PORTLAND — A group of senators including Maine’s Sen. Angus King wants to overhaul the way the federal Department of Veterans Affairs handles appeals.

King, an independent, is joining Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Jon Tester of Montana on the legislation. The senators say more than 450,000 appeals are pending before the VA and the system needs updating.

The senators say redundancies and inefficiencies in the process mean many veterans wait years before getting a decision on their appeals. They say they are proposing the Department of Veterans Affairs Appeals Modernization Act to expedite appeals and give vets clearer options after they receive an initial decision.

The proposal is a reintroducing of legislation from the last Congress. That proposal was supported by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Sen. Angus King

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