SACRAMENTO (September 20, 2012) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) announced that AB 2198 was signed into law by the governor today. AB 2198 requires that CDVA include in its annual report to the Legislature and Department of Finance the amount of services received and the number of claims filed by county veterans service officers. It also requires the report to include information concerning the number of homeless veterans who were assisted in obtaining federal benefits by county veterans service officers, and it extends the due date of the annual report from January 1st to March 1st of each year.
"We are pleased that the governor signed this significant legislation," said Nielsen. "It will help ensure that California veterans receive the best services that they are entitled to. It will allow an ability to monitor and assess its operations to make sure that these services are available and delivered to our veterans. "
The CDVA estimated that California's veterans are foregoing as much as $1.5 billion in federal benefits to which they are entitled. Current data shows that approximately 15.06% of California veterans receive federal compensation and pension benefits, averaging $1,929 per month per veteran. California ranks below the national average (15.72%) in both percentage of veterans receiving benefits and the amount they receive. California contains the largest population of homeless veterans in the nation.
"We want to thank Assemblyman Nielsen for authoring AB 2198 on behalf of the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers" said Charles Hunnicutt, President of the CACVSO. "This measure will help County Veterans Service Officers provide more information to the Administration and the Legislature on the CVSO's true value to the veterans of the State of California. In the past, the Legislature has only received limited information about the federal benefits that CVSO's obtain for California's veterans."
"Assemblyman Nielsen has always been one of the strongest supporters of veterans in the Legislature. He successfully lead the fight for funding for the Redding Veterans Home this year", said Pete Conaty, Veterans Advocate.