SACRAMENTO (March 20, 2012) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) today joined fellow Republican lawmakers in introducing measures to honor the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families. As a principal coauthor of Assembly Bill 2151, Nielsen is fighting to ensure the timely opening of much-needed new Veterans' Homes in Redding and Fresno areas.
"We have two Veterans' Homes that need to open, one in Redding and one in Fresno. In a budget of $90 billion, it makes no sense to cut a few million dollars for providing critical facilities for those who sacrificed so much for our country," said Nielsen. "Budgets are about priorities and our veterans must be a priority. We must remember our veterans, and not just with words but with actions."
Veterans home funding is a top budget priority for Assembly Republicans. These homes were built to house hundreds of veterans, but Governor Brown and the majority party removed key funding in their budget last year. No public hearings were held before the cut was made and it prevented the homes from opening on time. These homes will be completed by this spring and be ready to begin operations this summer, however, under the governor's plan not one veteran will be served until January 2014.
"In times of war, in times of trial, the public will cry out that we must not forget our veterans," said Nielsen. "And then the crisis passes and they do. We must remember our veterans every single day, for they are serving us and sacrificing for us every day. We look forward to working with legislative Democrats and Governor Brown to pass these pro-veteran measures as quickly as possible to give veterans the support they need."
Among the many reforms that Republicans have proposed today are:
- Restoring funding for new veterans homes in Fresno and Redding (AB 2151, Halderman, LaMalfa and Nielsen as principal coauthors)
- Making it easier for our troops to vote (AB 1929, Gorell)
- Helping veterans obtain state employment (AB 1930, Gorell)
- Creating a "one-stop shop" for veterans to access services and benefits (AB 1931, Gorell)
- Making sure military training counts for licensure of health care jobs (AB 1932, Gorell)
- Allowing former military police officers to more easily qualify as local police officers (AB 2130 Gorell)
- Protecting the custody rights of military single parents (AB 1807, Cook)
- Giving veterans a tax break on certain service-related pay (AB 2004, Knight)
- Extending priority class registration enrollment for current or former members of the Armed Services at a community college or state university to 15 years (AB 1832, Silva)
- Waiving inspection fees for veterans with disabilities to modify their homes (AB 1592 Olsen)