Amended in Senate September 5, 2013

Amended in Assembly March 21, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 717


Introduced by Assembly Member Chávez

February 21, 2013


An act to amend Sections 66.5 and 72 of, to add Section 73.4 to, and to repeal Section 69.5 of, the Military and Veterans Code, relating to veterans.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 717, as amended, Chávez. Veterans.

(1) Existing law establishes the California Veterans Board, composed of 7 members with specified qualifications who are appointed by the Governor and subject to the confirmation of the Senate, to determine the policies for all operations of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This bill would require the board tobegin delete instead serve as an advisory body toend deletebegin insert advise the department andend insert the Secretary of the Department of Veterans of Affairsbegin insert on policies for operations of the department, and would require the department to respond to all proposed policy changes offered by the board prior to the next scheduled meeting of the boardend insert. This bill would also eliminate certain qualifications to be a member of the board, and require every board member to be a member in good standing with a congressionally chartered veteran service organization.

(2) Existing law requires the board to annually report to the Legislature regarding the activities, accomplishments, and expenditures of the board.

This bill would repeal this requirement.

(3) Existing law sets forth the duties of the secretary and the board with regard to the administration of the department to benefit California veterans.

This bill would require the secretary and the board to each seek to confer with the California State Commanders Veterans Council at least twice per calendar year on issues affecting California veterans.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1begin insert

begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

end insert

begin insertThe Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:end insert

begin insert

3(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to make the California
4Veterans Board more responsive to California’s veterans by
5removing outdated language from the Military and Veterans Code,
6and by removing unnecessary professional requirements for board
7members, thereby increasing the number of veterans eligible for
8appointment by the Governor.

end insert
begin insert

9(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the changes to law
10made by this act have no impact or effect on the ability of a veteran
11to appeal any decision made by a division of the Department of
12Veterans Affairs to the California Veterans Board, as allowed by
13Section 86 of the Military and Veterans Code, including, but not
14limited to, an appeal regarding the denial of admission to a
15Veterans’ Home of California.

end insert
16

begin deleteSECTION 1.end delete
17begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

Section 66.5 of the Military and Veterans Code is
18amended to read:

19

66.5.  

(a) Every member of the board shall be a member in
20good standing with a congressionally chartered veteran service
21organization.

22(b) One member of the board shall have substantial training,
23professional knowledge, or experience in the issues faced by female
24veterans which may include, but are not limited to, the following
25issues:

26(1) Combat-related disorders.

27(2) Sexual trauma.

28(3) Homelessness.

P3    1(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any
2member of the board from serving the remainder of his or her term.

3

begin deleteSEC. 2.end delete
4begin insertSEC. 3.end insert  

Section 69.5 of the Military and Veterans Code is
5repealed.

6

begin deleteSEC. 3.end delete
7begin insertSEC. 4.end insert  

Section 72 of the Military and Veterans Code is
8amended to read:

9

72.  

The California Veterans Board shallbegin delete serve as an advisory
10body to the secretaryend delete
begin insert advise the department and secretary on
11policies for operations of the department. The department shall
12respond to all proposed policy changes offered by the California
13Veterans Board prior to the next scheduled meeting of the boardend insert
.

14

begin deleteSEC. 4.end delete
15begin insertSEC. 5.end insert  

Section 73.4 is added to the Military and Veterans
16Code
, to read:

17

73.4.  

The secretary and the board shall each seek to confer
18with the California State Commanders Veterans Council at least
19twice per calendar year on issues affecting California veterans.



O

    97