At the time of this writing, the Iraq War is in its fifth year. Legislation relative to veterans that was chaptered into law included: SB 1245 (Negrete-McLeod) enhancing the California Mexican American Veterans Memorial in Capitol Park; SB 1353 (Negrete McLeod) permitting the Governor to issue an Executive Order to extend existing benefits from 730 days (two years) to 1,460 days (four years) for state employee-members of the United States Military Reserves called to active duty in support of the Global War on Terrorism; SB 1401 (Simitian) requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans of the Armed Forces and National Guard members, after their return to the state from combat, obtain a health screening test for traumatic brain injury and for post-traumatic stress disorder; SB 1455 (Cogdill) exempting the Department of Veterans Affairs, if it sponsors a Gold Star Family specialized license plate program, from the requirement that it collect 7,500 paid applications for the license plate prior to the Department of Motor Vehicles issuing the plates; SB 1495 (Kehoe) ensuring that taxpayers claiming the disabled veteran’s property tax exemption, do not lose the exemption after a disaster; SB 1534 (Battin) permitting uniformed public safety personnel to wear their military decorations on and around Veterans Day and Memorial Day; SB 1572 (Wyland) enacting the Veterans Bond Act of 2008 which authorizes, for purposes of financing a specified program of farm, home, and mobilehome purchase assistance for veterans, the issuance of bonds in the amount of $900 million, and provided for submission of the act to the voters at the 11/4/08 general election which the voters approved; SB 1675 (Cox) providing the Department of Veterans Affairs with the discretion to structure the terms and conditions of any authorized debt issuance; SB 1680 (Wyland) permitting the California State University and the California Community Colleges, and encouraging the University of California to coordinate services for qualified students who are veterans or members of the military by clearly designating Military and Veterans Offices and individuals to provide specified services; AB 190 (Bass) permitting veterans whose vehicles display specified license plates to park without charge in metered parking spaces; AB 1952 (Berg) exempting honorably discharged veterans who are California residents from paying city, county and state license fees; AB 2171 (Cook) permitting the building and maintenance of a Purple Heart Memorial in the Capitol Historic Region; AB 2449 (Davis) permitting any city prosecutor to act as the attorney on behalf of a California National Guard member whose civilian employers have violated the law; AB 2641 (Cook) permitting the Governor and each state agency and department to appoint an ombudsman to take complaints, as specified, and to resolve and coordinate the resolution of those complaints from state employees that are members of the California National Guard or members of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States; AB 2670 (Salas) permitting the Department of Veterans Affairs to apply to the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee for the issuance of private activity bonds to be used for qualified residential rental projects; AB 3016 (Cook) providing that contributions made to the existing California Military Family Relief Fund shall be used to provide financial aid grants to reserve members of the United States Armed Forces, and that grants shall no longer be restricted to members of the California National Guard; and AB 3083 (Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee) requiring the Department of Health Care Services to seek federal funding for mental health services for veterans, expanding the definition of serious mental illness, and requiring available services for these illnesses be provided to veterans.

Vetoed veterans legislation included: SB 1778 (Senate Veterans Affairs Committee) changing current legislative findings and declarations by declaring that 50% of the amount annually budgeted for county veteran service officers is approximately $11 million; AB 2671 (Salas) requiring the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to do the following with respect to inmates who are military veterans: (1) create a prerelease application process for honorably discharged incarcerated veterans, and (2) ask whether or not a person is a military veteran when they are committed to prison; and AB 2828 (Salas) requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs to apply to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for the purpose of funding community-based organizations to provide substance abuse and mental health services to veterans.