BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             JEFF DENHAM, CHAIRMAN

          Bill No:        AB 1908
          Author:         Cook
          Version:        As Introduced
          Hearing Date:   June 22, 2010
          Fiscal:         Yes

                                 SUBJECT OF BILL  
          Veterans' license plates.  
                                   PROPOSED LAW  
              1.   Authorizes California Department of Veterans'  
               Affairs (CDVA) to modify the veterans license plate.

             2.   Requires that by July 1, 2011 the Department of  
               Motor Vehicles (DMV) must make the veterans' special  
               license plate available on its website for purchase.

             3.   Requires all money from the replacement decals on  
               aforementioned license plates be given to the  
               veterans' service office fund.

                          EXISTING LAW AND BACKGROUND  
             1.   The DMV, with permission from the Legislature,  
               offers specialized license plates and allows any state  
               agency to sponsor license plates with specialized  

             2.   Existing law requires special interest license  
               plates to provide a 2-inch by 3-inch space to the left  
               of the plate's numerical series and a space of 5/8  
               inch in height below the numerical series for a  
               distinctive design, decal, or descriptive message.

             3.   The sale of specialized plates raises extra  
               proceeds for a particular cause.  Those proceeds are  


               then used to support the cause highlighted on the  
               specialized plate.

             4.   All special license plates- except the veterans'  
               license plate-are available on the DMV website.

             5.   In 1992, the veterans' license plate was  
               established by AB 3016 (Conroy) and AB 3033 (Conroy).

             6.   In 1994, AB 1066 (Conroy) implemented the  
               provisions of ABs 3016 and 3033.

             7.   Proceeds from the veterans' license plate are  
               deposited in the "Veterans Service Office Fund," which  
               helps to fund County Veteran Service Officers (CVSO).

             8.   CVSOs are a network of officers paid for by the  
               state and counties that help California veterans  
               through a myriad of issues to claim their Federal  
               benefits from the GI Bill, including disability claims  
               with the Federal Veterans' Administration (VA). 

             9.   An agreement was made with California's counties in  
               1997 to fund 50% of the costs associated with CVSO.    
               However, counties have picked up most of the tab for  
               CVSOs and as a result CVSO services are on the cut  
               list in many counties.

             10.             The Governor's May Revise has sought to  
               keep the state's 1997 commitment by fully funding the  
               state half of the obligation for the first time.  That  
               proposal is pending in the budget conference  

             1.   According to Legislative Counsel this bill has a  
               conflict with AB 498 (Hayashi).

             2.   This bill helps to backfill the Veterans' Service  
               Office Fund by making sure all proceeds raised from  
               the license plate go to the fund that helps CVSOs.

                                      Page 2


             3.   CVSOs are taking on more of a workload as county  
               budgets are cut.  As workload increases and CVSOs are  
               eliminated, remaining CVSOs will need newer technology  
               in order to process veterans' claims.  This bill helps  
               to confront that problem by making a one-time transfer  
               from the Veterans' Service Office Fund to implement  
               the "Subvention Administrative Information System" to  
               expedite "case management applications" for CVSOs.

             4.   According to the author, the intent of this bill is  
               help increase the amount of money the veterans' plate  
               raises for CVSOs; hence, the link on the DMV website  
               to get more exposure for the plate.

             5.   Although not required in the legislation, part of  
               the plan is to make the plate more noticeable by  
               redesigning it.  The present plate design is plain  
               white with much of the distinguishing portions of the  
               plate covered by license plate holders.  The new plate  
               will be something easier to notice such as the  
               recognizable whale tail on the environmental plate.  

               According to the author, he hopes that this will "help  
               the CVSOs and CDVA to better market the veteran's  
               organization plate in hopes of increased sales, which  
               the CVSOs would use to expand their operations of  
               providing veterans and their families free claims  
               assistance and referral to local, state and federal  

                                  PRIOR ACTIONS

           Assembly Transportation       14-0
          Assembly Veterans             9-0
          Assembly Appropriations       17-0
          Assembly Floor                76-0 (Consent)

          California County Veteran Service Officers (CVSO)  
          American Legion, Dept. of CA

                                      Page 3


          AMVETS, Dept. of CA
          Vietnam Veterans of America, CA council
          California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA)
          County of San Bernardino

          None received

                                      Page 4