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SB-312 Veterans: service dog assistance.(2019-2020)



Current Version: 02/15/19 - Introduced        


SB312:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 312


Introduced by Senator Leyva

February 15, 2019


An act to add Section 82 to the Military and Veterans Code, and to add Section 19021 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to veterans.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 312, as introduced, Leyva. Veterans: service dog assistance.
Existing law requires the Department of Rehabilitation to provide rehabilitation services to individuals with physical or mental disabilities who are found to be eligible for the services. Existing law establishes the Department of Veterans Affairs within state government and sets forth its powers and duties, including, but not limited to, the administration of various programs providing benefits to veterans.
This bill would require the Department of Rehabilitation, in consultation with the Department of Veterans Affairs, to establish a program to provide assistance for the cost of service dogs to veterans with disabilities. The bill would require, upon appropriation by the Legislature, the program to provide assistance to cover costs including, among other things, the purchase of the dog, training of the dog, and equipment for the dog. The bill would additionally require the Department of Veterans Affairs to publicize the program, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 82 is added to the Military and Veterans Code, to read:

82.
 The Department of Veterans Affairs shall publicize the program established pursuant to Section 19021 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to disabled veterans. This shall include, but not be limited to, efforts on the department’s internet website and through outreach to appropriate nonprofit entities.

SEC. 2.

 Section 19021 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

19021.
 (a) The Department of Rehabilitation, in consultation with the Department of Veterans Affairs, shall establish a program to provide assistance for the cost of service dogs to veterans with disabilities.
(b) Upon appropriation by the Legislature, the program shall provide assistance to veterans to cover costs of acquiring a service dog including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Purchase of a dog, including the cost of vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and a microchip.
(2) Service dog training for the dog.
(3) Equipment, including, but not limited to, a harness, service dog vest, leashes, collars, and a crate for the dog.
(4) Veterinarian services for the dog.
(c) The Department of Rehabilitation shall prescribe the requirements for an application by a disabled veteran to apply for assistance under this section.