AP Photo/Lenny IgnelziCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown speaks after signing legislative bill AB639 that will ask voters to repurpose $600 million of existing veterans' housing bonds for use in building veteran housing Thursday

AP Photo/Lenny IgnelziCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown speaks after signing legislative bill AB639 that will ask voters to repurpose $600 million of existing veterans' housing bonds for use in building veteran housing Thursday

California governor signs laws to help veterans

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a number of bills Thursday aimed at helping veterans, including legislation that could provide funds to expand affordable housing to combat homelessness among former service members.

California is home to a quarter of the country's homeless veterans.

“Today we're doing something really good,” Brown said of the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act before signing the legislation during a ceremony at the San Diego Veterans Village, which provides transitional housing and other programs to homeless veterans.

The legislation will ask voters in June to approve allowing the state to use $600 million of existing veterans' housing bond funds for multifamily, transitional housing.

Phil Landis, a Vietnam veteran who started the Veterans Village, said thousands of new dorms could be built for homeless veterans with the funds.

The bill was among a dozen signed by Brown on Thursday that supporters say will help veterans. They include one bill that would authorize the governing board of a county to grant financial assistance, relief and support to a disabled veteran and another that adds “military and veteran status” to the list of categories protected from discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Brown's actions come a day after Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who promised to end veteran homelessness by 2015, spelled out some of the dire consequences of a longer-term government shutdown in testimony before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Shinseki said 315,000 veterans and 202,000 surviving spouses and dependents will see pension payments stopped, and about 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation next month if the partial government shutdown continues into late October.

Short term, there's been a delay in processing claims by an average of about 1,400 per day since the shutdown began Oct. 1.

The House has passed legislation that would provide veterans disability, pension and other benefits if the shutdown is prolonged. But the White House has urged lawmakers not to take a piecemeal approach to continuing government services.CaliforniaCalifornia NewsJerry Brownveterans

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

San Francisco Police stand guard outside the Mission Police Station during a protest over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fired: California bill aims to decertify police for serious misconduct

By Robert Lewis CalMatters On a Wednesday afternoon in April 2018, Gardena… Continue reading

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that state employees and health care workers must be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and wear masks. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters)
California orders vaccine or testing for health care workers, state employees

By Ana B. Ibarra CalMatters Amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases and… Continue reading

Jeremy Kahn and Monica Ho are excellent in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Lauren Yee’s “The Song of Summer,” being presented live and online. (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)
Touching relationship at heart of ‘Song of Summer’

Lighthearted SF Playhouse show ‘feels right for this moment’

Most Read