BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1075
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          Date of Hearing:   June 22, 2010

                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION
                                 Marty Block, Chair
                    SB 1075 (Correa) - As Amended:  April 28, 2010

           SENATE VOTE  :   33-0
           
          SUBJECT  :   Military service: benefits.

           SUMMARY  :   Requires academic institutions to reasonably  
          accommodate and assist students who are called to active  
          military duty so they can meet any and all coursework  
          requirements missed due to military service.  Specifically,  this  
          bill  :   

          1)Requires academic institutions, upon request by a student  
            granted an academic leave of absence, to do one of the  
            following:  

             a)   Make arrangements to reasonably accommodate and assist  
               the student so that he or she is able to meet any and all  
               coursework requirements that he or she may have missed due  
               to military service; 

             b)   Credit tuition and fee charges toward a subsequent  
               academic term in an amount that is equal to 100% of what  
               the student paid for the academic term in which the student  
               is required to report for military service; and,  

             c)   Refund tuition and fees paid for the academic term,  
               provided the student withdraws before the withdraw date  
               established by the institution.  

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

           EXISTING LAW  :  The federal Service members Civil Relief Act  
          (SCRA), which expanded the former Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil  
          Relief Act (SSCRA), provides a wide range of protections for  
          individuals entering, called to active military duty, and  
          deployed service members.  The intent is to postpone or suspend  
          certain civil and financial obligations to enable service  
          members to devote "full attention to duty."  Reservists and  








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          members of the National Guard when in active federal service are  
          also protected under SCRA.  State law provides various  
          protections including:

          1)Protections to service members that are consistent with those  
            found within SCRA, including but not limited to protections  
            regarding court proceedings, credit contract obligations,  
            rental agreements, and eviction protections.  

          2)The California Military Families Financial Relief Act of 2005,  
            which protects college students called to active duty from  
            tuition loss by requiring institutions to either 1) credit  
            100% of the tuition and fees toward a subsequent academic year  
            or 2) provide a full refund of the tuition and fees if the  
            student withdraws before the withdraw date established by the  
            institution.    

          3)Existing state law requests the University of California (UC)  
            and requires the California State University (CSU) and the  
            California Community Colleges (CCC) to grant priority  
            registration for enrollment to former members of the Armed  
            Forces of the United States within two years of leaving active  
            military duty.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   The Senate Appropriations Committee estimated  
          indeterminate, although likely minor, costs.

           COMMENTS  :    Double-referral  :  The Assembly Veterans Affairs  
          Committee approved this bill on June 15, 2010, by a vote of 9-0.

           Background  :  It has become increasingly common to activate  
          reserves for short periods of time to provide service to  
          communities affected by natural or man-made disasters.  While  
          students ordered to federal active duty service may have enough  
          advance notice to plan for and request a formal academic leave  
          of absence, 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  
          such 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.  

           Need for this bill  :  According to the author, it appears that  
          CSU and CCC have varying policies concerning academic leaves of  








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          absence for students ordered into military service.  The author  
          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 adds to the  
          protections currently provided with regard to tuition by  
          providing students the option to request reasonable  
          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  
          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.  

           Which institutions are included  ?  Existing law does not define  
          "institution" for the purposes of this section of law.  Staff  
          suggests the following amendment to ensure that service members  
          are assured of these protections regardless of the institution  
          they attend:

               Sec. 824 (e):  For purposes of this section, "institution"  
               includes any public postsecondary education institution and  
               any institution as defined in Education Code Section 94858.  

           
           Previous legislation :  SB 361 (Runner, Chapter 351, Statutes of  
          2009) limited priority registration for enrollment at the  
          California State University (CSU) and the University of  
          California (UC) to former military members who received an  
          honorable discharge.  SB 272 (Chapter 356, Statutes of 2007)  
          required the CSU and requested the University of California to  
          give priority registration for enrollment to former members of  
          the armed forces as specified.  

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          None on file.
           
            Opposition 
           
          None on file.










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           Analysis Prepared by  :    Sandra Fried / HIGHER ED. / (916)  
          319-3960