BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 244
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 30, 2013

                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS
                                Al Muratsuchi, Chair
                    AB 244 (Bonilla) - As Amended:  April 24, 2013
           
          SUBJECT  :  Vehicles: license plates: veterans

           SUMMARY  :  Directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to  
          apply for a veteran license plate.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Directs CalVet to apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles  
            (DMV) to sponsor a veterans specialized license plate program,  
            and DMV shall issue license plates for that program if CalVet  
            meets the requirements prescribed in statute for all  
            specialized plate applicants.

          2)Specifies that the design of the veterans specialized license  
            plate shall be identical to the design of the veterans special  
            interest license plate issued pursuant to Vehicle Code section  
            5068 on or before January 1, 2010.

          3)Mandates that revenue derived from the additional fees  
            prescribed by Vehicle Code section 5157 for the issuance,  
            renewal, or transfer of the veterans specialized license  
            plates shall be deposited, after the department deducts its  
            administrative costs, in the Veterans Service Office Funds  
            (CVSO Fund), created by Section 972.2 of the Military and  
            Veterans Code.
           
          EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Authorizes a state agency to apply to DMV to sponsor a special  
            interest license plate program and requires DMV to issue the  
            special interest license plates for the program if the state  
            agency complies with specified requirements.  

          2)Establishes DMV to, among other duties and responsibilities,  
            register vehicles for operation or non-operation in the state.  
             

          3)Allows any registered owner of a vehicle to apply to DMV for  
            veterans' organization license plates for his or her vehicle.   










                                                                  AB 244
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          4)Establishes special interest license plate procedures for  
            veteran organizations and allows a veterans' organization to  
            apply for a veterans' special interest license plate, the  
            proceeds of which are deposited into the CVSO Fund, less the  
            DMV costs.  Applicants for the special interest license plates  
            pay fees for issuance, renewal, or personalization that is  
            additional to those required for nonspecialized license  
            plates.  

          5)Requires money in the CVSO Fund to be available, upon  
            appropriation by the Legislature, to CalVet for allocation and  
            disbursement to counties for the operation of CVSOs.  

          6)Allows CalVet to modify the distinctive design or decal for  
            veterans' organization special interest license plates,  
            consistent with existing statutory design criteria.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown at this time.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author:

               The enactment of AB 1908 in 2010 transitioned the old  
               Veterans license plate to a new Honoring Veterans license  
               plate.  The Honoring Veterans plate can be purchased by any  
               member of the public who wishes to support veterans. This  
               change was made to increase the appeal of the plate to the  
               public and as a result, boost sales.  

               Prior to 2010, the Department only offered a Veterans  
               specialty license plate.  Unfortunately, transitioning to  
               an Honoring Veterans plate has prevented veterans from  
               purchasing a license plate which specifically identifies  
               them as a veteran.  Ever since this change occurred,  
               veterans and veterans groups have been asking for its  
               return.  

          Currently there are seven different license plate designs to  
          honor veterans and the Gold Star plate in honor of the sacrifice  
          of military families that have lost someone in military service.  
            Therefore a general "Veteran" plate is aligned with existing  
          policy and practice.  However, the bill in its current form does  
          not require any documentation of veteran status, so it will not  
          necessarily accomplish the goal of specifically identifying  
          veterans.









                                                                  AB 244
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          CalVet must still apply for and meet the requirements of the  
          statutory process for the plate.  If there is sufficient demand,  
          and the plate is issued, sale of these plates will provide  
          enhanced revenue for the County Veteran Service Office.  

           Previous Committee  : Assembly Transportation

          Ayes: 16  Noes: 0

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          American Legion, Department of California
          AMVETS, Department of California
          California Association of County Veterans Service Officers
          California Mental Health Directors Association
          Rural County Representatives of California
          VFW, Department of California
          Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council

           Opposition 
           
          None on File.
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    John Spangler / V. A. / (916) 319-3550