S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2011-2012 Regular Sessions
I N S E N A T E
March 21, 2011
Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Securi-
ty and Military Affairs
AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to enacting the "Veterans
Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Act"
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature recognizes
that throughout their service, many of the military personnel from New
York State experienced trauma during active duty, placing many of them
in high risk categories for triggering substance abuse or mental health
issues. More often than not, mental illness and substance abuse present
themselves simultaneously or as a co-occurring disorder. The conse-
quences of co-occurring disorders, particularly when untreated or poorly
treated, are severe. These disorders increase the cost of healthcare due
to the frequent use of inpatient treatment, the ability to adhere to
such treatment, the risk of suicide, crime victimization, homelessness,
The legislature further finds that the unemployment rate for young
veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was at 21.1 percent, reflect-
ing another tough obstacle that combat veterans face as they make the
transition home from war.
The legislature further finds that New York State has recognized its
responsibility for care for our veterans and their families, offering an
array of economic and health benefits. Now we are called to ensure that
the returning combat veterans can obtain the benefits that they are
entitled to from the various state agencies which offer help to the
returning servicemen and women to make the transition from military
personnel to veteran.
S 2. Short title. This act shall be known as the "Veterans Mental
Health and Chemical Dependency Act."
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 4157 2
S 3. Section 352 of the executive law is amended by adding two new
subdivisions 6 and 7 to read as follows:
6. THE COMMISSION SHALL DEVELOP AND UPDATE, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE
OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH, THE OFFICE OF ALCOHOLISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, A NEW YORK STATE
INTERAGENCY PLAN TO IMPROVE OUTREACH, ASSESSMENT, AND CARE FOR VETERANS
AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO ARE EXPERIENCING MENTAL HEALTH AND/OR SUBSTANCE
ABUSE PROBLEMS. THE PLAN WOULD ADDRESS THE NEED FOR A RANGE OF ADDI-
TIONAL SERVICES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO:
A. THE NEED FOR HOUSING THAT IS ACCESSIBLE TO VETERANS WITH PHYSICAL
AND/OR MENTAL DISABILITIES;
B. SUICIDE PREVENTION;
C. SERVICES THAT ADDRESS THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF FEMALE SERVICE MEMBERS
D. PEER OUTREACH AND SUPPORT PROGRAMS;
E. SERVICES TO MEET THE EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF CHILDREN, SPOUSE, AND/OR
DOMESTIC PARTNER OF SERVICE MEMBERS OR VETERANS;
F. SERVICES AND CONSULTATION FOR VETERANS IN SEARCH OF EMPLOYMENT; AND
G. ACCESSIBILITY AND COORDINATION OF INFORMATION.
7. REPORTS. THE COMMISSION SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE DIRECTOR EACH
YEAR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION. SUCH REPORT SHALL
INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, A DESCRIPTION OF THE COMMISSION'S ACTIV-
ITIES CONCERNING THE NEW YORK STATE INTERAGENCY PLAN. THE DIRECTOR SHALL
SUBMIT SUCH REPORT OR A SYNOPSIS OF SUCH REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AS
PROVIDED IN SECTION THREE HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE.
S 4. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
have become a law, however, the first New York state interagency plan as
described in subdivision 6 of section 352 of the executive law, as added
by section three of this act, shall be completed not later than one year
after such effective date.