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

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Lowell High School is considered an academically elite public school. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Students denounce ‘rampant, unchecked racism’ at Lowell after slurs flood anti-racism lesson

A lesson on anti-racism at Lowell High School on Wednesday was bombarded… Continue reading

Most Read