Gov. Jerry Brown
today signed a raft of bills to help veterans and their families -- 18 in all
While they're not necessarily groundbreaking, they will aid some vets, including those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, with education benefits and could ease their transition back into the civilian workforce.
Pete Conaty, the legislative lobbyist for several veterans groups, said the bills make "this is the most productive year for veterans legislation since the tragedy of 9/11 occurred and America went to war."
"Veterans groups have really come together this year to push legislation to help all veterans, especially those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan," he said in a statement.
For instance, Assembly Bill 2462 requires the chancellor of the state community colleges to determine when military experience should count toward course credit.
"In California approximately 30,000 troops leave service with work skills that could be counted toward an academic degree, professional license or certification that could help them transition to civilian life after service to their country," Assemblyman Marty Block, a San Diego Democrat who authored the bill, said in a statement.
In May, I wrote about one specific area
-- medics who want their combat service to count when they apply to nursing programs. While the bill doesn't directly address this issue, it could help.
Also, Assembly Bill 2371, authored by Democrat Betsy Butler, is designed to help veterans with service-related mental disorders like PTSD who commit crimes get treatment instead of being sent to prison.