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AB-737 California Vietnam Veterans Memorial.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/19/2017 09:00 PM
AB737:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 27, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 737


Introduced by Assembly Members Baker and Melendez
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Eggman)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chávez and Mathis)

February 15, 2017


An act to amend Section 1301 of, and to add and repeal Section 1302 of, the Military and Veterans Code, relating to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 737, as amended, Baker. California Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Existing law, until January 1, 2020, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to annually compile a list of names of Vietnam veterans to be added to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol, as specified, and requires the department to form a specified committee to review and consider requests from the public to include names on the memorial, as specified. Existing law authorizes the names on the list to be added to the memorial if specified requirements are met, including the availability of adequate private funding. The California Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the official state Vietnam veterans war memorial.
This bill would extend the provisions relating to the listing of names on the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the existence and operation of the committee to January 1, 2023. The bill would provide for the establishment of an “In Memory” plaque at the site of to be affixed to the memorial to honor those veterans who died as a result of subsequent illness or injury, including physical or mental injury, as specified, that can reasonably be presumed to have resulted from military service during the Vietnam War. The bill also would require the department to maintain a public, searchable “Honor Roll” database to honor those veterans, as specified. The provisions of the bill relating to the “In Memory” plaque and the “Honor Roll” database would become inoperative and be repealed on January 1, 2023.
This bill would revise the eligibility criteria for the name of a deceased Vietnam veteran to be listed on the memorial or on the “In Memory” plaque, in the database, including, but not limited to, requiring the deceased veteran to have been born or raised in, or a resident of, California, as specified. The bill would require the committee to determine whether an individual’s name is to be listed on the memorial or the “In Memory” plaque, in the database, as specified. The bill would require the department, in consultation with the committee, to identify the names of any California veterans listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. or the Vietnam veterans “In Memory Honor Roll” maintained by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and to include those names on the state’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial or the “In Memory” plaque. in the “Honor Roll” database, as appropriate. The bill would prohibit the removal of any name from the memorial or database.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1301 of the Military and Veterans Code is amended to read:

1301.
 (a) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall compile a list of names of Vietnam veterans to be added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The department shall compile the list by November 1, 2014, and by November 1 of each year thereafter.
(b) (1) The department shall form a committee by July 1, 2014, chaired by the secretary or his or her designee and consisting of three representatives from the California State Commanders Veterans Council and two representatives from the Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council, to review and consider requests to include names on the memorial pursuant to the requirements of subdivision (c). The committee’s decisions shall be final.
(2) The California State Commanders Veterans Council and the Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council, may appoint an alternate for any of their representatives who serve on the committee.
(c) The list compiled pursuant to subdivision (a) shall contain the names of those deceased Vietnam veterans that are not included on the memorial at the time the list is compiled, including the names of veterans that were inadvertently left off of the memorial and the names of veterans who later died as a result of illness or injuries, including physical or mental injuries documented by the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, or licensed medical professionals, that can reasonably be assumed to have resulted from military service in the Vietnam war. the following Vietnam veterans:
(1) Veterans whose names were inadvertently left off of the memorial.
(2) Veterans who died while participating in or providing direct support to a combat mission immediately en route to or from a target within the defined combat zone, including those who are listed as prisoners of war or missing in action, as documented by the United States Department of Defense.
(3) Veterans who later died as a result of wounds related to combat or other hostile action sustained in the combat zone.
(4) Veterans who later died as a result of illness or injuries, including physical or mental injuries documented by the United States Department of Defense, the United States Veterans Administration, or a licensed medical professional, that can reasonably be presumed to have resulted from military service in the Vietnam war.
(d) (1) Any veterans’ service organization or individual may submit the name of a veteran to the committee requesting it to be included on the list of names prepared pursuant to subdivision (a) or on the “In Memory” plaque in the “Honor Roll” database established pursuant to Section 1302 in accordance with this subdivision.
(2) In order for a name of a deceased Vietnam veteran to be eligible for listing on the memorial or on the “In Memory” plaque, in the database, at least one of the following is required:
(A) The veteran was born or raised in California.
(B) The veteran entered military service while residing in California.
(3) The name of an individual who was born or raised, or who resided, in California, but who entered the service while residing in another state for reasons including, but not limited to, being drafted while in another state, may be eligible for listing on the memorial or “In Memory” plaque, in the database, upon verification and approval by the committee.
(4) The committee shall determine whether, pursuant to the requirements of this section and Section 1302, an individual’s name shall be listed on the memorial or the “In Memory” plaque. in the database. The committee’s decisions shall be final.
(e) The department, in consultation with the committee, shall identify the names of any California veterans listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., or the Vietnam veterans “In Memory Honor Roll” maintained by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The names identified shall be included on the state’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial or the “In Memory” plaque in the “Honor Roll” database established pursuant to Section 1302.
(f) The names on the list compiled pursuant to subdivision (a) may be added to the memorial or the “In Memory” plaque in the database established pursuant to Section 1302 if adequate private funding is available and and, with respect to the memorial, there is sufficient space on the memorial or plaque to accommodate the names.

(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2023, deletes or extends that date.

(g) A name that has been included on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial or in the Honor Roll database shall not be removed.
(h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2023, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1302 is added to the Military and Veterans Code, to read:

1302.
 (a) (1) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall provide for the establishment of a plaque at the site of an “In Memory” plaque to be affixed to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to honor those veterans who died as a result of subsequent illness or injury, including physical or mental injury documented by the United States Department of Defense, the United States Veterans Administration, or a licensed medical or mental health professional that can reasonably be presumed to have resulted from military service during the Vietnam War.
(2)  For purposes of this section, “military service during the Vietnam War” includes military activity and naval and air force operations outside of the official war zone while engaged in operations in support of the war effort. operations of service members participating in or providing direct support to, a combat mission immediately en route to or from a target within the defined combat zone.
(b) The names of veterans listed on the plaque described in subdivision (a) shall be selected as provided in subdivision (d) of Section 1301. 1301, and shall be included in the database created pursuant to subdivision (c).
(c) The department shall maintain an electronic record a public, searchable “Honor Roll” database of the names listed on the “In Memory” plaque, of veterans selected pursuant to subdivision (b), and including the names of those California veterans that are listed on the “In Memory Honor Roll” maintained by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
(d)  This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2023, deletes or extends that date.