Sacramento – Veterans, active duty service members, and their families received needed legislative support thanks to several bills signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
“By signing these important bills into law, the Governor once again demonstrates his unwavering commitment to our California Veterans, service members, and their families,” said Peter J. Gravett, Secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).
The package of 19 bills includes legislation allowing Veterans to receive special designation on their driver’s licenses (AB 935); provides spouses of military personnel who are licensed in another state to receive a 12-month temporary license to practice their profession in California (AB 186); directs CalVet to develop a California-specific transition assistance program for Veterans leaving the military (AB1509); provides greater oversight of private for-profit colleges and universities (AB 2099); and exempts a Veteran from any state from paying out-of-state tuition at California community colleges, California State Universities or University of California Campuses (AB13).
On Saturday, September 24, 2014, the Governor signed the following bills into law:Read more: CA Governor Signs 19 Veteran-Related Bills
The acting director of the Army National Guard said the service must continue to address the problem of suicide. Maj. Gen. Judd H. Lyons spoke during an event at Arlington Hall Station in Virginia, the headquarters of the Army Guard and the National Guard Bureau. The Defense Department observes September as Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.
"As the acting director, I have a responsibility to ensure that we are doing everything we can to reach out to soldiers that are struggling with suicide within our ranks," Lyons said. "It's hard to believe that last year we lost about a company . . . of soldiers to suicide. Too many soldiers are taking their lives or attempting to do so."
To address mental health issues and build a more resilient force, Lyons said the Guard has hired additional behavioral health care staff at the state and top levels, promoted resilience training, and worked with professionals to help understand the root causes of suicidal and high-risk behaviors.
"As long as just even one [individual] is struggling, our responsibility will continue," he said.
Lyons and other leaders across the Guard agree that service members need to understand that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
President Barack Obama has proposed tougher rules to protect service members from predatory lenders. The plan unveiled Friday at the Pentagon would broaden the types of loans that are included in the Military Lending Act that was passed in 2006.Read more: Obama Proposal Toughens Credit Protection