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Veterans

Honoring the service and sacrifice of California's military veterans and their families by working to ensure quality and equity among veteran programs and celebrating the diversity of all those who have sacrificed and served.

Big Legislative Wins for Veterans

AB 325 (Irwin)

Establishes the Veteran’s Military Discharge Upgrade Grant program to help veterans who were less than honorably discharged due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), or for their sexual orientation under DADT. Veteran service providers will help educate veterans about the discharge upgrade process and assist eligible veterans to access earned benefits.

SB 1311 (Eggman/Atkins)

Active and inactive military service members continue to remain targets of predatory practices – often resulting from circumstances surrounding their constant relocation. SB 1331 will strengthen consumer protections for service members by expanding legal and consumer protections for military service members in the areas of privacy contracts, security deposits, product discounts and other financial products. SB 1311 also enhances the penalties for those who would seek to exploit military service members.

SB 352 (Eggman)

Establishes sexual harassment as a stand-alone crime in California’s incorporation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, holds such perpetrators of sexual harassment criminally liable, and makes sex crime data committed by military personnel publicly available. SB 352 will help reduce this type of sexual abuse that leads to other serious sexual offenses in the California Military Department. This law was a model for the nation as well. Shortly after SB 352 was signed into law by Governor Newsom, President Biden signed an Executive Order designating sexual harassment a stand-alone crime under the United States’ military’s judicial code.

 

Big Budgetary Wins for Veterans

$25 million for the Veterans Support to Self-Reliance (VSSR) Pilot

This three-year pilot program will address the needs of high-risk, formerly homeless, and aging veterans living in permanent supportive housing (PSH) will help keep these veterans stably-housed and provide supportive care. This program will increase housing security, access to healthcare, reduce dependence on emergency services, and provide a cost-effective framework to help care for our most at-risk veterans who have sacrificed so much for this country.

$50 million for the California Veterans Health Initiative (CVHI)

Establishes a comprehensive suicide prevention program to provide assessment, early intervention and treatment to veterans through a community-based system.  The CVHI work with a network of clinics to provide veteran-specific mental healthcare through treatment and crisis intervention and raise awareness about veteran suicide and promote health and wellness. The CVHI will also provide recommendations for future prevention, intervention, and post-intervention strategies based on data collected by a multidisciplinary team of professionals and other stakeholders.

California is home to more veterans than any state in the nation. It is our solemn duty to advocate for all veterans – regardless of their race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability - and to help ensure they receive the benefits and justice they earned through their service to our nation.

Stacey Smith, Special Projects Director

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