Advocates for veterans are expressing concern that Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) proposed budget cuts will decimate programs that help veterans navigate applications for health care benefits and other services, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Brown's proposal to close California's $25.4 billion budget deficit calls for reductions in numerous state-funded programs, including assistance services for veterans.
Under the governor's plan, County Veterans Service Offices and Operation Welcome Home together could face nearly $10 million in spending cuts. County Veterans Service Offices help veterans obtain federal financial assistance for health care and other services, and Operation Welcome Home seeks out veterans to match them with benefits.
Advocates Weigh In
Supporters of veterans' services say California's programs help veterans obtain federal funds that they can spend on health care, tuition and other services.
In fiscal year 2008-2009, the federal government spent more than $8 billion on veterans programs in California, most of which went toward pensions, disability compensation and health care.
Instead of cutting the assistance programs, some advocates have suggested that California could reduce spending in its veterans' home construction budget.
Brown has said he will "take a look" at the possible effects of the proposed cuts to veterans programs (Gardner, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/24).