BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS

          Bill No:  SB 1127
          Author:   Oropeza (D)
          Amended:  8/2/10
          Vote:     21

           SENATE VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE  :  4-0, 4/13/10
          AYES:  Denham, Correa, Negrete McLeod, Cedillo
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Wyland, Vacancy, Vacancy

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8

           SENATE FLOOR  :  35-0, 6/1/10 (Consent)
          AYES:  Aanestad, Alquist, Ashburn, Calderon, Cedillo,  
            Cogdill, Corbett, Correa, Cox, Denham, DeSaulnier,  
            Ducheny, Dutton, Florez, Hancock, Harman, Hollingsworth,  
            Huff, Kehoe, Leno, Liu, Lowenthal, Negrete McLeod,  
            Padilla, Pavley, Price, Romero, Runner, Simitian,  
            Steinberg, Strickland, Wolk, Wright, Wyland, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Oropeza, Walters, Wiggins, Vacancy,  
           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  78-0, 8/12/10 (Consent) - See last page  
          for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Department of Veteran Affairs:  Internet  
          resources for 
                      veterans and their family members

           SOURCE  :     Author



                                                               SB 1127

           DIGEST  :    This bill requires the Department of Veterans  
          Affairs (DVA) to make specific Internet and printed  
          material related to veteran ailments available to family  
          members of veterans returning from active duty.

           Assembly Amendments  require DVA to update its Internet Web  
          site to prominently display a link to the Network of Care  
          for Veterans and Service Members site.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          This bill:

          1. Requires the DVA 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, including,  
             but not limited to, all of the following:

             A.    Exposure to Agent Orange and post-traumatic stress  
                disorder from the Vietnam War.

             B.    Exposure to depleted uranium and Gulf War Syndrome  
                from Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert  

             C.    Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress  
                disorder from Operation Enduring Freedom and  
                Operation Iraqi Freedom.

          2. Stipulates that the Internet resources shall provide  
             links to the appropriate agency or person that may help  
             the family members of the veteran address any issues  
             arising from these ailments.

          3. Requires printed material regarding these ailments to be  
             available at any public function of the DVA.

          4. Requires DVA to make specific Internet and printed  
             material related to veteran ailments available to family  
             members of veterans returning from active duty.



                                                              SB 1127

           According to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee  
          analysis, 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.

          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 DVA combined efforts to  
          provide assistance for deserving veterans who have served.   
          Through the Network of Care, Californians can show their  
          support for those who serve and have served their state and  

          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 do."

          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  



                                                               SB 1127

          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 is a one-stop resource for access to community mental  
          health services in all 58 of our California counties.  It  
          is not only for veterans; it is for their families too.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/12/10)

          American Legion, Department of California
          AMVETS, Department of California
          Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Anderson, Arambula, Bass, Beall,  
            Bill Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Blakeslee, Block,  
            Blumenfield, Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, Caballero,  
            Charles Calderon, Carter, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto,  
            Davis, De La Torre, De Leon, DeVore, Eng, Evans, Feuer,  
            Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Fuller, Furutani, Gaines,  
            Galgiani, Garrick, Gatto, Gilmore, Hagman, Hall, Harkey,  
            Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill, Huber, Huffman, Jeffries,  
            Jones, Knight, Lieu, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma,  
            Mendoza, Miller, Monning, Nava, Nestande, Niello,  
            Nielsen, V. Manuel Perez, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas,  
            Saldana, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Audra  
            Strickland, Swanson, Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran,  
            Villines, Yamada, John A. Perez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Norby, Vacancy

          TSM:mw  8/16/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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