S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
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
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.
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
D. SERVICES THAT ADDRESS THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF PHYSICALLY DISABLED
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.