BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1075
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   June 15, 2010

                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS
                                 Paul J. Cook, Chair
                    SB 1075 (Correa) - As Amended:  April 28, 2010

           SENATE VOTE  :   33-0
           
          SUBJECT  :   Military Service: Benefits

           SUMMARY  :   Revises the definitions of "service member" and  
          "military service" for purposes of the California Military  
          Families Financial Relief Act.  Specifically,  this bill  requires  
          academic institutions, upon request by a student granted leave  
          of absence status due to active military duty, to either  
          accommodate and assist the student in completing missed  
          coursework, credit the student an amount equal to 100 percent of  
          paid tuition and fees to be used for a subsequent academic term,  
          or refund tuition and fees in full if the student withdraws  
          before the institution's established withdraw date.  

           EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)  Establishes the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA),  
           which expanded the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act.   
           The intent of the SCRA is to postpone or suspend certain civil  
           and financial obligations of service members to enable them to  
           devote "full attention to duty.

          2)  Provides numerous protections to service members that are  
           consistent with those found within the SCRA.  These protections  
           include issues such as court proceedings, credit contracts, and  
           evictions.

          3)  Establishes the California Military Families Financial  
           Relief Act of 2005 to protect college students called to active  
           duty from tuition loss by requiring institution to either (1)  
           credit 100 percent of the tuition and fees toward a subsequent  
           academic year or (2) provide a full refund of tuition and fees  
           if the student withdraws before the established withdraw date  
           at a given institution.

          4)  Requests that the University of California (UC) and requires  
           the California State University (CSU) and each community  
           college to grant priority registration for enrollment to former  








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           members of the Armed Forces of the United States within two  
           years of leaving active military service.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, likely minor costs to UC, CSU, and community  
          colleges.
           
          COMMENTS  :  California has enacted many protections for  
          California service members serving in the active, reserve, and  
          the National Guard military components.  According to the  
          author's office, it appears that the California Community  
          Colleges and state universities have varying policies concerning  
          academic leaves of absence for students ordered into military  
          service.  The author's office maintains that there have been  
          instances in which postsecondary institutions have not extended  
          statutory protections to California National Guard members who  
          are ordered into  
          Emergency State Active duty by the Governor.  

          This bill applies to members of the active duty and reserve  
          branches of the Armed Forces of the United States and California  
          National Guard who are students enrolled in an institution of  
          higher education and "ordered to duty" by either the President  
          of the United States or the Governor  
          of California.  

          In recent years, it has become common to activate reserves and  
          National Guard forces for short periods of time to provide  
          service to communities affected by federal and state  
          emergencies.  While students ordered to federal active duty  
          service may have enough advance notice to plan for and request a  
          formal academic leave of absence.  However, National Guard and  
          reserve students called to state military active duty service  
          are often called to service for shorter periods within a grading  
          term and may not have sufficient notice to work out arrangements  
          in advance with their instructors.  Students in these situations  
          may miss critical assignments or tests, which can delay their  
          educational progress if their instructors do not allow the  
          students to make up missed coursework.

          This bill adds to the protections currently provided with regard  
          to tuition by providing students the option to request  
          accommodations to enable them to meet "any and all" coursework  
          requirements they may have missed due to military service.   
          Since these students do not realistically have the option of  








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          refusing to report to duty, this bill helps ensure they are not  
          treated in the same ways as students who voluntarily choose to  
          miss class or complete required coursework.  
           
           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          AMVETS, Department of California
          Brigadier General Mary Kight, Adjutant General, State of  
          California
          National Guard Association of California
          Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council
           
            Opposition 
          
          None on file.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Matthew Knox/ V. A. / (916) 319-3550