January 11, 2018 - Sacramento – Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. on Wednesday released his budget proposal for the 2018-19 budget year, including a budget allocation of $467.7 million to develop and refine programs and services provided for veterans through the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).
"The budget Governor Brown proposed for CalVet this morning, including a $6 million net increase, reaffirms his ongoing commitment to California’s veteran community,” said Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, in remarks to veteran stakeholder representatives via teleconference. “The welfare of our veterans and their families continues to be a priority for the Governor as he enters this final year of his administration.”
The number of veterans in California is decreasing, reflecting a nationwide shift. It’s now at 1.7 million. However, the level of services veterans need is increasing. Our largest contingent of veterans – those who served during the Vietnam War – are aging and beginning to need greater medical care, while our younger veterans returning from the wars in the Middle East are facing greater medical, mental health and other challenges as they adjust to civilian life.
The budget the Governor proposed today includes commitments to support, expand or realign CalVet’s programs to meet the changing needs of our veterans.
- Convert the independent living facility at the Veterans Home of California - Yountville from dual-occupancy to single-occupancy, except for couples.
- Fund preliminary planning to construct a new, state-of-the-art skilled nursing facility on the Yountville Veterans Home campus to address the high need for skilled nursing care.
- Fund planning for Phase II construction at the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery in Seaside to allow for in-ground burials.
- Expand outreach to incarcerated veterans by providing trained veteran service representatives at California State Prisons to help veterans apply for benefits they or their families have earned.
- Provide support for CalVet’s information security, applications, websites, databases, and information technology projects and procurements.
- Make improvements needed to operate Rector Dam and Reservoir, located on the Veterans Home of California-Yountville campus.
- Correctly align funding associated with General Fund sourced programs to reduce Farm and Home administrative costs and make those funds available for loans to veterans.
“What we are seeing as a theme in all of the issues addressed in this budget, both veteran-specific and the budget as a whole, is the importance of making thoughtful improvements to our services in a strategic way that is sustainable in good times and bad,” Dr. Imbasciani said. “I believe CalVet is very well-positioned to continue ensuring that California veterans and their families receive the full measure of support they have earned."