Law:Division 1. Administration Of Military And Veterans Affairs (California)

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Chapter 1. The Military Department

Ca Codes (mvc:50-54) Military And Veterans Code Section 50-54



50. There shall be in the State Government the Military Department.


51. The Military Department includes the office of the Adjutant General, the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, the California Cadet Corps, and the Naval Militia.


52. The Adjutant General succeeds to, and is vested with, the duties, power, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction of the Division of Military Affairs and of the officers and employees of that division. The Adjutant General shall, in addition to all other duties, be the head of the Military Department and shall be responsible for its affairs, functions, duties, funds, and property.


52.5. The Adjutant General may enter into agreements to provide for joint and several liability and indemnity to private agencies and persons for injuries to third parties arising out of a negligent act or omission by a member of the California National Guard while involved in on-the-job training.


53. The creation of the Military Department shall in no manner affect the status, position, pay, classification, rights, duties, obligations, responsibilities, or tenure, as the same exist on the effective date of this act, of any person, employee, appointee, officer, enlisted person, warrant officer or commissioned officer employed, enlisted or appointed by or on duty with or in the service of the Office of the Adjutant General or the Adjutant General or the National Guard or the State Military Reserve or the California Cadet Corps or the Naval Militia.


54. All unexpended balances appropriated for the use of the office of the Adjutant General, the Adjutant General, the National Guard, the State Military Reserve or the Naval Militia and not required by the office of the Adjutant General, the Adjutant General, the National Guard, the State Military Reserve or the Naval Militia may be expended by the Adjutant General for the use and benefit of the Military Department. Except as herein provided, all money and funds available to or appropriated for the use and benefit of the office of the Adjutant General, the Adjutant General, the National Guard, the State Military Reserve, the California Cadet Corps or the Naval Militia, upon the effective date of this act, shall not be affected by the creation of the Military Department.


Chapter 2. Department Of Veterans Affairs

Ca Codes (mvc:60-89) Military And Veterans Code Section 60-89



60. As used in this chapter, "department" means the Department of Veterans Affairs.


61. As used in this chapter, "board" means the California Veterans Board.

62. As used in this code, "secretary" means the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.


63. There is in the state government a Department of Veterans Affairs.

64. There shall be a California Veterans Board.


65. The California Veterans Board shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed by the Governor subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

66. All members of the board shall be veterans as "veteran" is defined in Section 18540.4 of the Government Code. One of these members shall also be retired from the active or reserve forces of the United States military service. One of these members shall also be a resident of a California veterans home. This subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit a member of the board who does not meet this requirement from serving the remainder of his or her term.


66.5. (a) One member of the board shall have substantial training or professional expertise in mortgage lending and real estate finance. (b) One other member of the board shall have substantial training or professional expertise in geriatrics, gerontology, or long-term care. (c) One member of the board shall have an accounting or auditing background, and preferably shall be a certified public accountant. (d) One member of the board shall have a degree in health care administration or shall have experience in the financial management of health care facilities. (e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any member of the board from serving the remainder of his or her term. (f) The first vacancy in the membership of the board, that occurs after the enactment of the act adding this subdivision and does not require the training or expertise required by subdivision (a) or (b), shall be filled by the appointment of a member who meets the criteria required by subdivision (c).


67. (a) Of the members as appointed, except as provided in subdivision (b), one shall be appointed for a term expiring January 15, 1947, two for terms expiring January 15, 1948, two for terms expiring January 15, 1949, and two for terms expiring January 15, 1950. Subsequent appointments shall be for terms of four years. (b) The member of the board who is a resident of a California veterans home shall be appointed for a term expiring January 15 of an odd-numbered year. Subsequent appointments shall be made on a rotational basis based on the age of the home, beginning with the oldest veterans home with independent living. (c) Vacancies shall be immediately filled by the Governor for the unexpired portion of the terms in which they occur.


68. Each member of the board shall receive, for each day's attendance at each meeting of the board, a per diem of fifty dollars ($50) and shall receive the same per diem for each day spent on official duties assigned by the board. In addition, each member shall be reimbursed for his necessary traveling and other expenses incurred in the performance of his official duties.


69. (a) The board shall hold meetings at times and at places as shall be determined by it. (b) Special meetings may be called at any time by the chairperson or by the executive officer at the request of any four members, upon notice specifying the matters to be acted upon at the meeting, but no other matters shall be acted upon at these special meetings which were not so noticed.

69.5. The board shall report to the Legislature by October 1 of each year regarding the activities, accomplishments, and expenditures of the board during the preceding fiscal year. The report shall be prepared in sufficient detail so that Members of the Legislature may clearly understand the activities, accomplishments, and expenditures of the board that occurred during the report period.


69.7. In the budget submitted by the department pursuant to Section 13320 of the Government Code, the board shall have its budget separately stated. Those funds allocated for the board shall be used solely as determined by the members of the board, for the board's operation and other necessary purposes as the board may determine.


69.9. (a) On or before January 10, 2009, and on or before January 10 of each year thereafter, the department shall provide the fiscal committees of both houses of the Legislature with a fiscal estimate package containing the anticipated budget year costs of carrying out the current year's level of service as authorized by the Legislature for the state veterans homes. (b) (1) The fiscal estimate package shall include, but not be limited to, the following information, which shall be provided for each veterans home: (A) An annual resident census by level of care. (B) An annual position summary by level of care and nonlevel of care. (C) Operating and equipment expenses, including, but not limited to, the following: (i) Cost adjustments specific to the adjustment in the number of residents by level of care. (ii) Any staff adjustments, whether level of care or nonlevel of care. (D) A fiscal display of any moneys budgeted by the department as revenues or recoveries to the General Fund. (2) Each fiscal estimate package shall include, in addition to the information provided pursuant to paragraph (1), a description of the assumptions and methodologies used for calculating the resident level of care factors, all staffing costs, and operating and equipment expenses. Fiscal bridge charts shall be included that display the year-to-year changes in funding levels by funding source. (3) The department may provide any additional information as deemed appropriate to provide a comprehensive fiscal perspective to the Legislature for the analysis and deliberations for purposes of appropriation. (c) On or before May 15, 2009, and on or before May 15 of each year thereafter, the department shall provide the fiscal committees of both houses of the Legislature with an updated fiscal estimate package that shall include, but is not limited to, an updated fiscal display of any moneys budgeted by the department as revenues or recoveries to the General Fund and updated fiscal bridge charts that display the year-to-year changes in funding levels by funding source.


70. (a) The Department of Veterans Affairs succeeds to, and is vested with, the duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs, the Division of Veterans' Welfare, the Veterans' Welfare Board, the California Veterans' Commission, the Division of Veterans' Homes, the Board of Directors of the Veterans' Home of California, and the Board of Directors of the Woman's Relief Corps Home of California and of the officers and employees of that department, those divisions and boards, and that commission, except that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in lieu of the Director of Military and Veterans' Affairs, is a member of the Governor's cabinet and, in lieu of the chair of the Veterans' Welfare Board, is a member of each and every veterans' finance committee of which the chair until now has been a member. (b) (1) There is hereby created the California Veterans Memorial Registry Fund, for the deposit of financial contributions made for the support of the Veterans Registry, which is part of the California Veterans Memorial. Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code and without regard to fiscal years, the money in the fund is hereby continuously appropriated to the department for the purpose of defraying the costs of data entry and system management for the Veterans Registry and the reasonable costs that are incurred by the department for administering the fund. (2) In order to be eligible for inclusion in the Veterans Registry, a person must have served in the active military of the United States, received a discharge under honorable conditions, and resided in California at some time before, during, or after his or her military service. Failure to meet this eligibility requirement constitutes good cause for removal of the person's name from the Veterans Registry.


71. (a) The members of the board shall select one of their members to serve as chairperson, who shall hold office as chairperson at the pleasure of the board. (b) The chairperson of the board, with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the board, shall appoint an executive officer, who shall attend all meetings of the board, keep a full and true record of all its proceedings, preserve at its general office all its books, documents, and papers, and perform other duties that the board may prescribe. (c) The department shall provide the board with adequate office and meeting space at no cost to the board. This space shall be easily accessible to disabled veterans.


72. The California Veterans Board shall determine the policies for all operations of the department.


73. The California Veterans Board may create advisory committees consisting of veterans to advise the board in specific fields under or relating to the jurisdiction of the board. The board shall appoint the members thereof and they shall serve at its pleasure. The board shall also designate the chairman and vice chairman therof. The committees shall be under the direction of the board and shall be wholly advisory in character and shall not be delegated any administrative authority or responsibility. Members of such committees shall not receive compensation from the State for their services, but when called into conference or session by the board shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in connection with such conferences or sessions, and for purposes of such reimbursement shall be deemed to be nonsalaried commission members.

73.7. (a) Any state officer or employee who intentionally engages in acts of reprisal, retaliation, threats, coercion, or similar acts against an employee of any state department, board, or authority for having disclosed what the employee, in good faith, believed to be improper activities regarding veterans programs that are supported by the state shall be disciplined by adverse action as provided in Section 19572 of the Government Code. If no adverse action is instituted by the appointing power, the State Personnel Board shall take adverse action in the same manner as provided in Section 19583.5 of the Government Code. (b) In addition to all other causes of action, penalties, or other remedies provided by law, any state officer or employee who intentionally engages in acts of reprisal, retaliation, threats, coercion, or similar acts against an employee for having disclosed what the employee, in good faith, believed to be improper activities regarding veterans programs that are supported by the state shall be liable in an action for damages brought against him or her by the injured party. Punitive damages may be awarded by the court if the acts of the offending party are proven to be malicious. If liability has been established, the injured party also shall be entitled to reasonable attorney's fees as provided by law.


73.8. The board shall have access to all documents and employees of the department.


74. (a) The chief administrative officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs shall be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs who shall be a civil executive officer. (b) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall be a veteran as "veteran" is defined in Section 18540.4 of the Government Code. (c) Whenever the term "Director of Veterans Affairs" or "director" appears in this code, it shall mean the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.


75. The secretary shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor.


76. The annual salary of the secretary is provided for by Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 11550) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.


78. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is head of the department and, as head of the department and subject to the policies adopted by the board, shall perform all duties, exercise all powers and jurisdiction, assume and discharge all responsibilities and carry out and effect all provisions now or hereafter vested by law in the department.


78.5. The secretary shall conduct audits as required by Section 13402 of the Government Code, on internal controls of the department, that shall be provided to the inspector general.


79. There shall be an Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs, who shall be a civil executive officer. He or she shall be appointed and his or her salary shall be established by the secretary pursuant to law.


79.1. In addition to the Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs, there shall be within the department, and the secretary shall appoint, a Deputy Secretary of Women Veterans Affairs who shall have responsibility over administration of women veterans affairs.


79.2. (a) In addition to the secretary, the Governor shall appoint a Deputy Secretary of Veterans Homes, to serve at the pleasure of the secretary, who shall be responsible for the administration of all sites of the California veterans homes. (b) It is preferable that the deputy secretary is a medical doctor who holds a valid, unrevoked, and unsuspended license to practice medicine in this state, or is a professionally trained hospital administrator with (1) experience in managing a multihospital organization and (2) training or experience in the care of the elderly. (c) The role of the deputy secretary shall be to oversee and monitor all aspects of medical care that is being provided to men and women veterans who are residents in any California veterans home.


80. The director may employ subject to law such expert, technical, legal, clerical, and other employees as may be necessary to carry out his powers and duties and except as expressly otherwise provided in Section 71 of this chapter, the director shall be the sole appointing authority for the department for all positions. Whenever possible preference shall be given to veterans for employment in the department.


83. Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, the provisions of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code shall be applicable to the Department of Veterans Affairs as if the provisions of said Chapter 2 were set out fully herein. Whenever in such chapter the term "head of the department" or similar designation occurs, it shall mean the director, except that for the purposes of Article 2 of said Chapter 2 it shall also mean both the board and any member of the board to whom the duty of conducting any investigation is given by the board.


84. (a) The secretary may whenever he or she deems it advisable and shall when required so to do by the board present reports and recommendations to the board concerning any matter relating to veterans' welfare whether or not provided by existing law. (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the secretary shall not effectuate any policy change that would modify any veterans' program without first fully briefing the board regarding the effects upon veterans of the proposed policy change. (c) For the purposes of this section and Section 700, "program" means the Veterans Home of California, the veterans' farm and home purchase program, including any associated insurance programs, and any veterans' education assistance program. (d) "Policy change" for the purposes of this section means any proposed changes to the programs set forth in subdivision (c) that would directly or indirectly affect the eligibility of veterans to participate in, the affordability for veterans of, or the financial stability of, those programs.


85. Records of the department which are records of contract purchasers, shall not be open to inspection by the public.


86. (a) Any person deeming himself or herself a veteran and who applies for benefits may appeal any decision made by a division of the department to the California Veterans Board. Upon receipt of the appeal, the board shall grant a hearing, if requested, and shall render its decision in writing to the appellant not later than the second meeting of the board following the receipt of the appeal or of the hearing if one is held. An appeal shall be deemed to have been received by the board on the date of the first meeting of the board subsequent to delivery of the appeal to the executive officer of the board. Except for judicial review, the board's decision is final and the board shall have the power to change or modify with good cause any decision that is adverse to the appellant. Except as described in subdivision (b), all hearings of appeals may be delegated by the board to the undersecretary or a deputy secretary of the department. Hearings shall be held in the department office nearest to the appellant's home unless the appellant requests otherwise. (b) Hearings of appeals related to the Veterans' Farm and Home Purchase Act may be delegated by the board only to the Office of Administrative Hearings to be conducted by administrative law judges of the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11370) and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. The administrative law judges shall submit their proposed decisions to the board for final decision. The administrative law judges shall make all reasonable efforts to hold hearings at neutral locations, however, if no other facilities are available without incurring excessive costs, the hearings may be held at the department office nearest to the appellant's home.

88. (a) Notwithstanding other provisions of law, including, but not limited to, Section 1 of Chapter 648 of the Statutes of 1992, as amended, the Department of Veterans Affairs shall enter into an agreement with the Department of Fish and Game that grants to the Department of Fish and Game for a period of 99 years, exclusive authority over management and control of approximately 340 acres of land being portions of Sections 19, 28, 29, and 30 of Township 7 North, Range 4 West, Mount Diablo Base and Meridian, in the vicinity of the Rector Reservoir, Napa County, to be utilized by the Department of Fish and Game exclusively for open space or conservation purposes. The agreement may be terminated only upon the mutual agreement of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Fish and Game. (b) If the agreement described in subdivision (a) is not entered into by December 31, 1997, exclusive authority over the management and control of the property described in subdivision (a) is hereby granted to the Department of Fish and Game, effective January 1, 1998. (c) Upon the effective date of the agreement entered into pursuant to subdivision (a) or upon the operation of subdivision (b), the provisions of Section 1 of Chapter 648 of the Statutes of 1992, as amended, authorizing the property described in subdivision (a) as surplus property are repealed.


89. The department may apply to the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee for allocations of the state ceiling on qualified private activity bonds for qualified residential rental projects.


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