senate Bill S6640

Enacts the Veterans Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Act

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 07 / Mar / 2012
    • REFERRED TO VETERANS, HOMELAND SECURITY AND MILITARY AFFAIRS
  • 22 / May / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.895
  • 23 / May / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 30 / May / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 04 / Jun / 2012
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A9415

Summary

Enacts the "Veterans Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Act"; directs the veterans affairs commission to develop and update a New York state interagency plan to improve outreach, assessment and care for veterans and their families who are experiencing mental health, major depression and/or substance abuse problems; requires a report be issued each year after the effective date.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9415
Versions:
S6640
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง352, Exec L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6640

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the executive law, in relation to enacting the
"Veterans Mental Health
and Chemical Dependency Act"

PURPOSE:
The purpose of the bill is to require the New York state Veteran's
Affairs Commission to develop and update, in consultation with The
Office of Mental Health, The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Services, The Department of Health and The Department of Labor, a New
York state interagency plan to improve outreach and assessment, and
care for veterans and their families who are experiencing mental
health and/or substance abuse problems.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 - Legislative findings and intent.

Section 2 - "This act shall be known as the "Veterans Mental Health and
Chemical Dependency Act."

Section 3 - Two new subdivisions are added to Section 352 of the
executive law.
This section of law deals with the powers and duties of the New York
State Veterans' Affairs Commission.

Section 4 - The effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Combat-related mental illness has been and still is a critical issue
for American war veterans. Veterans who have served during World War
II, Korea and Vietnam are still dealing with the aftermath of war.
More than 85,000 New
Yorkers have participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation
Iraqi Freedom, or both, since September 11, 2001. According to the
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, at least one in three Iraq
veterans and one in nine Afghanistan veterans will face mental health
issues like depression, anxiety, or post traumatic stress disorder.
Multiple tours have increased the stress of combat. Unfortunately,
the existing service-delivery system lacks the capacity to meet their
needs and those of their families. The lack of integrated services is
a longstanding problem in the mental health service-delivery system,
but with so many veterans returning home with both mental and
chemical dependency, it is nothing short of a crisis.

This legislation is based on testimony that was offered at a joint
hearing with the Assembly standing committees on Veterans' Affairs,
Mental Health and Alcohol & Drugs on co-occurring disorders. This
proposal calls for an annual state interagency planning effort, which
will hopefully begin to address the lack of integrated mental health
and substance-abuse services. The proposed planning process
recognizes the need to develop services outside the federal
Department of Veterans Affairs system to meet the needs of veterans
and their families who are either ineligible or chose not to use them.


LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
A.11098 of 2010

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
The New York State Veterans' Affairs Commission
is already established in law. This legislation expands their duties.
Members appointed to the Commission receive no salary or other
compensation.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect thirty
days 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 no later than
one year after such effective date.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  6640

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              March 7, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  DeFRANCISCO,  CARLUCCI  -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Veter-
  ans, Homeland Security 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, especially in Iraq and
Afghanistan, 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  consequences  of  co-occurring  disorders,
particularly when untreated or poorly treated, are severe. These  disor-
ders  increase  the  cost of healthcare due to the frequent use of inpa-
tient treatment, the inability to adhere to such treatment, the risk  of
suicide, crime victimization, homelessness, and incarceration.
  The  legislature  further  finds that the unemployment rate and fierce
competition for a sparse selection  of  jobs  contribute  to  the  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".
  S 3. Section 352 of the executive law is amended  by  adding  two  new
subdivisions 6 and 7 to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03276-03-2

S. 6640                             2

  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, MAJOR DEPRESSION
AND/OR SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEMS. THE PLAN WOULD ADDRESS THE NEED  FOR  A
RANGE OF ADDITIONAL 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
OR VETERANS;
  D.  SERVICES  THAT  ADDRESS  THE  SPECIAL NEEDS OF PHYSICALLY DISABLED
VETERANS;
  E. PEER OUTREACH AND SUPPORT PROGRAMS;
  F. SERVICES TO MEET THE EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF  CHILDREN,  SPOUSE,  AND/OR
DOMESTIC PARTNER OF SERVICE MEMBERS OR VETERANS;
  G. SERVICES AND CONSULTATION FOR VETERANS IN SEARCH OF EMPLOYMENT; AND
  H. ACCESSIBILITY AND COORDINATION OF INFORMATION.
  7.  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.

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