Priority Legislation

One of the primary functions of the California State Commanders Veterans Council is to collectively review legislation and policies that impact our state’s veterans. Each legislative cycle, the CSCVC Executive Committee considers and reviews legislation as guided by our membership-approved policy principles. Below are the current positions or legislative goals of the current session.

Assembly Bill AB 107 (Salas) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current law requires a board within the Department of Consumer Affairs to issue, after appropriate investigation, certain types of temporary licenses to an applicant if the applicant meets specified requirements, including that the applicant supplies evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant is married to, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is assigned to a duty station in this state under official active duty military orders and the applicant submits an application to the board that includes a signed affidavit attesting to the fact that the applicant meets all of the requirements for a temporary license and that the information submitted in the application is accurate, to the best of the applicant’s knowledge. This bill would expand the requirement to issue temporary licenses to practice a profession or vocation to include licenses issued by any board within the department, except as provided. The bill would require a board to issue a temporary license within 30 days of receiving the required documentation if the results of a criminal background check do not show grounds for denial. STATUS: Chaptered

Assembly Bill AB 225 (Gray) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current law requires specified boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs to issue, after appropriate investigation, certain types of temporary licenses to an applicant if the applicant meets specified requirements, including that the applicant supplies evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant is married to, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is assigned to a duty station in this state under official active duty military orders and the applicant holds a current, active, and unrestricted license that confers upon the applicant the authority to practice, in another state, district, or territory of the United States, the profession or vocation for which the applicant seeks a temporary license from the board. This bill would expand the eligibility for a temporary license to an applicant who meets the specified criteria and who supplies evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States within 6 months of separation from active duty under other-than-dishonorable conditions, and an applicant who supplies evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant is an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States with official orders for separation within 90 days under other-than-dishonorable conditions. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

Assembly Bill AB 291 (Seyarto) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current law requires any bill authorizing a new tax expenditure to contain, among other things, specific goals, purposes, and objectives that the tax expenditure will achieve, detailed performance indicators, and data collection requirements. This bill, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2021, and before January 1, 2026, would provide an exclusion from gross income for all survivor benefits or payments received on or after January 1, 2021, and before January 1, 2026, under the federal Survivor Benefit Plan. The bill would require the Franchise Tax Board to submit, on or before December 1, 2025, a report to the Legislature on the income brackets of taxpayers who claimed this exclusion, and would provide findings and declarations relating to the goals, purposes, and objectives of this exclusion. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

Assembly Bill AB 305 (Maienschein) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current law waives open course provisions in statute or regulations of the board of governors for any governing board of a community college district for classes the district provides to inmates of certain facilities, and authorizes the board of governors to include the units of full-time equivalent students generated in those classes for purposes of state apportionments. This bill would waive open course provisions in statute or regulations of the board of governors for any governing board of a community college district for community college courses the district provides to military personnel, their dependents, and authorized civilian employees on a military base, and would authorize the board of governors to include the units of full-time equivalent students generated in those community college courses for purposes of state apportionments. STATUS: Chaptered

Assembly Bill AB 411 (Irwin) – SUPPORT

Summary: Would enact the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2022 to authorize the issuance of bonds in an amount not to exceed $600,000,000 to provide additional funding for the VHHPA. The bill would provide for the handling and disposition of the funds in the same manner as the 2014 bond act. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

Assembly Bill AB 459 (Mathis) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current law defines a disabled veteran to include a person who, as a result of injury or disease suffered while on active service with the Armed Forces of the United States, has a disability that has been rated at 100% by the Department of Veterans Affairs or the military service from which the veteran was discharged, due to a diagnosed disease or disorder that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility. Current law exempts a disabled veteran from the payment of vehicle registration fees, as specified. This bill would extend a prorated discount on vehicle registration fees, as specified, to a partially disabled veteran, as defined. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

Assembly Bill AB 576 (Maienschein) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current law requires every state agency that requests on any written form or written publication, or through its internet website, whether a person is a veteran, to request that information in a specified manner. This bill would require specified governmental agencies to include, at their next scheduled update, additional questions on their intake and application forms, except as provided, to determine whether a person is affiliated with the Armed Forces of the United States. The bill would require those agencies, through the intake or application form, to request permission from that person to transmit their contact information to the Department of Veterans Affairs so that the person may be notified of potential eligibility to receive state and federal veterans benefits. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

Assembly Bill AB 837 (B. Rubio) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current law requires the Franchise Tax Board to administer the levy and collection of taxes pursuant to the Personal Income Tax Law and the Corporation Tax Law and establishes procedures for the collection of delinquent taxes.This bill would prohibit the board from imposing a levy on salary or wages payable to or received by, or place a lien on a bank account of, a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty while deployed away from the individual’s permanent duty station. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

Assembly Bill AB 933 (Daly) – SUPPORT

Summary: The Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 provides for the licensure and regulation of health care service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care, and makes a willful violation of the act a crime. Current law provides for the regulation of health insurers by the Department of Insurance. Current law limits the maximum amount an enrollee or insured may be required to pay at the point of sale for a covered prescription drug to the lesser of the applicable cost-sharing amount or the retail price. This bill would require an enrollee’s or insured’s defined cost sharing for each prescription drug to be calculated at the point of sale based on a price that is reduced by an amount equal to 90% of all rebates received, or to be received, in connection with the dispensing or administration of the drug. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

Assembly Bill AB 1151 (Smith) – SUPPORT

Summary: Would direct the Department of Motor Vehicles to discontinue the fee for printing the word “VETERAN” on the face of a driver’s licence or identification card by July 1, 2022, and would repeal that fee provision on January 1, 2023. The bill would also make technical and conforming changes. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

Assembly Bill AB 1470 (Mathis) – SUPPORT

Summary: Would require the Department of Health Care Services to establish an Ending Military Suicide Task Force to systematically reduce military suicides and to develop a plan to eliminate all military suicides in the state, as specified. Commencing June 1, 2023, the bill would require the task force to submit a specified report to the Governor and the Legislature on the state of veteran suicide prevention, as specified, including, among other things, an analysis of the plans, activities, strategies, and programs undertaken pursuant to the task force’s recommendations and their effects on reducing military suicides in the state.. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

Assembly Bill AB 1520 (Levine) – SUPPORT

Summary: Would prohibit a health care service plan contract or a health insurance policy issued, amended, renewed, or delivered on or after January 1, 2022, from applying a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance to coverage for specified screening services for prostate cancer for an enrollee or insured who is 55 years of age or older or is 40 years of age or older and is high risk, as determined by their health care provider. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

ACR 5 (Mathis) – SUPPORT

Summary: This measure would commend AMVETS Department of California on its 75th year of providing benefits and services to Veterans. STATUS: Chaptered

ACR 12 (Seyarto) – SUPPORT

Summary: Would declare August 7, 2021, as Purple Heart Day in California. STATUS: Chaptered

ACR 13 (Seyarto) – SUPPORT

Summary: This measure would commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. STATUS: Chaptered

ACR 21 (M. Dahle) – SUPPORT

Summary: This measure would designate the South Yuba River Bridge over State Highway Route 49 in the County of Nevada as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge. The measure would request the Department of Transportation to determine the cost for appropriate signs showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources covering that cost, to erect those signs. STATUS: Chaptered

AJR 12 (Stone) – SUPPORT

Summary: This measure would urge the United States Congress to revise the United States Code to remove the requirement that, to be eligible for GI benefits, a law school be accredited by a specialized accreditor and the overly broad restriction that graduates must be eligible to sit for a bar examination in any state. STATUS: Chaptered

SB 348 (Grove) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current law requires the master plan for the overall operation of the veterans’ homes system be revised by the department every 5 years. Under current law, the master plan is required to discuss, among other things, the location of future facilities at or within the vicinity of United States Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, the closure of facilities, and the expansion of existing facilities or conversion of existing facilities to provide different levels of service. This bill would, in the event the department recommends or proposes to close a veterans’ home, require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to convene a taskforce that includes representatives from the department, elected officials from the community where the home is located, residents of the home, staff employed at the home, and local veterans groups. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

SB 498 (Umberg) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current law requires an attorney or law firm receiving or disbursing trust funds to establish and maintain an Interest On Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) account in which the attorney or law firm is required to deposit or invest all specified client deposits or funds. Current law directs IOLTA account interest and dividends to be paid to the State Bar of California to be distributed for the provision of civil legal services to indigent persons in a prescribed order, including, after payment of administrative costs, 85% of remaining funds to qualified legal services projects. Current law defines terms for these purposes, including the definition of “indigent person.” This bill would expand the definition of “indigent person” by increasing one measure of income eligibility from 125% to 200% of a specified poverty threshold. The bill would further require, for the purpose of that definition, that the income of a person who is disabled be determined after deducting disability compensation from the United States Veterans Administration paid to a veteran with a service-related disability. STATUS: Chaptered

SB 658 (Grove) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current property tax law, pursuant to the authorization of the California Constitution, provides a disabled veteran’s property tax exemption for the principal place of residence of a veteran, the veteran’s spouse, or the veteran and veteran’s spouse jointly, and the unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran, as provided, if the veteran is blind in both eyes, has lost the use of 2 or more limbs, or is totally disabled as a result of injury or disease incurred in military service, or if the veteran has, as a result of a service-connected injury or disease, died while on active duty in military service. Current law exempts that part of the full value of the residence that does not exceed $100,000, or $150,000 if the household income of the claimant does not exceed $40,000, as adjusted for inflation, as specified. This bill, for property tax lien dates occurring on or after January 1, 2022, would additionally provide a partial exemption for property owned by, and that constitutes the principal place of residence of, a veteran who is partially disabled, as defined, or the veteran’s spouse or the veteran and the veteran’s spouse jointly, under these provisions. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

Senate Bill SB 661 (Newman) – SUPPORT

Summary: SB 661 was introduced by Sen. Newman to modernize the CalVet Home Loan Program, which hasn’t been updated in 45 years. SB 661 allows veterans to refinance their CalVet home loans with better interest rates, allows CalVet to offer loans with shorter payback terms, and other quality of life updates. These changes ensure CalVet’s home loans are competitive and flexible in the current housing market, and able to help veterans achieve or maintain homeownership. STATUS: Chaptered

SB 665 (Umberg) – SUPPORT

Summary: The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) provides that nothing in that act relating to discrimination on account of sex affects the right of an employer to use veteran status as a factor in employee selection or to give special consideration to Vietnam-era veterans. This bill would enact the Voluntary Veterans’ Preference Employment Policy Act to authorize a private employer to establish and maintain a written veterans’ preference employment policy, to be applied uniformly to hiring decisions, to give a voluntary preference for hiring or retaining a veteran over another qualified applicant or employee. The bill would require a private employer with a veterans’ preference employment policy to report the establishment of the policy to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing in a manner prescribed by the department. The bill would provide that the granting of a veterans’ preference pursuant to the bill, in and of itself, shall be deemed not to violate any local or state equal employment opportunity law or regulation, including, but not limited to, the antidiscrimination provisions of FEHA. STATUS: VETOED

SB 667 (Roth) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current property tax law, pursuant to the authorization of the California Constitution, provides a disabled veterans’ property tax exemption for the principal place of residence of a veteran, the veteran’s spouse, or the veteran and veteran’s spouse jointly, and the unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran, as provided, if the veteran is blind in both eyes, has lost the use of 2 or more limbs, or is totally disabled as a result of injury or disease incurred in military service, or if the veteran has, as a result of a service-connected injury or disease, died while on active duty in military service. Existing property tax law requires any person claiming the disabled veterans’ property tax exemption to file a claim, which is required to be filed under penalty of perjury, with the assessor giving any information required by the State Board of Equalization, as provided. This bill would authorize the executor or administrator of the claimant’s estate to file a claim with the assessor in the manner described above. STATUS: Chaptered

SB 763 (Min) – SUPPORT

Summary: Current law requires a court, if it concludes that a defendant convicted of a felony offense is or was a member of the United States military who may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of the defendant’s military service, to consider that circumstance as a factor in mitigation when imposing a sentence. Current law allows a defendant who is currently serving a felony sentence and meets these criteria to petition for resentencing if those criteria were not considered at the time of sentencing and the person was sentenced prior to January 1, 2015. This bill would allow a defendant meeting these criteria to petition for recall of sentence and resentencing without regard to whether the defendant was sentenced prior to January 1, 2015. STATUS: 2 Year Bill

SR 13 (Grove) – SUPPORT

Summary: This measure would resolve that the Senate hereby recognizes “Women Warriors” by proclaiming the week of March 14 to March 20, 2021, inclusive, as Women’s Military History Week in California. The Senate encourages Californians to recognize the hard-fought contributions of women to our military and our freedom, the courageous sacrifices that women have made while serving our country, and the historic lifting of the ban on women in combat on January 24, 2013. STATUS: Adopted