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AB-1093 Student financial aid: Military and Veterans Benefits Offices.(2011-2012)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1093


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Davis

February 18, 2011


An act to amend Sections 69785 and 69786 of, and to amend the heading of Article 14 (commencing with Section 69785) of Chapter 2 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of, the Education Code, relating to public postsecondary education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1093, as introduced, Davis. Student financial aid: Military and Veterans Benefits Offices.
(1) Under existing law, the segments of the public higher education system in the state include the University of California, which is administered by the Regents of the University of California, the California State University, which is administered by the Trustees of the California State University, and the California Community Colleges, which is administered by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.
Existing law authorizes the California Community Colleges and the California State University, and encourages the University of California, to coordinate services for qualified students who are veterans or members of the military by clearly designating Military and Veterans Offices and individuals to provide specified services.
This bill would instead require the California Community Colleges and the California State University, and encourage the University of California, to establish on each of its respective campuses a Military and Veterans Benefits Office and appoint a full-time Military and Veterans Benefits Advisor for each office to assist a qualified student in determining that student’s eligibility for state or federal educational benefits or grants.
(2) Existing law authorizes the California Community Colleges and the California State University, and encourages the University of California, to report to the Department of Veterans Affairs, on an annual basis, specified information.
This bill would instead require the California Community Colleges and the California State University to report that information.
(3) By requiring community college districts to establish a Military and Veterans Benefits Office on each campus, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The heading of Article 14 (commencing with Section 69785) of Chapter 2 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code is amended to read:
Article  14. Military and Veterans Benefits Offices

SEC. 2.

 Section 69785 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69785.
 (a) The California Community Colleges and the California State University may shall, and the University of California is encouraged to, coordinate services for qualified students who are veterans or members of the military by clearly designating establish on each of its respective campuses a Military and Veterans Offices and individuals to provide services, including, but not limited to, all of the following: Benefits Office and appoint a full-time Military and Veterans Benefits Advisor for each office.

(1)Financial aid counseling.

(2)Academic outreach, admission, and enrollment planning.

(3)Transition concerns.

(4)Postgraduate planning.

(5)Health and mental health services.

(6)Provide tutoring and other learning support services.

(7)Provide career counseling.

(b) The purpose of these the Military and Veterans Offices Benefits Office shall be to encourage and facilitate the use of the services listed in paragraphs (1) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (a) and to assist a qualified student in determining that student’s eligibility for state or federal educational financial aid benefits or grants.
(c) For purposes of this article, “qualified student” means a student who is any of the following:
(1) An active duty member of any of the following:
(A) The Armed Forces of the United States.
(B) The California National Guard.
(C) A reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States.
(2) A veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States.
(3) A family member of a person described in paragraph (1) or (2). For the purposes of this paragraph, “family member” means an individual who is a legal dependent under 28 years of age of a person described in paragraph (1) or (2) living in the household of that person and eligible to be claimed as a dependent on federal or state tax returns.

SEC. 3.

 Section 69786 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69786.
 The California Community Colleges and the California State University may shall, and the University of California is encouraged to, report to the Department of Veterans Affairs, on an annual basis, all of the following information:
(a) The number of qualified students assisted by a Military and Veterans Benefits Office.
(b) The number of qualified students assisted who are active duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States, the California National Guard, or a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, or are veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States.
(c) The total education benefits obtained by all qualified students assisted by an office a Military and Veterans Benefits Office.

SEC. 4.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.