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292CalVet Vet News - Governor Signs Much Needed Legislation Benefiting Veterans

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  • Phelps Hobart
    Sep 30, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      These are tight times at the federal and state level but take a look at this. We are talking important support for our military personnel and returning veterans. Support in the past, support here and now, and support in future. Our nation and California cares!
      I think I stated it before, Secretary Tom Johnson and Undersecretary Roger Brautigan and Navy Leaguers!
      BRAVO ZULU for Governor Schwarznegger and his crew at the California Department of Veteran Affairs. Good going to the Senators and Assembly members sponsoring and supporting these bills and to the California National Guard and to the numerous veteran groups working behind the scenes.  
      Phelps Hobart
      Vice President - Veteran Affairs
      Pacific Central Region, NLUS
      ----- Original Message -----
      To: Phelps Hobart
      Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 10:43 AM
      Subject: CalVet Vet News - Governor Signs Much Needed Legislation Benefiting Veterans





      Contact:  JP Tremblay

      Jerry Jones

      Jaime Arteaga

      Legislation and Public Affairs


      September 30, 2008


      Governor Signs Much Needed Legislation Benefiting Veterans


      Secretary Johnson today praised Governor Schwarzenegger for recognizing the needs of today's veterans by signing legislation that acknowledges their many contributions to our nation.  In an announcement from his office, Governor Schwarzenegger announced he has signed SB 1401 by Senator Joe Simitian (D- Palo Alto) and AB 3083 by the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs.  These measures will extend mental health services to veterans and assist veterans in getting screened for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.


      “Governor Schwarzenegger has once more demonstrated his commitment to our nation’s heroes, our veterans,” said Tom Johnson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  “By signing these bills, the governor is responding to the special needs of veterans and their families.”


      The Governor also signed SB 1675 on September 25, 2008. SB 1675 by Senator Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) provides that a Resolution of Issuance approved by the Veterans’ Debenture Finance Committee may give the Department of Veterans Affairs the discretion to structure the terms and conditions of any issuance of Revenue Bonds for the CalVet Home Loan Program.


      Among the bills signed by Governor Schwarzenegger which benefit veterans are:


      SB 1401 by Senator Joe Simitian (D- Palo Alto) requires the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Military Department to develop plans to reach out to Guard members or veterans returning to California from combat and assist them in obtaining a screening for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.


      AB 3083 by the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs requires the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in conjunction with the Department of Mental Health (DMH), to seek all available federal funding for mental health services for veterans.  The bill also extends mental health services provided by the Adult and Older Adult Mental Health System of Care Act to include veterans, and requires counties to provide mental health services to veterans to the extent such services are available to other adults.  The bill defines a serious mental disorder or illness (SMI) to include bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and requires DMH to include services for veterans within target population service standards.


      SB 1353 by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Montclair) authorizes a state employee who is a member of the National Guard or Reserves to receive specified compensation benefits for four additional years, if ordered to serve on and after September 11, 2001, as a result of the War on Terrorism.


      SB 1534 by Senator Jim Battin (R- La Quinta) authorizes uniformed public safety personnel in California to wear decorations or medals authorized by the Military and Veterans Code, the U.S. Armed Forces, the National Guard or the Military Reserve or Naval Militia on and around Veterans Day and Memorial Day.


      AB 190 by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D- Los Angeles ) authorizes, after local approval, veterans whose vehicles display one number of military special-recognition license plates to park in metered parking spaces without charge. 


      AB 2049 by Assemblymember Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego) requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to review and make recommendations regarding the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children and to report to the Legislature by January 1, 2009.


      AB 3065 by the Committee on Veterans Affairs enables veterans who have retired from active military service, were honorably discharged from active duty with a service-connected disability or honorably discharged from active duty to apply for state civil service promotional examinations.


      SB 1495 by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) allows a taxpayer to retain the disabled veteran’s property tax exemption in the case of a partial loss of the taxpayer's home due to a misfortune or calamity, and a full or partial loss due to a major disaster for which the governor has declared a state of emergency.


      Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger announced he has signed AB 2171 by Assemblymember Paul Cook ( R-Yucca Valley ) which begins the process towards the construction of the Purple Heart Memorial in State Capitol Park in Sacramento . 


      Last week the Governor announced the signing of SB 1455 by Senator Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto), which authorizes the creation of the Gold Star Family License Plate and allows a family member of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces killed on active duty to apply for the plate containing a gold star and the words "Gold Star Family."  As a token of the state's appreciation for their sacrifice, the bill provides a special waiver of fees for Gold Star Families.   




      Note to editors: This Veterans News and previous CDVA news releases, advisories, and newsletters are available on our website at www.cdva.ca.gov and via email from Jaime.Arteaga@....




      PS Unrelated to the above but worthy of note. 

      Doris Matsui, my Respresentative, is a Navy Leaguer too.


      Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-05)


      Exerpts of messages received.


      Washington , D.C. - Today, May 22, 2008, Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-5) successfully amended the Defense Department Authorization Bill to ensure that America's veterans receive the full scope of education benefits to which they are entitled.  After being contacted by a constituent, Rep. Matsui investigated the issue with the Army and Department of Defense and crafted an amendment to correct the current law.
      "We owe our honored veterans a debt of gratitude for their noble service to the United States of America.  As lawmakers, it is our duty to make sure that they receive the very best services and support our country has to offer," said Rep. Matsui.

      Washington , D.C. - Today, July 9, 2008, Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-05) announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs will open a new Vet Center in Sacramento County by the Fall of 2009. The new Vet Center was made possible by the $15 million funding increase for Vet Centers provided last year by the Democratic Congress. The additional resources will address the growing need for readjustment services to existing and new combat veterans. It will also assist families of those killed while on active duty and veterans experiencing military related sexual trauma.
      "Over the last year and a half, we have made landmark investments in veterans' services and funding. Now, as we prepare to welcome home the veterans currently serving our country, the new Vet Center will make sure that they have the tools and assistance they need to successfully reintegrate into our community," said Rep. Matsui.

      WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, September 24, 2008, the House passed S. 3001, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009.  The bill included an amendment from Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-05) that grew out of a local Iraq War veteran's difficulty receiving education benefits he was promised when he enlisted.
      "My amendment will help American servicemembers receive the educational benefits they were promised.  The Pentagon cannot use backdoor legal tactics to deny these soldiers what they have earned and deserve," said Rep. Matsui.  "We owe nothing less to the men and women who have risked their lives in defense of our country."

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