senate Bill S4157

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Enacts the Veterans Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Act

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to veterans, homeland security and military affairs
Mar 21, 2011 referred to veterans, homeland security and military affairs

S4157 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง352, Exec L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S7961

S4157 - Bill Texts

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Enacts the "Veterans Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Act."

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BILL NUMBER:S4157

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

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of the bill is to require
the New York State Veterans' Affairs Commission to 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.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC 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 illness 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 choose not to use them.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
A.11098 of 2010.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
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 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 not later than
one year after such effective date.

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

                                  4157

                       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,
and incarceration.
  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.
                                                           LBD03276-01-1

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
OR VETERANS;
  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.

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