BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS
                             JEFF DENHAM, CHAIRMAN
                                             


          Bill No:        SB 1075
          Author:         Correa
          Version:        As Proposed
          Hearing Date:   April 13, 2010
          Fiscal:         Yes
          Consultant:     Donald E. Wilson




                                 SUBJECT OF BILL
                                         
          Tuition refund for those ordered to active military duty  
          after the start of a semester or quarter.
                                         

                                  PROPOSED LAW
           
          1.Requires academic institutions to help students meet any  
            and all coursework requirements that may have been missed  
            after being called away for military service.

          2. Requires the institution to credit the student 100  
            percent of tuition and fee charges towards the subsequent  
            academic term in which the student withdrawal is required  
            by compulsory military service.

          3.Revises the definitions of "service member" and "military  
            service" for purposes of the California Military Families  
            Financial Relief Act.



                           EXISTING LAW AND BACKGROUND
           
          1.  California law requires colleges to issue a credit of a  
            100% refund of tuition and fees if the student withdraws  
            prior to the school's established withdraw date.  This  
            credit is then applied to a subsequent academic year.

          2.  During the American Civil War Congress passed a  









            moratorium on civil actions against northern troops.   
            Certain southern states are said to have done the same  
            for their armies.  

          3.  In World War 1 Congress passed the Soldiers' and  
            Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1918 to protect service  
            members from losing at home what they were fighting for  
            on the front.  The law gave courts the authority to make  
            equitable decisions involving military personnel.
          
          4.  In 1940 Congress renewed the Soldiers' and Sailors'  
            Civil Relief Act, now commonly called (SSCRA).  Due to  
            the courts improperly carrying out the will of Congress  
            the SSCRA was amended in 1942 to give stronger  
            protections to those serving the United States of  
            America.

          5.  As some business owners have found new ways to attempt  
            to avoid the SSCRA law, Congress and state legislatures  
            have consistently returned to defend service members by  
            strengthening the law.  In 1991 further amendments were  
            passed in response to the experience of Desert  
            Shield/Desert Storm personnel.

          6.  In 2002 SSCRA protections were extended to National  
            Guard members activated under Title 32 if activated for  
            federal reasons. [Note:  Federal active duty is usually  
            activated under Title 10 of the United States Code  
            (U.S.C.).  Usually Title 32 is state activation of the  
            National Guard.  However, after 9-11 state National Guard  
            units were activated for state service in such places as  
            airports and bridges, but the activation was done by and  
            paid for by the Federal Government.]  

          7. In December 2003, President Bush signed a revised  
            version of the SSCRA, now known as the Federal Service  
            Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which again extended  
            SSCRA protections.  

          8.  Since 2001, the California National Guard (CNG) has  
            responded to the needs of the state by deploying  
            thousands of Soldiers and Airmen throughout the state for  
            a multitude of missions, many lasting for months and some  
            for years.  Many of these Guard members must leave their  

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            studies in order to respond to state emergencies.  Some  
            may be required to perform duty for over 15 or more  
            consecutive days (as was the case with California's  
            recent wildfires).

          9.  After September 11, 2001 California also strengthened  
            SSCRA.  In 2002, the Military Department sponsored AB  
            1433 (Horton)*, which was chaptered into law and repealed  
            California MVC 399 and 399.5 and added Chapter 7.5  
            "Protections," commencing with 400 through 420.  The  
            passage of AB 1433 provided financial protection for  
            military members performing military service in regards  
            to court proceedings, credit contract obligations, rental  
            agreements, taxes (except income taxes), and  
            health/medical insurance, as well as eviction protection  
            for the military members' families.  These new provisions  
            enabled National Guard members that are serving in state  
            or federal status and other military reservists  
            performing federal duty to receive financial protections  
            consistent with those found within the federal SSCRA.
            
          10. Other previous pertinent state legislation-

          a) California MVC 800-810 was codified by SB 1  
          (Calderon)** in 1991 to provide emergency economic relief  
          to California residents called to active military service  
          during the Iraq-Kuwait crises.  This legislation augmented  
          protections that were already afforded under the federal  
          statute known as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act  
          (SSCRA) of 1940.  

          b) Assembly Bill 306 (Baca)*** of 2005 addressed members of  
          the United States Military Reserve and CNG ordered to  
          active duty for the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts and  
          ensured that Service members would be provided enhanced  
          financial protections.

          c) AB 1666 (Frommer) of 2005, the California Families  
          Financial Relief Act of 2005, addressed (among other  
          things) the following:

          Waives county recorder fee for power of attorney for  
            recording a service member's agent if that member is  
            performing military service.

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          Allows for the cancellation of a cell phone contract  
            within 30 days if the member or spouse sends a written  
            notice to the cell phone service provider.

          Requires a full refund of tuition and fees for college  
            students ordered to military service if they withdraw  
            prior to the school's withdrawal date.  

          Waiver of bar dues for the time period in which the  
            military member is serving military duty.

          Allows for arrearages on a vehicle lease to be paid in  
            equal installments over the length of time the member  
            served military duty if a vehicle lease is terminated  
            pursuant to the federal Service Members Civil Relief Act.

          Allows qualified customers to receive up to 180 days of  
            shutoff protection for utilities if income reduction is  
            due to a member of the family being activated to duty and  
            the individual notifies the public service provider of  
            the need for assistance.




                                     COMMENT
                                         
          1.In spite of all the protections that both the Federal and  
            State Governments have attempted to put in place the  
            author states, "it appears that some of California's  
            Community Colleges and State Universities have varying  
            policies concerning academic leaves of absence for those  
            students ordered to military service.  There have been  
            some instances in which post-secondary institutions do  
            not extend these protections to California National Guard  
            members who are ordered to perform Emergency State Active  
            duty by the Governor."

          2.This bill is another in a long line of amendments since  
            1942 that attempts to protect those serving our country  
            who otherwise are in situations beyond their control.   
            Theoretically one could refuse to report to duty but  
            would then would be thrown into the brig: either option  

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            means the service member is unable to pay bills or finish  
            the semester.

          3.Military service for the provisions of this bill require  
            one of the following:

          a)Members of the militia as defined in MVC 120 who are  
            activated under MVC sections 143 or 146 by the governor;  
            OR
          b)Members of the militia as defined in MVC 120 who are  
            activated by the President under Titles 32 or 10 of the  
            U.S.C.; OR
          c)Full-time Federal duty of over 30 days.

          4.This bill clarifies that in order for this legislation to  
            apply to a reservist the service member must be "ordered"  
            to service.

          5.This bill also clarifies that in order for the  
            institution to be obligated under this amendment that the  
            orders must have been "compulsory".

          6. AUTHOR'S PROPOSED AMENDMENT - According to the author,  
            "the California National Guard (CNG), is proposing to  
            strike a "7-day" state service requirement in order to be  
            eligible for protections under 821-824. The sponsor  
            says it believes if a CNG soldier has to report to  
            training on say, a Friday and misses a mid-term or final  
            exam because of being gone for this one day, the  
            soldier/student should be allowed to make up the exam.  

            After receiving feedback from  Guard members, the sponsor  
            indicates that it's really the instructors/professors who  
            either allow missed coursework to be made up, or not.  
            Some professors will work with the Guard member, but many  
            don't care, and don't accept copies of orders or letters  
            from the individual's unit explaining the military  
            obligation the student had to report to.  

            With the enhanced revisions to 824, the institution  
            (i.e. the professors) will have to accommodate the  
            student/military member in order for them to make up  
            missed work, or the student can get a refund (if they  
            withdraw within the timeframe established by the school),  

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            or the student/Guard member can restart the course in a  
            subsequent term without having to pay again for the  
            class.  Under SB 1075 provisions, schools/professors will  
            have to coordinate with the Guard member so the  
            individual can complete any missed coursework or exams so  
            the semester/quarter isn't wasted. Just as important is  
            that all CSU's & CA Community Colleges will be required  
            to uniformly apply these revised provisions."

          7.There are no previous votes on this bill.



                                     SUPPORT
                                         
          California National Guard (Sponsor)
          Brigadier General Mary Kight, Adjutant General State of  
          California
          National Guard Association of California
          American Legion, Department of California 
          AMVETS, Department of California  
          Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council


                                      OPPOSE  
          None received


          *Jerome Horton served in the Assembly in 2002
          **Charles Calderon served in the Senate in 1991
          *** Joe Baca, Jr. served in the Assembly in 2005.













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