BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 244
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 15, 2013

                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                   AB 244 (Bonilla) - As Amended:  April 24, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                               
                        Veterans Affairs                        7-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               


          This bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (CDVA) to  
          apply to the DMV for a veterans' specialized license plate  
          designed exactly like the veterans' license plate that was  
          available prior to 2010, when legislation authorized a  
          differently-designed plate. Net revenues from these licensed  
          plates will be used to fund county veterans' service offices.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)Potential one-time special fund costs of approximately  
            $400,000 to DMV to establish the veterans license plate  
            program, including computer programming changes and updating  
            of forms. Pursuant to current law, DMV will make computer  
            programming and form changes only after program applications  
            meet the 7,500-application threshold. The DMV will incur minor  
            ongoing costs to continue issuing specialty license plates and  
            renewals under the program. All of the DMV's initial and  
            ongoing costs will be covered by a portion of the additional  
            $50 fee paid for specialized license plates.

          2)Minor one-time costs to CDVA to submit the program application  
            to DMV, design and print the license plate application, and  
            collect and hold applications and fees until 7,500  
            applications are received. The department's costs will  
            eventually be recovered assuming sufficient participation in  
            the program.

          3)Potential ongoing additional revenue to fund county veterans  
            service offices.


                                                                  AB 244
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           1)Specialized License Plates  . Prior to 2007, any new special  
            interest license plate required specific legislative  
            authorization. This practice was held to be unconstitutional  
            in that the Legislature approved some of the plates, and  
            rejected others, using no standardized or objective criteria  
            for those decisions. Pursuant to AB 84 (Leslie)/ Chapter 91 of  
            2006, the DMV will issue specialized license plates when  
            sponsored by a state agency, the plate's message and resulting  
            revenues support that agency's program, and at least 7,500  
            paid license applications have been received. The  
            7,500-application threshold attempts to assure that DMV's  
            startup costs are fully covered, by the portion of the  
            registration fee surcharge directed to the department, and to  
            avoid a proliferation of different types of plates, which can  
            be troublesome from a law enforcement perspective.

           2)Purpose  . The author indicates that, prior to 2010, DMV only  
            offered a "veterans" special interest license plate which  
            could be purchased by persons who serve or previously served  
            in our nation's armed forces. (Actually, the plates were not  
            exclusively for veterans, as purchase of the plates at that  
            time was not limited solely to veterans.) In order to garner  
            more widespread appeal and license plate acquisition, AB 1908  
            (Cook)/Chapter 166 of 2010 established an "honoring veterans"  
            license plate, replacing the "veterans-only" plate.   
            Subsequently, veterans and veterans groups have been asking  
            for the return of the "veterans-only" plate so they can be  
            specifically identified as veterans who have served their  

            This bill requires the CDVA to seek to reestablish the  
            veterans' special interest license plate that was previously  
            issued several years ago, and directs monies generated from  
            the additional license plate fees to fund county veteran  
            service offices.  

           3)Related Legislation  . AB 1096 (Nestande), also on today's  
            committee agenda, authorizes the Department of Fish and  
            Wildlife to apply for a specialized license plate to benefit  
            restoration of the Salton Sea.

            AB 49 (Buchanan), pending in this committee, requires the  


                                                                  AB 244
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            Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to apply to the DMV  
            to sponsor a breast cancer awareness license plate program. 

            AB 482 (Atkins), also pending in this committee, requires the  
            California Cultural and Historical Endowment to apply to DMV  
            for a specialized license plate to fund a program providing  
            grants for small projects at the state's museums.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916) 319-2081