Jackson Bill To Help Disabled Veterans Who Work in CA Schools Passes Off Senate Floor

May 02, 2016

SACRAMENTO – A bill by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to help disabled veterans who are transitioning from military service into a second, new career working in California’s public schools passed off the Senate floor today on a bipartisan, 37-0 vote. The bill now heads to the State Assembly.

Senate Bill 1180 will give disabled veterans who are new school employees additional sick leave in their first year of employment so they can attend medical and VA appointments to treat their disability.

The bill would apply to disabled veterans who are teachers as well as other school employees, including groundskeepers, office workers, child care workers, food service workers, janitors, security officers and others. Under the bill, full-time, year-round workers who are disabled veterans would receive 12 days of additional sick leave they could use if they choose in their first year. Disabled veterans who are teachers, who work 10 months of the year, would receive as much as 10 days of additional sick leave.

“This bill is a way to provide support to disabled veterans as they transition to a second career in public service in our schools,” said Jackson. “Providing them additional sick leave to take care of their medical and VA appointments ensures that these veterans can access the care they need without hesitation, and without having to worry about using up their regular allotment of sick leave. It’s the least we owe these men and women who have served our country and are now going on to serve our students and schools.”

The bill would apply to those hired on or after January 1, 2017 who are 30 percent or more disabled as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The additional sick leave would only apply to those in their first year in the school workforce, and after the first year, additional sick leave that is not used would be forfeited.

SB 1180 builds on the legislation Jackson authored last year. Her SB 221, the California Wounded Warriors Transitional Leave Act, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown and gave new state employees who are disabled veterans additional sick leave during their first year in the state workforce to seek treatment for their service-related disabilities.

Jackson was previously named the Leo P. Burke Legislator of the Year by the American Legion, Department of California, for her work authoring a law to ensure that eligible veterans going through the justice system are steered to Veterans Treatment Courts. Jackson also authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 27, which designated portions of Highway 101 in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties for inclusion in the National Purple Heart Trail.

California is home to approximately 1.8 million veterans, and each year, an estimated 30,000 new veterans return to the state. There are an estimated 43,841 veterans living in Ventura County and 23,980 in Santa Barbara County.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

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