BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 778


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          Date of Hearing:  April 22, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          778 (Maienschein) - As Amended April 13, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          Yes


          SUMMARY:  This bill allows county recorders to provide certified  
          copies of military discharge documents when those documents are  
          requested in writing or via fax or digitized image if the  
          request is accompanied by a notarized statement sworn under  
          penalty of perjury, or a legible faxed copy or digitized image  
          of a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury that the  








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          requestor is an authorized person, as defined.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Minor and absorbable costs to county recorders.  County  
          recorders currently accept vital records requests in this  
          manner.


          Unknown, but likely negligible cost to the state GF of any  
          potentially reimbursable mandate.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose. According to the author, "AB 778 will grant veterans  
            and their families' greater access to certified copies of  
            their military service records by allowing military service  
            records to be requested in the same manner as vital records."



          2)Background. U.S. veterans are issued a certificate of release  
            or discharge from active duty by the U.S. Department of  
            Defense when a military service member retires, separates from  
            service, or is discharged from active-duty military service.   
            This "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty" is  
            commonly referred to as a "DD214."  The DD214 contains  
            information needed to verify military service for benefits,  
            employment, retirements, funeral honors, and membership in  
            veterans' organizations.



            California law allows veterans and other specified persons to  
            record their DD214s at the local county recorder's office.   








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            Before recording, the veteran must sign a statement  
            acknowledging that, by recording the document, the DD214 will  
            become a public document.  Recording a DD214 is generally done  
            to prevent the loss of the document and to provide easy access  
            to certified copies as necessary.  It also allows family  
            members to preserve a loved one's military service history.  





            AB 464 (Daly), Chapter 78, Statutes of 2013, allowed requests  
            for vital records (birth, death and marriage certificates) to  
            be made using digitized images, among other provisions.  The  
            digitized request must be accompanied by a notarized  
            statement, sworn under penalty of perjury, that the requester  
            is a person authorized to receive the document(s).  The bill  
            also deleted, inadvertently, provisions allowing county  
            recorders to issue certified copies of military discharge  
            documents when requested in writing or via fax.  This bill  
            reinstates that prior law authorization, and provides a new  
            authorization to issue certified copies of military discharge  
            documents when requested via digitized image.





          3)Prior Legislation.  


             a)   AB 2215 (Maienschein), Chapter 651, Statutes of 2014,  
               allowed a family member or a legal representative of a  
               military veteran to request county recordation of that  
               veteran's military discharge document, and required such  
               persons to sign a specified statement when doing so.


             b)   AB 464 (Daly), Chapter 78, Statutes of 2013, allowed  








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               requests for vital records (birth, death and marriage  
               certificates) to be made using digitized images, among  
               other provisions.


             c)   AB 1179 (Parra), Chapter 6, Statutes of 2004, prohibited  
               county recorders from providing certified copies of  
               military discharge documents except to specified persons,  
               and allowed county recorders to issue certified copies of  
               military discharge documents when requested in writing or  
               via fax, as specified.








          Analysis Prepared by:Jennifer Swenson / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081