- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina lawmakers and military advocates are beginning work to help the state’s veterans get the assistance they need.

The panel is headed by Democratic Rep. James Smith of Columbia and includes people appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley and the head of the South Carolina National Guard, Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston.

At its first meeting Tuesday, Livingston and Smith say the study group will assess what services the state, its counties and the federal government make available.

They say they want to help veterans and their family navigate the wide range of services. They also say they want to make sure efforts are not duplicated as they try to strengthen links between veterans and those who can assist them.

Haley signed legislation in May that set up the panel.

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