BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 1127
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   June 29, 2010

                                 Paul J. Cook, Chair
                    SB 1127 (Oropeza) - As Amended:  May 18, 2010

           SENATE VOTE  :   35-0
          SUBJECT  :   Veterans: information to family members.

           SUMMARY  :   Requires the California Department of Veterans  
          Affairs to make available to family members of veterans  
          returning from active duty user-friendly Internet resources that  
          provide information on the signs of pertinent ailments from  
          various conflicts and printed material regarding those ailments  
          at any public function of the department.  

           EXISTING LAW:   Requires CDVA to aid and assist California  
          veterans and their families and to administer the California  
          Veterans Homes.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   No cost was identified by Senate Appropriations  

           COMMENTS  :   According to the author, who cites several recent  
          studies, returning war veterans can often have problems  
          reintegrating to society.  In the modern era, American society  
          witnessed the problem of reintegration in the early 1980s when  
          it was discovered that many of the people on skid row were  
          Vietnam Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, now known  
          as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Traditionally it is  
          the Federal Government's responsibility to take care of  
          veterans, but as more and more unseen ailments such as PTSD and  
          Traumatic Brain Injury are affecting veterans who are being  
          discharged without diagnosis and without notification to the  
          federal Veterans' Administration (VA).

          As a result of unseen and undiagnosed ailments these veterans  
          then fall through the cracks of the VA health system and land on  
          county mental health systems, which according to the funding in  
          that county, may or may not cover that particular ailment.   
          Veterans from our current conflicts are falling into  
          homelessness faster than their Vietnam counterparts because of  
          the inability to integrate back into civilian life. 


                                                                  SB 1127
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          When these conditions go untreated some veterans turn to drugs  
          and alcohol and can often lose what few benefits they have.  The  
          loss of these benefits only continues the downward spiral.  When  
          veterans return home undiagnosed and outside of the VA system,  
          their family is often the only asset left to help get these  
          veterans help.

          On Monday, May 23, 2009 the Administration announced the launch  
          of the Network of Care for Veterans web site.  In an effort with  
          other departments the California Department of Veterans Affairs  
          combined efforts to provide assistance for deserving veterans  
          who have served. Though the Network of Care, Californians can  
          show their support for those who serve and have served their  
          state and nation. 

          The administration has said, "Fighting in a war is a  
          life-changing experience. A veteran can leave the battlefield  
          but leaving behind the pain, the anguish and the terrible  
          memories is much more difficult and much more challenging to  

          County mental health directors widely recognize the needs of  
          returning soldiers and their families, and in their community  
          mental health plans have included programs and resources to meet  
          those needs. They used Mental Health Services Act funds to  
          develop a public-private partnership to develop what they  
          labeled convenient, easy-to-use online resource specific to the  
          needs of veterans and service members, the Network of Care. It's  
          a one-stop resource for access to community mental health  
          services in all 58 of our California counties. And it's not only  
          for veterans; it's for their families too.

          The Veterans Network of Care was referenced in the veto message  
          of AB 716 of 2009, as a public/private partnership that provides  
          social service, mental health, employment, medical and  
          educational links for veterans and active duty personnel, as  
          well as their families.

          The committee may wish to suggest amendments directing the  
          California Department of Veterans Affairs to update their  
          website with a prominently displayed link to the Veterans  
          Network of Care.



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          None on file.
          None on file.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Eric Worthen / V. A. / (916) 319-3550