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AB-1618 Veteran service providers.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/30/2017 12:33 PM
AB1618:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 30, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 27, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1618


Introduced by Assembly Member Cervantes

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 972.3 to, and to add Chapter 3.7 (commencing with Section 880) to Division 4 of, of the Military and Veterans Code, relating to veterans, and making an appropriation therefor. veterans.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1618, as amended, Cervantes. Veteran service providers.
Existing law establishes the Department of Veterans Affairs. Among other duties, the department is authorized to assist every veteran of any war of the United States and the dependent or survivor of every veteran in presenting and pursuing claims against the United States that the veteran may have arising from war service and in establishing the veteran’s or dependent’s right to privilege, preference, care, or compensation as provided for by federal or state law, as specified.
Existing law also authorizes the board of supervisors of a county to grant financial assistance, relief, and support to indigent veterans. Existing law requires an organization desiring to assist indigent veterans to first file with the board of supervisors of the county in which it is operating or intending to operate a verified statement setting forth specified information regarding the organization, including its financial condition.
This bill would establish a competitive grant program, to be administered by the department with existing funds, for purposes of awarding grant moneys to certified California veteran service providers for purposes of providing support to veterans and their families, as specified. The bill would require competitive grants to be awarded in support of the state’s strategic plan for providing veterans with transition assistance. The bill would require the department to adopt regulations to implement the program and to define criteria for supporting the state’s strategic plan.
This bill would establish a certification process for the certification of California veteran service providers, as defined, by the department. applying for the competitive grants. The bill would require an applicant for certification to provide specified information to the department upon application or, after certification, at the request of the department, as prescribed. The bill would authorize the department to charge a fee for certification under these provisions, as specified. department.

The bill would also establish a competitive grant program, to be administered by the department, for purposes of awarding grant moneys to certified California veteran service providers for purposes of providing support to veterans and their families, as specified. The bill would require competitive grants to be awarded in support of the state’s strategic plan for providing veterans with transition assistance. The bill would require the department to adopt regulations to implement the program and to define criteria for supporting the state’s strategic plan. The bill would continuously appropriate moneys from the General Fund to the department to administer the program.

Vote: TWO_THIRDSMAJORITY   Appropriation: YESNO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

(a)The Legislature finds and declares that it is necessary to provide the public the means to determine which charitable entities providing supportive services to veterans meet certain minimum standards of cultural competency and financial legitimacy.

(b)It is the intent of the Legislature to establish a voluntary certification program whereby the Department of Veterans Affairs will certify that certain charitable entities providing supportive services to veterans meet minimum standards.

SEC. 2.SECTION 1.

 Chapter 3.7 (commencing with Section 880) is added to Division 4 of the Military and Veterans Code, to read:
CHAPTER  3.7 Certified California Veteran Service Provider

880.
 (a) (1) The department shall use existing funds to fund a competitive grant program, to be administered by the department.
(2) The department may cover reasonable administrative costs of implementing this section using the funds available for the competitive grant program.
(b) (1) Competitive grants shall be awarded to certified California veteran service providers, as defined in Section 881, for purposes of providing support to veterans and their families.
(2) Only a certified California veteran service provider is eligible to be awarded funds under the competitive grant program.
(3) Competitive grants shall be awarded in support of the state’s strategic plan for providing veterans with transitional assistance, as described in Section 90.
(c) The department shall, no later than July 1, 2019, develop regulations for the implementation of the program. These standards shall include, but not be limited to, the grant application criteria, application scoring process, data collection, and accountability for grant program expenditures and metrics for evaluation of grants made.
(d) Prior to awarding competitive grants under this section, the department shall develop regulations to define criteria for supporting the state’s strategic plan.

880.881.
 (a) A “certified “Certified California veteran service provider” means an entity applying to the competitive grant program established pursuant to this chapter and that is certified by the department as having an established history of providing supportive services and that meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Should provide at least two of the following supportive services: housing assistance, health services, mental health services, small business assistance, employment services, or job training services to veterans and their families.
(2) Demonstrates, through the submission of appropriate supporting data, that the veteran service provider has the knowledge, experience, and cultural competency to provide supportive services to veterans and their families.
(3) Demonstrates, through audits and employment history, the fiscal and management capacity to capably perform supportive services to veterans and their families.
(4) Is a nonprofit organization that is exempt from federal income taxation as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) or (c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(5) Demonstrates through the submission of appropriate supporting data that the entity has effectively served the needs of veteran or veterans and their families.
(6) Demonstrates that all required filings with the Secretary of State, the office of the Attorney General, and the Franchise Tax Board are current. Demonstrates that the entity meets or exceeds the provisions of Article 1.3 (commencing with Section 17510) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code and complies with the standards included in the Attorney General’s Guide for Charities.
(b) A certified California veteran service provider shall provide to the department all of the following up-to-date documents upon application for certification and at any time during the certification period on request and reasonable notice by the department:
(1) Articles of incorporation and all amendments to the articles of incorporation.
(2) IRS Letter of Determination.
(3) Taxpayer identification number.
(4) Independent audit reports dating back three years.
(c) (1) In order to obtain certification as a certified California veteran service provider, the applicant shall apply to the department, in a form and manner as required by the department.
(2) Beginning July 1, ____, 2019, the department shall begin processing and approving or rejecting all applications for certification on the basis of the requirements set forth in subdivision (a).
(d) The department shall maintain a list of certified California veteran service providers on its Internet Web site, including the type of supportive services provided by the providers.
(e) On or before April 1, ____, 2019, the department shall provide the Senate and Assembly Committees on Veterans Affairs with a progress report on the status of the regulations required by subdivision (d) (b) of Section 882. 883.

881.882.
 For purposes of certification, the department may accept the following documentation as supporting evidence of the applicant’s qualifications under the requirements set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 880: 881:
(a) Current certifications and licenses from any other state entity, agency, or department.
(b) Proof of an organization’s status as a congressionally chartered veterans service organization.

882.883.
 (a) (1) A certification approved by the department shall be valid for three years from the date the department accepts credentials for certification unless the department decertifies the certified California veteran service provider.
(2) Certification by the department may be used by other departments or state agencies for any other appropriate purpose.
(b) No later than July 1, ____, 2019, the department shall adopt rules, procedures, and regulations as necessary to certify a veteran service provider, and to decertify a certified California veteran service provider prior to the expiration of a current certification when the certified California veteran service provider no longer meets the requirements set forth in Section 880. 881.

(c)The department shall adopt a fee to defray the department’s reasonable cost of certification, not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars ($750).

SEC. 3.Section 972.3 is added to the Military and Veterans Code, to read:
972.3.

(a)Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, the sum of ____ dollars ($____) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund each fiscal year commencing July 1, ____, to the department to be available to fund a competitive grant program to be administered by the department. Moneys appropriated pursuant to this subdivision shall only be available for encumbrance and expenditure for one year after the date upon which it first becomes available for encumbrance.

(b)(1)Funds awarded under this competitive grant program shall be awarded to certified California veteran service providers, as defined in Section 880, for purposes of providing support to veterans and their families. The department shall, no later than July 1, ____, develop regulations for the implementation of the program. These standards shall include, but not be limited to, the grant application criteria, application scoring process, data collection, and accountability for grant program expenditures and metrics for evaluation of grants made.

(2)Competitive grants awarded to certified California veteran service providers, as defined in Section 880, shall be awarded in support of the state’s strategic plan for providing veterans with transitional assistance, as described in Section 90. Prior to awarding any grants under this section, the department shall develop regulations to define criteria for supporting the state’s strategic plan.