CA Governor Appoints New CALVET Secretary: Military Connection


By Debbie Gregory.

On September 18th, California Governor Jerry Brown announced the appointment of the new secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). Colonel Vito Imbasciani, a 69-year-old Los Angeles urologic surgeon and Kaiser Permanente executive, is poised to fill the position left vacant by the previous acting secretary, Debbie Endsley.

Endsley was appointed acting secretary of CalVet in January, 2015. Endsley had replaced Peter J. Gravett upon his retirement.

Colonel Imbasciani is president-elect of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, and a member of the California Medical Association Board of Trustees and the California Association of Physician Groups Board of Directors. He has also served as the director of government relations at Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group since 2004.

He was the state surgeon for the California Army National Guard from 2006 to 2014, and also served as a surgeon in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1986 to 2014.

Colonel Imbasciani earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Vermont. In addition, he holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Arts degree in musicology from Cornell University. He also speaks multiple languages, including Spanish, French, German and Italian.

A long time LGBT supporter, Colonel Imbasciani served under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but he was always working as an activist to repeal the policy. He badgered the staff of Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “to stand up to the generals who didn’t want any part of ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’” He also approached every member of Congress on the House and Senate Armed Services Committee, through their staff members, “giving them my story and sort of tantalizing them with the willingness to appear before Congress under my constitutional right as a solider to redress grievances. And to let them know the difficulties of being a gay man in uniform and the terrible loss of talent and the terrible expense that the military has to go through in replacing these highly qualified [experts].”

Colonel Imbasciani’s appointment to the position requires confirmation by the state Senate.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Military Connection: CA Gov. Signs 21 Veteran Bills: By Debbie Gregory

CA LawsThis week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a total of 21 bills that directly affect active military, Veterans and their families; proving that California is a Veteran-friendly state.

The signed bills include:

AB 13 – Requires the California Community College and the California State University systems to update their in-state tuition rate policies to comply with the federal Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 and state law. Requests these updates of the University of California as well.

AB 186 – Requires the Department of Consumer Affairs licensing entities to provide eligible military spouses and domestic partners licensed in another state with a 12-month temporary license to practice their profession in California.

AB 585 – Requires the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to develop a prioritized list of uses for unused or underutilized nonresidential real property it owns.

AB 614 – Ensures that Veterans with a 70% or more service disability, who are receiving care in a Veterans home, shall have their accounts deemed paid in full by the money paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

AB 919 – Permits Veterans who are itinerant vendors to receive a refund of sales taxes paid to the Board of Equalization between April 1, 2002 and April 1, 2010.

AB 935 – Allows Veterans to apply for a driver license or identification card featuring a “Veteran” designation.

AB 1397 – Requires the California Department of Human Resources to collect and report on data regarding the Veterans preference system in state hiring.

AB 1453 – Requires CalVet to cooperate with local government bodies in Orange County to design, construct and equip a state-owned and operated Southern California Veterans Cemetery in the City of Irvine, and establish eligibility for interment.

AB 1509 – Requires CalVet to develop a transition assistance program for Veterans who have been discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard of any state.

AB 1518 – Authorizes the California National Guard Adjutant General to receive federal funding to implement a National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program.

AB 1589 – Requires elections officials to arrange electronic delivery of a ballot to a military or overseas voter who makes a standing request for all elections, eliminating the requirement that the individuals renew their email address every two years.

AB 1821 – Establishes the Medical Foster Home Pilot Program and authorizes USDVA facilities to create a medical foster home not subject to licensure or regulation as a residential care facility for the elderly.

AB 2215 – Allows a Veteran’s family or legal representatives to file a copy of their military discharge document with a county recorder without the consent of the Veteran.

AB 2263 – Authorizes Veterans service organizations to volunteer as a Veterans service advocate at California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities.

AB 2664 – Transfers all funds in the California Military Family Relief Fund to the California Military Department Support Fund.

SB 842 – Requires the California Department of Transportation to construct directional signs on state highways for each Veterans home in the state.

SB 1110 – Requires the court to inform active duty or Veteran status defendants of restorative relief rights available to them and requires the Judicial Council to include information about the provisions in its military service form.

SB 1113 – Extends the statute of limitations for a Veteran with a 100% service disability to claim a disabled Veteran property tax exemption refund from four to eight years.

SB 1226 – Expedites the Department of Consumer Affairs boards and bureaus’ initial licensure process for veteran applicants who were active duty and stationed in California and authorizes prospective proprietary private security officers to submit verification of military training in lieu of a course in security officer skills.

SB 1227 – Authorizes a court to create a diversion program for active duty military personnel or Veterans who commit misdemeanors when they are suffering from service-related trauma or substance abuse.

SB 1440 – Requires that non-veteran spouses living in the Veterans Homes of California pay the same fees as veteran residents.

Click the links for each legislation and read how they benefit you!

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit, the go to site.

Military Connection: CA Gov. Signs 21 Veteran Bills: By Debbie Gregory