Governor Brown Signs Important Legislation for Veterans
SACRAMENTO – Secretary Peter J. Gravett, California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), today praised Governor Brown for acknowledging the contributions and special needs of veterans who make California their home, when he signed legislation that will expand housing options for veterans and extend the priority registration for veterans going to state colleges and universities.
“Governor Brown has once more demonstrated his commitment to the veterans of our nation,” said Gravett. “I applaud the Governor for signing legislation that is unprecedented for the CalVet Farm and Home Loan Program. This legislation will be a major step forward by offering veterans dynamic housing options and maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency our CalVet programs.”
CalVet thanks Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella); Assemblymember Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles); and the Committee on Veterans Affairs for carrying these pieces of legislation.
AB 697 by Assemblymember Pérez gives specific authority for CalVet to provide refinancing opportunities under the CalVet Home Loan Program to eligible veterans who are not current contract holders. The mortgage crisis has impacted veterans who have mortgages at financial institutions outside of the CalVet Home Loan Program, and who are subject to rising interest rates as a result of adjustable rate mortgages. This bill will allow those veterans to refinance their loan, as long as the loan is in good standing, not upside down on the value of the house and would make good financial sense for both the CalVet Home Loan Program and the veteran.
AB 1084 by Assemblymember Davis will expand the definition of “home” as defined in the CalVet Farm and Home Loan Program to include “cooperative housing corporation.” This bill will allow CalVet to engage in a greatly needed service utilizing proven housing finance options for low and middle income people and is a pragmatic and beneficial method for housing veterans and their families, reducing homelessness among veterans and improving the economy.
SB 813 by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs will increase the time veterans attending California’s public institutions receive priority enrollment from two to four years to facilitate the maximum and efficient use of veterans federal education benefits. This change in statute will help alleviate the difficulties veterans face when they attempt to coordinate their federal education benefits, such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill, with registration for enrollment in classes at one of California’s public colleges or universities. By extending the priority enrollment time frame, not only will veterans maximize their Post 9/11 GI Bill funding, but California will receive more federal veteran education money in a time when the State’s colleges and universities are in need of additional resources.