WASHINGTON (WAVY) – Four Virginia Representatives introduced the Computers for Veterans and Students Act on Friday as bipartisan legislation to provide a link between educational systems and non-profit computer refurbishers.
Denver Riggleman (R-VA-05), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), Rob Wittman (R-VA-01), and Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) joined to push the act that would provide federal surplus and retired computers to non-profit computer refurbishers, who would then repair and distribute these computers to veterans, students, and seniors in need.
“As we work to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that we equip communities with the technological infrastructure they need to carry out necessary tasks,” said Congresswoman Luria.
“The Computers for Veterans and Students Act will distribute surplus federal computers to those in need, such as veterans, students, persons with disabilities, low-income individuals, and seniors. This bipartisan bill has the potential to help many students and veterans in Coastal Virginia, and I am proud to co-lead this initiative.”
The Computers for Learning (CFL) program was passed in 1996 as a way to donate federal computers to schools and educational non-profits for reuse. Under the CFL though, the federal government cannot transfer surplus computers to third-party computer refurbishers. As a result, there has been waste since many of the non-profits do not have the financial resources to get the computers refurbished.
The Computers for Veterans and Students Act will allow that link to happen between the refurbishing companies and organizations. Additionally, computers now can be directly obtained, refurbish, and distributed to veterans, students, and seniors in need.
“This program will increase access to technology and computer literacy among students and the senior citizens. One non-profit that would benefit from the new legislation is Tech for Troops — a Virginia-based, veteran-staffed and operated organization.”
“Tech for Troops provides homeless, unemployed, and disabled veterans and their families with the skills, computer technology, and IT workforce training to compete in an increasingly online-based economy. In addition to this work, they also recycle and repurpose working or non-working computers, laptops, network gear, and accessories,” said officials in a statement from the U.S. House of Representatives.
The full text of the legislation can be found here.
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