On a bipartisan 6-0 vote last week, the state Senate’s Committee on Veterans Affairs approved legislation to reverse a 2009-10 budget action that has caused considerable financial and personal hardship for numerous veterans and their spouses living at California’s homes for veterans.
Senate Bill 1440 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, reverses a budget action that increased the cost for non-veteran spouses to live at CalVet Veteran Homes and resulted in non-veteran spouses being required to pay up to 90 percent of their income to live with their husband or wife at a state veteran home.
“Numerous veterans and their spouses have seen their personal finances, their savings and assets wiped out by these changes to the fees charged for living at a veteran home,” said Wolk, who represents the Veterans Home in Yountville. “Couples have left veteran homes and even separated as a result of the steep, unforeseen increase to the cost of living many have experienced.
“SB 1440 will restore fairness and stop penalizing veterans who want to live in veteran homes with their spouses.”
Wolk’s SB 1440 will allow non-veteran spouses to pay the same fees and charges as their veteran spouse to live at one of the state’s veteran homes in Barstow, Chula Vista, Fresno, Lancaster, Redding, Ventura, West Los Angeles or Yountville.
The bill will next be heard in the Senate’s Appropriations Committee.