State Representative Selim Noujaim (R-74) today enthusiastically voted to pass a bill that will help veterans by allowing honest charities to continue good work on their behalf while punishing those who fraudulently profit at their expense.

H.B. 5298 An Act Concerning Fundraising By Veterans’ Organizations prohibits any person, firm, or corporation from holding itself out to be a veterans’ charitable organization and, with the intent to defraud, soliciting charitable contributions that benefit or profit any person, firm, or corporation other than the veterans’ charitable organization.

“Charities that work hard to provide financial or physical support for our veterans deserve our assistance and I am pleased this legislation will allow them to continue their good work unhindered,” Rep. Noujaim said.  “The other aspect of this legislation- to penalize those who misrepresent a veteran’s charity for profit- establishes a strong precedent of protection for those who have selflessly served on our behalf.  Our veterans put themselves in harm’s way and ask only we treat them with respect, this bill makes sure Connecticut continues to respect their efforts.”

Rep. Noujaim spoke on the floor of the House in enthusiastic support of the efforts and volunteerism of the veterans in Waterbury who donate their time, energy and sometimes money, to highlight the importance of veterans and the sacrifices they made to preserve the freedoms we enjoy in our country.

Along with the establishment of penalties for fraudulent representation of veterans’ charities, this bill also requires the Department of Veterans’ Affairs commissioner, in consultation with the Department of Consumer Protection, to publish a list of preferred charitable nonprofit corporations on their websites by July 1, 2013.

“Having an up-to-date online resource for people to reference before they donate is important to make certain their donations go to established and recognized charities that truly help our veterans,” Rep. Noujaim said.