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 - 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.
Governor Schwarzenegger signed the following veterans-related legislation:
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 Assembly member Lori Saldaņa (D-San Diego), requires the state 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.
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.
The governor also 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 some fees for Gold Star Families.