Today's Law As Amended

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-2722 Student financial aid: California Military Department GI Bill Award Program.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.

 The heading of Article 20.7 (commencing with Section 69999.10) of Chapter 2 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code is amended to read:

Article  20.7. California Military Department GI Bill Award Program

SEC. 2.

 Section 69999.10 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69999.10.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program. Military Department GI Bill. 

SEC. 3.

 Section 69999.12 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69999.12.
 There is hereby established the California National Guard Education Assistance Military Department GI Bill  Award Program.

SEC. 4.

 Section 69999.14 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69999.14.
 (a)  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) (a)  The California National Guard Military Department  exists to provide a military organization in California with the capability to protect the lives and property of the people of the state during periods of natural disaster and civil disturbances, and to perform other functions required by the Military and Veterans Code or as directed by the Governor.
(2) (b)  The California National Guard Military Department  performs an essential public purpose in protecting the health, safety, and property of California’s citizens and, in order to fulfill its objectives, it is necessary for the California National Guard Military Department  to have sufficient human resources service members  to deal with natural or human-caused disasters and emergencies.
(3) (c)  An educational assistance award program for members of the California National Guard would enhance retention rates within the California National Guard. Similar educational assistance programs have been highly successful in other states and have resulted in substantially higher retention rates. The state-sponsored education benefit is an important tool used to ensure that the California Military Department attracts and retains highly competent and capable service members who stand ready to immediately respond to the state’s call. 
(b) (d)  (1) The  As citizen soldiers, members of the California National Guard represent California’s labor force, which is a diverse workforce comprised of skilled and talented workers from all regions of the state. Education assistance awards have the added benefit of improving the skills, competencies, and abilities of the servicemen and servicewomen in the California National Guard who make significant contributions to our economy and are a vital component of the civilian workforce. It is the intent of the Legislature   California Military Department GI Bill is an investment in the men and women who serve California faithfully. This incentive ensures  that members of the California National Guard use this education assistance program to enhance the state’s highly skilled and highly trained civilian labor force. and the California State Military Reserve are not placed at an educational disadvantage when compared to their active duty or reserve component counterparts. 
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that the California National Guard has the ability to retain its most competent and capable members, both in the present and in the future. The Legislature recognizes that every member of the California National Guard represents additional federal funding to the State of California annually. Increasing the strength of the California National Guard through higher retention rates would augment the total federal revenue to the state, leading to additional money flowing into the General Fund as tax revenue.
(c) (e)  It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature that, in order to fulfill the public program of maintaining required strength in the California National Guard, an inducement be provided to members of the California National Guard by making education assistance awards available to California National Guard members seeking to improve themselves through higher education. It is the intent of the Legislature that these assistance awards be available to California National Guard members who serve the state faithfully. The Legislature and the California Military Department believe that every service member who takes the oath to serve this great state needs to be afforded the best opportunity to achieve a higher education. 

SEC. 5.

 Section 69999.16 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69999.16.
 (a) Commencing January 1 of the 2009–10 academic year, and each academic year thereafter, any qualifying member of the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia may apply for a California National Guard Education Assistance Award. an award under the California Military Department GI Bill. 
(b) (1) A qualifying member shall meet all of the following conditions to be eligible to receive a California National Guard Education Assistance Award: Military Department GI Bill award: 
(A) The person is a resident within the meaning of Section 68017.
(B) The person is an active member of, and has served two years in,  of  the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia.
(C) The person has been accepted or registered at, or enrolled in, a qualifying institution, as defined in subdivision (l) of Section 69432.7.
(D) The person agrees to use the award to obtain a certificate, degree, or diploma that he or she does not hold at the time he or she applies for the award, and enrolls in at least three academic units per semester, or the equivalent thereof. The award may be used to obtain one baccalaureate, graduate, or doctoral degree. The award may be used for a certificate, degree, or diploma that leads to a baccalaureate, graduate, or doctoral degree. 
(E) The person agrees to serve two years in the California National Guard, the Naval Militia, or the California State Military Reserve upon completion of the last academic period that he or she uses educational assistance under this program.
(F) The person agrees to complete his or her course of study within 10 years of the person’s initial acceptance into the program. If a person is unable to complete his or her course of study in the 10-year period due to federal military activation or other unexpected circumstance, the Adjutant General of the California Military Department may extend that person’s participation in the program for a period of up to five additional years.
(E) (G)  The person has submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the United States Department of Education.
(2) To be eligible for an award for a summer session term, a qualifying member who meets the conditions in paragraph (1) shall submit a letter from his or her unit commander that states that the member’s enrollment in that summer session will not adversely impact the member’s attendance at mandatory military training.
(c) Each person applying for a California National Guard Education Assistance Award Military Department GI Bill award  shall submit an application for an award to the Adjutant General.
(d) The Adjutant General shall do all of the following:
(1) Annually identify the skills most needed by the California National Guard to retain members who possess, or seek to possess, those identified skills.
(2) Prioritize those applicants who qualify for an award pursuant to subdivision (b) based on the skills most needed by the California National Guard, as identified pursuant to paragraph (1).
(3) Select award recipients from among eligible applicants pursuant to subdivision (e).
(4)  Certify the eligibility of applicants to the Student Aid Commission.
(5) Notify recipients of their selection for an award.
(e) The Adjutant General shall select recipients who have been judged by the Adjutant General to have outstanding ability on the basis of criteria that may include, but shall not be limited to, any of the following:
(1) The Military Occupational Specialty Code or the Air Force Specialty Code.
(2) An annual noncommissioned officer evaluation report or officer evaluation report of the preceding two years.
(3) A memorandum from the applicant’s commander recommending the applicant for the award.
(4) Commendations the applicant has received.
(5) An essay, written by the applicant, explaining why education is important to the applicant.
(f) The number of awards issued by the Student Aid Commission in any fiscal year shall be limited to the number authorized in the annual Budget Act for that year, but in no event shall exceed 1,000 in any fiscal year.
(g) The Student Aid Commission shall issue the awards in accordance with Section 69999.18.

SEC. 6.

 Section 69999.18 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69999.18.
 (a) The Student Aid Commission is responsible for issuing awards authorized by Section 69999.16, upon receipt of a certificate from the Adjutant General verifying that the applicant meets the eligibility requirements of this article. The commission shall provide any information to the Military Department that is necessary to meet the reporting requirements of Section 69999.24.
(b) The amount of an award issued pursuant to this article shall be as follows:
(1) For a recipient attending the University of California or the California State University, the maximum amount of the Cal Grant A award, pursuant to Section 66021.2, as adjusted in the annual Budget Act.
(2) For a recipient attending a community college, the maximum amount of the Cal Grant B award, pursuant to Section 66021.2, as adjusted in the annual Budget Act.
(3) For a recipient attending a nonpublic institution, the maximum amount of a Cal Grant A award for a student attending the University of California pursuant to Section 66021.2, as adjusted in the annual Budget Act.
(c) An award used for graduate studies shall not exceed the maximum amount of a Cal Grant A award, as specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), plus five hundred dollars ($500) for books and supplies. (b). 
(d) The award amount under subdivisions (b) and (c) shall not exceed the difference between the recipient’s cost of attendance and any other student financial aid and educational benefits pursuant to the federal Montgomery GI Bill (38 U.S.C. Sec. 3001 et seq.) or any other federal educational benefits program for veterans.
(e) California National Guard Education Assistance Military Department GI Bill  awards may be renewed for each new academic year, for a maximum of the greater of either (1) four years of full-time equivalent enrollment or (2) the duration for which the qualifying member would otherwise be eligible pursuant to the Cal Grant Program (Chapter 1.7 (commencing with Section 69430)), if the Adjutant General certifies the qualifying member’s eligibility and the qualifying member maintains at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average.

SEC. 7.

 Section 69999.20 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69999.20.
 Qualifying members shall not receive both a California National Guard Education Assistance Military Department GI Bill  award and any Cal Grant award for the same academic year. A qualifying member under this article who is also eligible for a Cal Grant award may elect between an award under this article and any Cal Grant award for the same academic year.

SEC. 8.

 Section 69999.24 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69999.24.
 The Student Aid Commission shall report annually to the Legislature regarding program participation, including, but not necessarily limited to, both of the following, as categorized on the basis of age, ethnicity, and gender:
(a) The total number of participants in the program established by this article.
(b) The number of participants who receive a California National Guard Education Assistance Award, Military Department GI Bill award,  classified by academic year.

SEC. 9.

 Section 69999.26 of the Education Code is repealed.

69999.26.
 The Legislative Analyst shall, on or before January 1, 2016, prepare and submit to the Legislature a report on the program established in this article. The report may include recommendations for modifying or extending this article.

SEC. 10.

 Section 69999.30 of the Education Code is repealed.

69999.30.
 This article shall become inoperative on July 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.