suffered sexual assault during their military service now has a Senate companion bill.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, this week introduced a virtually identical bill, according to Pingree’s office.

“Senator Tester is good friend to veterans and he understands that victims of military sexual assault haven’t been getting a fair shake and it’s time to change the way we treat them,” said Pingree, D-1st.

Pingree has said that the Department of Veterans' Affairs recently has changed its policy to accomplish much of what the Maine Democrat wanted in a bill Pingree introduced in March. But the lawmaker thinks her bill is still needed to put the force of law behind the VA's new stance.

Despite the change, official VA policy still requires “secondary evidence” for victims to prove they were sexually assaulted, according to Pingree’s office.  Pingree and Tester’s bills require that veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder from a sexual assault would only have to meet the same standards of proof as those seeking benefits for combat-related PTSD, Pingree’s office said.

About this Blog

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

About the Author

Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013


September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.