SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale) announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved two bills he authored to aid veterans.
Assembly Bill (AB) 1509 would require the California Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a California specific transition assistance program (Cal TAP), and AB 585 will require the Department to develop a plan to better utilize existing properties to enhance or increase local veterans’ services.
“Our current ability to serve veterans, particularly those who will be returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, is inadequate and unacceptable,” said Fox. “These bills are intended to reverse national and local trends to improve access to benefits.”
AB 1509 would require the state Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to develop a transition assistance program designed for veterans who become residents of California when they conclude their service.
The California transition assistance program (CalTAP) would include state-specific information regarding higher education benefits, vocational training, small business resources, health care programs, military sexual trauma (MST), housing, and other family resources.
AB 585 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to formulate a plan to develop unused or underutilized real properties to expand veterans’ services.
Currently, the department is authorized to hold property for future use. The bill specifically directs the department to craft a master plan to identify properties that can be used for additional veteran housing, supportive, and health services.
Both measures now will advance to the State Senate for consideration.