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AB-1580 Veterans’ homes: Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund.(2013-2014)

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Amended  IN  Senate  August 21, 2014
Amended  IN  Senate  July 02, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1580


Introduced by Assembly Member Yamada

January 30, 2014


An act to amend Sections 1047, 1048, and 1049 of the Military and Veterans Code, relating to veterans, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1580, as amended, Yamada. Veterans’ homes: Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund.
Existing law provides for the establishment of veterans’ homes and requires the administrator of a veterans’ home to maintain a Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund to be used, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to provide certain operations and activities relating to the general welfare of the veterans.
These funds include proceeds from the California Veterans Homes Fund, operations of the Veterans’ Home Exchange, specified revenue derived from the issuance of prisoner-of-war special license plates, funds derived from golf course green fees and range ball fees, donations, interest earned on invested funds, funds derived from the estates of deceased members, and any other moneys or property described under existing law, including, but not limited to, moneys and properties received by the home from estate assets located outside the home. Existing law requires the administrator to prepare and submit itemized reports organized by category and accounts for all funds deposited into, and expenditures made from, the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund during the previous fiscal year, as specified.
This bill would create the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund in the State Treasury, to replace the existing individual funds. The bill would require all moneys in each existing veterans’ home fund to be deposited into the Veterans’ Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund. The bill would continuously appropriate these moneys to the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide for the general welfare of the veterans residents living in state veterans ’ veterans’ homes. Moneys in the fund would be exempt from specified provisions relating to the determination of administrative costs owed by each state agency to the state. The bill would require the department to develop standardized expenditure procedures and regulations for the fund, as specified, and to provide residents with a quarterly report on the expenditures made from the fund on behalf of each home. The bill would also require the department to prepare and submit the itemized reports, as specified. The bill also would make technical and conforming changes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Veterans Affairs promulgate rules and regulations related to the administration of the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund through a stakeholder process which includes residents residing within the Veterans’ Homes of California. It is the intent of the Legislature that these regulations include a yearly budgeting process for moneys to be expended at each home.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 1047 of the Military and Veterans Code is amended to read:

1047.
 (a) (1) The Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund is hereby created in the State Treasury. All moneys in each Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund maintained by the eight California state veterans’ homes shall be deposited into the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund and the individual home funds shall be abolished. All references to the “Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund” shall be deemed to refer to the fund created by this subdivision.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, all moneys deposited into the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund are continuously appropriated to the department to provide for the general welfare of the veterans residents living in the veterans’ home homes of California.
(3) Moneys deposited in the fund are exempt from the requirements of Article 2 (commencing with Section 11270) of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(4) (A) Moneys in the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund may be distributed to the homes at the discretion, and subject to the approval, of the secretary, to provide for the general welfare of the veterans residents living in state veterans’ homes.
(B) For purposes of this section, “general welfare” includes, but is not limited to, providing for operations of a canteen, hobby shop, motion picture theater, library, band, and any other function that is operated for the morale, welfare, and recreation of the veterans residents, and to pay for newspapers, chapel expenses, welfare and entertainment expenses, sport activities, celebrations, and any other activity that is for the morale, welfare, and recreation of the veterans residents.
(5) For proposed expenditures of Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund moneys, the department shall develop regulations and maintain guidelines whereby the administrator for each home, in consultation with the Veterans' Veterans’ Home Allied Council or another body representing the residents of the home, and residents, shall submit proposed expenditures or a proposed budget to the secretary for approval. Moneys from the fund shall be allocated proportionally to each home, based upon the census of the homes on July 1 of each year. Allocations from the fund may be augmented by the secretary to meet specified budget and identified needs.
(6) The department shall develop standardized expenditure procedures and regulations for the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund in all homes, which shall be in accordance with standard state contract and procurement practices and rules. The department shall provide the residents, through the administrator of each home, with a quarterly report on the expenditures made from the fund on behalf of each home.
(b) Money in the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund may not be expended for any of the following:
(1) Medical treatments or any other related treatment.
(2) Maintenance of the physical plant of the home, except for capital improvements that directly enhance the quality of life of the veterans living in the home.
(3) Any function, operation, or activity that is not directly related to the morale, welfare, or recreation of the veterans residents.
(c) Appropriations from the General Fund for the purposes described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) may not be reduced for the purpose of, or to have the effect of, requiring increased expenditures from the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund for those described purposes.
(d) The department shall prepare an itemized report that is organized by category and accounts for all expenditures made from the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund during the previous fiscal year and shall submit the report on or before August 20 of each year to all of the following:
(1) The secretary.
(2) The fiscal committees of the Assembly and the Senate.
(3) The committees of the Assembly and the Senate that have subject matter jurisdiction over veterans’ affairs.
(4) The Veterans’ Home Allied Council.
(e) The department shall maintain a reserve in the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund in the amount of two million dollars ($2,000,000).
(f) The administrator may enter into an agreement with an allied council that authorizes that council to operate facilities and activities authorized pursuant to this section. The agreement shall be in the form and manner as specified by the administrator.

SEC. 2.SEC. 3.

 Section 1048 of the Military and Veterans Code is amended to read:

1048.
 (a) The Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund shall include proceeds from the California Veterans Homes Fund, operations of a canteen, revenue derived from the issuance of prisoner-of-war special license plates pursuant to Section 5101.5 of the Vehicle Code, all funds derived from golf course green fees and range ball fees, all donations to the fund, interest earned on invested funds, funds derived from the estates of deceased members, and any other moneys or property described in this chapter, including, but not limited to, moneys and properties received by the home from estate assets located outside the home, regardless of amount.
(b) The administrator department shall prepare an itemized report that is organized by category and accounts for all funds deposited into the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund and transmitted to the Controller under Section 1047 during the previous fiscal year and shall submit the report on or before August 20 of each year to all of the following:
(1) The secretary.
(2) The fiscal committees of the Assembly and the Senate.
(3) The committees of the Assembly and the Senate that have subject matter jurisdiction over veterans affairs.
(4) The Veterans’ Home Allied Council.

SEC. 3.SEC. 4.

 Section 1049 of the Military and Veterans Code is amended to read:

1049.
 Moneys in the Veterans’ Home Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund maintained under subdivision (a) of Section 1047 may be used to establish or operate a canteen that may conduct any lawful endeavor which, in the judgment of the administrator, will benefit the veterans residents, except as prohibited under subdivision (b) of Section 1047. The administrator may, with the approval of the Secretary, establish the canteen to operate at a profit.