SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on Thursday signed several bipartisan bills that improve services and opportunities for veterans in California.
“Yesterday, a bill to invest in job training for veterans was blocked because of Washington political infighting,” said Governor Brown. “Here in California, Republicans and Democrats joined together to support our veterans. These bills respect the honor and dignity of those who serve.”
“This comprehensive package of legislation signed by Governor Brown continues to demonstrate that California is fulfilling its obligation to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much,” said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, California National Guard Adjutant General.
“Veterans issues should never be partisan,” said California Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “These bills show our commitment to serving those who served.”
The Governor signed the following bills:
• AB 2462 by Assemblymember Marty Block (D-San Diego) – Public postsecondary education: academic credit for prior military academic experience:
- Requires the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges to determine which courses should be awarded credit for prior military academic experience using standards of the American Council on Education.
• AB 2133 by Assemblymember Robert Blumenfield (D-Van Nuys) – Veterans: priority registration:
- Increases, from 4 to 15, the number of years after leaving active duty that a veteran, who is a resident of California, is eligible for priority registration for enrolling in classes at the CCC, the CSU and the UC.
• AB 2478 by Assemblymember Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) – Student residency requirements: veterans:
- Expands the current exemption given to veterans from paying non-resident tuition at California Community Colleges by one year, as specified.
• AB 1904 by Assemblymember Marty Block (D-San Diego) – Professions and vocations: military spouses: expedited licensure:
- Requires boards under the Department of Consumer Affairs to expedite the licensure process for military spouses and domestic partners of military members on active duty in California.
• SB 1405 by Senator Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles) – Accountancy: military service: practice privilege:
- Authorizes accountants to have their licenses placed on a military inactive status while engaged in active duty in the National Guard or armed forces.
• AB 2659 by Assemblymember Robert Blumenfield (D-Van Nuys) – Vehicles: driver’s licenses:
- Allows licensed drivers of military commercial vehicles to qualify for a California commercial driver’s license without additional California driving tests.
• SB 1413 by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) – Adjutant General: support programs:
- Allows the Adjutant General to establish support programs, acquire facilities and solicit and accept donations for the benefit of military personnel and their families.
• AB 2371 by Assemblymember Betsy Butler (D-Marina Del Rey) – Veterans: criminal defendants: mental health issues and restorative relief:
- Provides restorative relief to a veteran defendant who acquires a criminal record due to a mental disorder stemming from military service.
• AB 1224 by the Committee on Veterans Affairs – Veterans: veterans’ farm and home purchases:
- Authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to adopt implementing regulations necessary to allow financing of cooperative dwelling units.
• AB 1505 by Assemblymember Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) – Department of Veterans Affairs: veterans’ benefits: reinstatement:
- Reinstates state veterans benefits that were denied solely on the basis of sexual orientation when the federal government first reinstates those benefits.
• SB 1287 by Senator Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) – Sport fishing licenses:
- Requires the Department of Fish and Game to issue a reduced fee sport fishing license to active military personnel who are recovering service members.
• SB 1288 by Senator Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) – Hunting licenses:
- Requires the Department of Fish and Game to issue a reduced hunting fee license to military personnel who are recovering service members.
• AB 2490 by Assemblymember Betsy Butler (D-Marina Del Rey) – Veterans: correctional counselors:
- Requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to develop policies to assist veteran inmates in pursuing veteran’s benefits.
• AB 342 by Assemblymember Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) – Office of Planning and Research:
- Designates the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to serve as the state liaison with the United States Department of Defense.
• AB 1550 by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) – Vehicles: veterans’ organizations license plates fees:
- Increases the fees required to issue, renew, and personalize specialized veterans’ license plates to fund veterans’ organizations.
• AB 2202 by Assemblymember Marty Block (D-San Diego) – Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: State Council:
- Extends the January 1, 2013 sunset to 2016 for the Superintendent of Public Instruction to reconvene a task force to review and make recommendations regarding the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.
• AB 2198 by Assemblymember Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) – Department of Veterans Affairs: reporting requirements:
- Recalibrates reporting requirements in the annual county veterans service officers’ report to ensure these programs are maximizing support to veterans.
• SB 1198 by Senator Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) – Department of Veterans Affairs: publicity of benefit programs for homeless veterans:
- Requires CalVet to provide veterans with information about federal veteran pensions, federal housing vouchers, and CalFresh.
For full text of the bills, visit: leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html.