I am pleased to announce that AB 614 and AB 258 both passed out of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee today! Please read below for the Press Release.
TWO PIECES OF CHÁVEZ LEGISLATION CLEAR FIRST LEGISLATIVE HURDLE
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Rocky Chávez (R-Oceanside) announced today that his Assembly Bills 614 and 258 cleared their first legislative hurdles. Dealing with various veteran issues, both pieces of legislation passed out of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee.
AB 258 would update the veteran identifier question seen on forms at any state government organization from “Are you a veteran?” to “Have you ever served in the military?” Many military members, especially women, do not correctly identify as veterans, causing them to lose out on many of the Federal Benefits for which they are entitled.
“It is a shame that many of our female veterans do not believe they are entitled to the same benefits as their male counterparts,” said Chávez. “AB 258 is a small change that will positively impact our female veterans and ensure they have access to the benefits they deserve.”
“Through our organization we have encountered many citizens who have served in the military, but would not classify themselves as veterans,” said Sandra Fichter, a United States Army veteran and Vice President of the Veterans Association of North County. “This bill is a wonderful step towards being inclusive of all veterans.”
AB 614 would modernize the priority of admittance for California Veterans’ Homes by requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs consider a veterans economic hardship, along with their age and disability needs, before admitting them to the home. Veterans desiring admission to a Veterans’ Home must have received an honorable discharge from Active Military service and be either 55 or older, homeless or disabled.
“Veterans’ Homes were originally established for those who did not have the physical or financial means to take care of themselves. There are at least 20,000 homeless veterans across California. These individuals deserve our respect and assistance. AB 614 will help get these veterans off the streets and into Veterans’ Homes.”
Both AB 614 and AB 258 received unanimous, bi-partisan support.
Rocky J. Chávez is a retired Marine Colonel, former City Councilman and former Acting Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs. He represents California’s 76th Assembly District, which includes Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside and Vista.
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