HARTFORD, Conn. — Legislation that attempts to make women veterans in Connecticut more aware of available programs and services is moving through the General Assembly.

The state Senate on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of the bill, which creates a new awareness program within the state's Department of Veterans Affairs. The bill now moves to the House for final legislative action.

Jackie Evonison, the women veterans' outreach coordinator with the American Legion in Connecticut, said many female veterans are unaware of available services or don't feel they're qualified to receive them.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates there are 16,545 veterans in the state who are women. Some female veterans struggle with issues such as unemployment, homelessness and mental illness.

The bill also calls for an assessment of women veterans' needs for benefits and services.

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