A New Approach to California's Veterans Homes

Report #237, March 2017
A New Approach to California's Veterans Homes

Full Report

Executive Summary

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2017

For Additional Information Contact:
Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
(916) 445-2125

Little Hoover Commission Calls for a New Direction For State’s $306 Million Veterans Homes Program

The Little Hoover Commission, in a report sent Wednesday to Governor Brown and the Legislature, called for greater self-sufficiency in the state’s veterans homes program and less reliance on the General Fund to free up resources to serve more California veterans, particularly those incapable of caring for their own health.

The recommendations are part of a comprehensive, 16-month look at the state’s eight-home system that found unnecessarily high costs to California taxpayers compared to other states and also determined that fewer than 1 percent of the state’s 1.7 million veterans benefit from the 2,610-bed program run by the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). With so much of the state’s investment in veterans tied up in the homes program, the Commission recommended CalVet consider whether it should modify the program, including closing or repurposing facilities, along with more costeffective alternatives to its homes, such as home and community-based programs for aged and disabled veterans.

“California has an obligation to fulfill its promise to those veterans already living in the homes and those waiting to get in. But times and circumstances change and California must incorporate the best new vision for veterans care,” said Commission Chairman Pedro Nava. “We must start questioning assumptions and past decisions about what kind of care veterans want and need and how it is best delivered.”

The Commission, in its report, A New Approach to California’s Veterans Homes, also recommended prioritizing beds for those who most need the care, as well as intelligently revising residential-only services in the homes to focus on skilled nursing care. During its study the Commission learned that residents are generally admitted on a first come, first served basis, rather than based on their financial or health needs. Additionally, the Commission learned 80 percent of veterans on waiting lists for admission to a veterans home need skilled nursing, while residents who need no specialized care occupy one in three beds statewide. Some states limit their veterans homes to skilled nursing care. California, by comparison, has 933 residential-only domiciliary beds and 859 skilled nursing beds.

The Commission, citing $185 million in annual General Fund costs to run the $306 million veterans home program, also recommended changes in state law requiring that residents tap all available resources to help pay for their care, including enrollment in state and federal benefit programs and maintaining health insurance coverage throughout their stay in the homes. Other states reviewed by the Commission demonstrate that veterans homes can be more self-sufficient, in some cases, operating without state General Fund support.

The Little Hoover Commission is a bipartisan and independent state agency charged with recommending ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state programs. The Commission’s recommendations are submitted to the Governor and the Legislature for their consideration and action. For a copy of the report, visit the Commission’s website: www.lhc.ca.gov.

Fact Sheet

Study Description

For this study, the Commission reviewed the California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet) and its operation of the California Veterans’ Homes program. The Commission intended to direct its focus on the quality of care provided in the state’s eight veterans homes, as well as the stability and design of the system’s funding structure. The Commission also was interested in better understanding the department’s process for managing and maintaining the homes and planning for the needs of the next generation of veterans. As part of its review, the Commission explored successful veterans home programs in other states to identify potential best practices that might be relevant in California.

The Commission initiated this review to follow-up on previous recommendations about how California serves its veterans. In its 2013 report, An Agenda for Veterans: The State’s Turn to Serve, the Commission called on policymakers to improve outreach to the state’s nearly two million veterans and assist the federal government in reducing an unreasonably excessive backlog in processing claims. In October 2015, the Commission held a hearing to assess the progress the California Department of Veteran Affairs has made in implementing recommendations in its 2013 report. In addition, the hearing provided the Commission an opportunity to review the veterans home and home loan programs, and follow up on leadership deficiencies identified in a July 13, 2015, request to the Commission from Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs.  

Following the October hearing, a site visit to the Yountville Veterans Home was scheduled in November 2015. During both the hearing and site visit, the Commission learned of critical infrastructure repairs requiring immediate attention. The Commission could not stand by as its study process proceeded without drawing attention to the urgent maintenance and infrastructure issues at the Yountville home. The Commission sent a December 8, 2015, letter to the Governor and the Legislature urging immediate action. 

The Commission continued its study process with a closer examination of the homes division and the state’s veterans homes program. The Commission aimed to better understand how these programs currently serve veterans as they age, as well as consider how this care model will serve future generations of California veterans.


Previous Studies

Agenda

Overview

In this report, the Commission calls for greater self-sufficiency in the state’s veterans homes program and less reliance on the General Fund to free up resources to serve more California veterans, particularly those incapable of caring for their own health.

During its review of the state’s eight-home system, the Commission found unnecessarily high costs to California taxpayers compared to other states and also determined that fewer than 1 percent of the state’s 1.7 million veterans benefit from the 2,610-bed program run by the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).

The Commission recommends changes in state law to prioritize beds for those who most need the care, as well as intelligently revising residential-only services in the home to focus on skilled nursing care. Those currently living in residential-only housing should be allowed to stay in the veterans home program as the state gradually moves away from this service. The Commission also recommends changing state law to require that residents tap all available resources to help pay for their care, including enrollment in state and federal benefit programs and maintaining health insurance coverage throughout their stay in the homes. Finally, the Commission recommends CalVet consider whether it should modify the program, including closing or repurposing facilities, along with more cost-effective alternatives to its homes, such as home and community-based programs for aged and disabled veterans.   

This review was requested by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin in a July 13, 2015, request letter to the Commission.

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			Agenda
  • November 17
    2016
    CalVet
    1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Veterans Home of California, Yountville, Grant
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on CalVet
    Thursday, November 17, 2016, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    Veterans Home of California, Yountville
    Grant Hall, Member Services Center
    260 California Drive Yountville, CA 94599


    1:00 – 1:20 p.m.

    Welcome

    Jonathan Shapiro, CalVet Subcommittee Chair, Little Hoover Commission

    Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary, CalVet

    John Dunbar, Mayor of Yountville

    Commission Advisory Committee Role and Introductions

    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director, Little Hoover Commission

    CalVet: An Update on the Yountville Veterans Home

    Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary, CalVet

    1:20 – 1:40 p.m.

    Government and Nonprofit Partners

    Keith Armstrong, U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs

    Christine Loeber, The Pathway Home

    Leon Winston, Swords to Plowshares

    Bruce Saito, Director, California Conservation Corps

    1:40 – 2:00 p.m.

    Successful Models and Public-Private Partnersips

    Craig Middleton, The Presidio Trust

    Liam Kelly, KPMG Infrastructure Advisory

    John Swenson, Veterans Advocate, De Anza College

    2:00 – 2:50 p.m.

    Discussion

    • Options for modernizing the Yountville campus to best meet the needs of current and future generations of veterans.

    • Financing innovations for Yountville campus modernization.

    • Role of the state and recommendations for seizing opportunities and eliminating barriers to progress.

    2:50 – 3:00 p.m.

    Final Comments

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the discussion. Please notify Commission staff if you would like to make a comment.

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    November 4, 2016

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, November 17, 2016, the CalVet subcommittee of the Little Hoover Commission will hold an advisory committee meeting to hear from key stakeholders to consider the future of the Yountville Veterans Home and how it can be used to best meet the needs of current and future generations of veterans. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Veterans Home of California, Yountville, in the Grant Hall of the Member Services Center located at 260 California Drive in Yountville.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting. The Commission also encourages written comments. Proceeding the advisory committee meeting, members of the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a tour of the Yountville Veterans Home campus. The tour will begin at 10 a.m.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, November 10, 2016.

  • June 17
    2016
    CalVet
    9:30-11:30 a.m., Veterans Home of California, West Los Angeles,
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on CalVet
    Friday, June 17, 2016, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
    Veterans Home of California, West Los Angeles
    11500 Nimitz Avenue, Getty View Conference Room (D401), 4th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA 90049-4704


    9:30 – 9:40 a.m.

    Welcome
    Pedro Nava, Chair, Little Hoover Commission

    Commission Study Process and Advisory Committee Role
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director, Little Hoover Commission

    Introduction to Study
    Pedro Nava, Chair, Little Hoover Commission

    9:40 – 11:15 a.m.

    Discussion

    • How should the state structure its veterans homes program to best meet the needs of current and future generations of California veterans?

    • What opportunities exist for partnerships between the state and other veteran service providers to maximize benefit from the state’s veteran home campuses?

    • Can or should the state incorporate new services to help veterans stay in their homes as they age?

    11:15 – 11:30 a.m.

    Final Comments

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the discussion. Please notify Commission staff if you would like to make a comment.

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    June 3, 2016

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Friday, June 17, 2016, the CalVet subcommittee of the Little Hoover Commission will hold an advisory committee meeting to hear from key stakeholders about how the state should structure its veterans homes program to best meet the needs of current and future generations of California veterans. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Veterans Home of California, West Los Angeles, located at 11500 Nimitz Avenue on the 4th floor in the Getty View Conference Room (D401) in Los Angeles.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting. The Commission also encourages written comments. Following the advisory meeting, Commissioners will have lunch in the main dining hall with residents, and then will tour the facility.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Friday, June 10, 2016.

  • March 3
    2016
    CalVet
    9:00 a.m., State Capitol, Room 437, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on CalVet
    Thursday, March 3, 2016, at 9:00 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 437
    Sacramento, CA 


    Opening Remarks

    California Department of Veterans Affairs

    1. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Coby Petersen, Deputy Secretary, Veterans Homes, California Department of Veterans Affairs 
       

    California Veterans Home Administrators

    1. Donald Veverka, Administrator, Veterans Home of California, Yountville (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Lael Hepworth, Administrator, Veterans Home of California, Chula Vista (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Timothy Bouseman, Administrator, Veterans Home of California, Redding (Written Testimony)
       

    California Veterans Board

    1. Charlene Taylor, Chair, California Veterans Board (Written Testimony)
       

    Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes

    1. Ed Harries, Executive Director, Tennessee State Veterans Home Board (Written Testimony)


    Public Comments

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    February 18, 2016

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, March 3, 2016, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing to review the California Department of Veteran Affairs and its operation of the veterans homes program. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 437 of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    At the hearing, the Commission will hear from Dr. Vito Imbasciani, the Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, who will provide an overview of his vision for the department and the veterans home program. Next, three administrators of California veterans homes will share their experiences overseeing facilities and discuss strategies to engage residents, ensure quality care, reimburse costs and plan for the future. The Commission also will hear from the chair of the California Veterans Board who will discuss the role of the board in relation to the veterans homes and reforms that could be established. Finally, the executive director of the Tennessee State Veterans Home Board will discuss lessons from Tennessee’s experience turning around the veterans homes to become among the best in the nation, at little cost to state taxpayers.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. The Commission also encourages written comments. Immediately following the hearing, the Commission will hold a business meeting at 925 L Street, Room 175, in Sacramento.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, February 25, 2016.

    Video
  • October 22
    2015
    CalVet
    9:00 a.m., State Capitol, Room 437, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on CalVet
    Thursday, October 22, 2015, at 9:00 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 437
    Sacramento, CA 


    Opening Remarks

    CalVet: Veterans Services, Home Loan and Homes Program

    1. Keith Boylan, Deputy Secretary, Veterans Services Division, California Department of Veterans Affairs (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Theresa Gunn, Deputy Secretary, Farm and Home Loan Division, California Department of Veterans Affairs (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Coby Petersen, Deputy Secretary, Veterans Homes, California Department of Veterans Affairs (Written Testimony)
       

    County Services Officer Perspective

    1. Ted Puntillo, Director of Veterans Services, Solano County (Written Testimony)
       

    A Look Nationally at Veterans Homes Costs and Quality

    1. Marina Fisher, Graduate Student Researcher, Berkeley Center for Health Technology (Written Testimony)
       

    Public Comments

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    October 15, 2015

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting
    (Revised Witness List)

    On Thursday, October 22, 2015, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to assess the progress that CalVet has made implementing recommendations from the Commission’s 2013 report, An Agenda for Veterans: The State’s Turn to Serve. The Commission also will use this hearing to begin a new review of the department’s veterans homes and home loan programs, in response to a request from Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs. The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. in Room 437 of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    At the hearing the Commission will hear from a panel including staff members from CalVet, featuring the deputy secretaries from the Veterans Services Division, the Farm and Home Loans Division and the Veterans Homes Division. They will provide an update on the 2013 Commission recommendations to reduce the claims backlog and expand outreach to veterans, as well as information on the current operations of the home loan programs and the veterans homes. The Commission also will hear from the director of veterans services in Solano County, to share the perspective of county service officers who interact with thousands of veterans and also with CalVet. The final panel will feature a graduate student researcher at University of California, Berkeley, who authored a study earlier this year for the California Assembly that examines and provides recommendations on improving California’s veterans homes program.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. The Commission also encourages written comments. Immediately following the hearing, the Commission will hold a business meeting at 925 L Street, Room 175, in Sacramento.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, October 15, 2015.

    Video
Print 
		Agenda
  • November 17
    2016
    CalVet
    1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Veterans Home of California, Yountville, Grant
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on CalVet
    Thursday, November 17, 2016, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    Veterans Home of California, Yountville
    Grant Hall, Member Services Center
    260 California Drive Yountville, CA 94599


    1:00 – 1:20 p.m.

    Welcome

    Jonathan Shapiro, CalVet Subcommittee Chair, Little Hoover Commission

    Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary, CalVet

    John Dunbar, Mayor of Yountville

    Commission Advisory Committee Role and Introductions

    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director, Little Hoover Commission

    CalVet: An Update on the Yountville Veterans Home

    Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary, CalVet

    1:20 – 1:40 p.m.

    Government and Nonprofit Partners

    Keith Armstrong, U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs

    Christine Loeber, The Pathway Home

    Leon Winston, Swords to Plowshares

    Bruce Saito, Director, California Conservation Corps

    1:40 – 2:00 p.m.

    Successful Models and Public-Private Partnersips

    Craig Middleton, The Presidio Trust

    Liam Kelly, KPMG Infrastructure Advisory

    John Swenson, Veterans Advocate, De Anza College

    2:00 – 2:50 p.m.

    Discussion

    • Options for modernizing the Yountville campus to best meet the needs of current and future generations of veterans.

    • Financing innovations for Yountville campus modernization.

    • Role of the state and recommendations for seizing opportunities and eliminating barriers to progress.

    2:50 – 3:00 p.m.

    Final Comments

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the discussion. Please notify Commission staff if you would like to make a comment.

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    November 4, 2016

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, November 17, 2016, the CalVet subcommittee of the Little Hoover Commission will hold an advisory committee meeting to hear from key stakeholders to consider the future of the Yountville Veterans Home and how it can be used to best meet the needs of current and future generations of veterans. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Veterans Home of California, Yountville, in the Grant Hall of the Member Services Center located at 260 California Drive in Yountville.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting. The Commission also encourages written comments. Proceeding the advisory committee meeting, members of the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a tour of the Yountville Veterans Home campus. The tour will begin at 10 a.m.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, November 10, 2016.

  • June 17
    2016
    CalVet
    9:30-11:30 a.m., Veterans Home of California, West Los Angeles,
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on CalVet
    Friday, June 17, 2016, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
    Veterans Home of California, West Los Angeles
    11500 Nimitz Avenue, Getty View Conference Room (D401), 4th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA 90049-4704


    9:30 – 9:40 a.m.

    Welcome
    Pedro Nava, Chair, Little Hoover Commission

    Commission Study Process and Advisory Committee Role
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director, Little Hoover Commission

    Introduction to Study
    Pedro Nava, Chair, Little Hoover Commission

    9:40 – 11:15 a.m.

    Discussion

    • How should the state structure its veterans homes program to best meet the needs of current and future generations of California veterans?

    • What opportunities exist for partnerships between the state and other veteran service providers to maximize benefit from the state’s veteran home campuses?

    • Can or should the state incorporate new services to help veterans stay in their homes as they age?

    11:15 – 11:30 a.m.

    Final Comments

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the discussion. Please notify Commission staff if you would like to make a comment.

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    June 3, 2016

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Friday, June 17, 2016, the CalVet subcommittee of the Little Hoover Commission will hold an advisory committee meeting to hear from key stakeholders about how the state should structure its veterans homes program to best meet the needs of current and future generations of California veterans. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Veterans Home of California, West Los Angeles, located at 11500 Nimitz Avenue on the 4th floor in the Getty View Conference Room (D401) in Los Angeles.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting. The Commission also encourages written comments. Following the advisory meeting, Commissioners will have lunch in the main dining hall with residents, and then will tour the facility.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Friday, June 10, 2016.

  • March 3
    2016
    CalVet
    9:00 a.m., State Capitol, Room 437, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on CalVet
    Thursday, March 3, 2016, at 9:00 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 437
    Sacramento, CA 


    Opening Remarks

    California Department of Veterans Affairs

    1. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Coby Petersen, Deputy Secretary, Veterans Homes, California Department of Veterans Affairs 
       

    California Veterans Home Administrators

    1. Donald Veverka, Administrator, Veterans Home of California, Yountville (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Lael Hepworth, Administrator, Veterans Home of California, Chula Vista (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Timothy Bouseman, Administrator, Veterans Home of California, Redding (Written Testimony)
       

    California Veterans Board

    1. Charlene Taylor, Chair, California Veterans Board (Written Testimony)
       

    Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes

    1. Ed Harries, Executive Director, Tennessee State Veterans Home Board (Written Testimony)


    Public Comments

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    February 18, 2016

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, March 3, 2016, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing to review the California Department of Veteran Affairs and its operation of the veterans homes program. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 437 of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    At the hearing, the Commission will hear from Dr. Vito Imbasciani, the Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, who will provide an overview of his vision for the department and the veterans home program. Next, three administrators of California veterans homes will share their experiences overseeing facilities and discuss strategies to engage residents, ensure quality care, reimburse costs and plan for the future. The Commission also will hear from the chair of the California Veterans Board who will discuss the role of the board in relation to the veterans homes and reforms that could be established. Finally, the executive director of the Tennessee State Veterans Home Board will discuss lessons from Tennessee’s experience turning around the veterans homes to become among the best in the nation, at little cost to state taxpayers.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. The Commission also encourages written comments. Immediately following the hearing, the Commission will hold a business meeting at 925 L Street, Room 175, in Sacramento.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, February 25, 2016.

    Video
  • October 22
    2015
    CalVet
    9:00 a.m., State Capitol, Room 437, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on CalVet
    Thursday, October 22, 2015, at 9:00 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 437
    Sacramento, CA 


    Opening Remarks

    CalVet: Veterans Services, Home Loan and Homes Program

    1. Keith Boylan, Deputy Secretary, Veterans Services Division, California Department of Veterans Affairs (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Theresa Gunn, Deputy Secretary, Farm and Home Loan Division, California Department of Veterans Affairs (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Coby Petersen, Deputy Secretary, Veterans Homes, California Department of Veterans Affairs (Written Testimony)
       

    County Services Officer Perspective

    1. Ted Puntillo, Director of Veterans Services, Solano County (Written Testimony)
       

    A Look Nationally at Veterans Homes Costs and Quality

    1. Marina Fisher, Graduate Student Researcher, Berkeley Center for Health Technology (Written Testimony)
       

    Public Comments

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    October 15, 2015

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting
    (Revised Witness List)

    On Thursday, October 22, 2015, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to assess the progress that CalVet has made implementing recommendations from the Commission’s 2013 report, An Agenda for Veterans: The State’s Turn to Serve. The Commission also will use this hearing to begin a new review of the department’s veterans homes and home loan programs, in response to a request from Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs. The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. in Room 437 of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    At the hearing the Commission will hear from a panel including staff members from CalVet, featuring the deputy secretaries from the Veterans Services Division, the Farm and Home Loans Division and the Veterans Homes Division. They will provide an update on the 2013 Commission recommendations to reduce the claims backlog and expand outreach to veterans, as well as information on the current operations of the home loan programs and the veterans homes. The Commission also will hear from the director of veterans services in Solano County, to share the perspective of county service officers who interact with thousands of veterans and also with CalVet. The final panel will feature a graduate student researcher at University of California, Berkeley, who authored a study earlier this year for the California Assembly that examines and provides recommendations on improving California’s veterans homes program.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. The Commission also encourages written comments. Immediately following the hearing, the Commission will hold a business meeting at 925 L Street, Room 175, in Sacramento.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, October 15, 2015.

    Video