California Governor vetoes veterans’ courts, saying authority to establish them is already in “sound discretion of the courts”

October 4th, 2012 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

For the third time a California governor has vetoed a bill to create veterans courts in the state. As I mentioned previously similar bills passed by the legislature in 2010 and 2011 had been vetoed with then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and later Governor Jerry Brown. Both cited the state court’s existing authority to create such courts without the need for legislation.

Governor Brown’s veto message on AB 2611 of 2012 reiterates some of those points

I applaud the author’s interest in encouraging courts to focus on helping these offenders rather than focusing solely on the punishment. These matters, however, fall logically within the sound discretion of the courts. Veterans treatment courts operate today in 15 counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Ventura. Nine more counties are considering whether to establish one. A bill is not necessary. I urge courts to continue to explore ways to meet the needs of veterans who have served their nation, including establishing a veterans treatment court.

The bill now goes back to the Assembly where it is unclear whether there are the votes for an override.