Today's Law As Amended


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AB-2554 Public postsecondary education: exemption from mandatory systemwide tuition and fees: surviving child or spouse of a federal firefighter. (2017-2018)



As Amends the Law Today
As Amends the Law on Nov 08, 2018


SECTION 1.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) In California, a firefighter is a firefighter no matter the color of the uniform. California’s federal firefighters are recognized by the Legislature as being trained to the same standards as their state and local government colleagues.
(2) California’s federal firefighters are an integral part of California’s mutual aid network. They risk everything to protect our state from devastating fires and disasters, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with state and local government fire service personnel.
(3) As California reels from another season of record-breaking fire events, which are now becoming the norm and putting thousands of firefighters in jeopardy, we hail their selfless devotion to duty. These incidents are poignant reminders that, when a firefighter puts on turnouts, regardless of who issues the uniform, and heads out on a call, there is always the chance that he or she will not return.
(4) When a California firefighter falls in the line of duty, it is our duty as citizens to remember their sacrifice and to do everything we can to support the families they leave behind.
(5) Survivors of federal firefighters killed in the line of duty, and who lived and worked as firefighters in California, are eligible for some of the same occupational death benefits extended to state and local governmental firefighters under current law.
(6) With respect to survivor educational benefits, access to higher education is instrumental in a surviving family member’s ability to effectively achieve economic stability and for California’s surviving children of fallen firefighters to realize their full potential in the aftermath of their loved one’s job-caused tragedy.
(7) Since the enactment of the fee waivers in Section 68120 of the Education Code, colleges and universities have administered the section in a manner that excludes surviving spouses and children of fallen federal firefighters who were residents of, and provided services within, this state.
(b) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to clarify that Section 68120 of the Education Code applies to those survivors of California federal firefighters killed in the line of duty.

SEC. 2.

 Section 68120 of the Education Code is amended to read:

68120.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, no mandatory systemwide fees or tuition or mandatory campus-based fees  of any kind shall be required of  or collected by the Regents of the University of California, the Board of Directors of the Hastings College of the Law, the Trustees of the California State University, or  the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, or any campus of the University of California, the California State University, or the California Community  Colleges from any surviving spouse or surviving child of a deceased person who met all of the following requirements:
(1) The deceased person He or she  was a resident of this state.
(2) The deceased person He or she  was employed by a public agency or was a contractor, or an employee of a contractor, performing services for a public agency, or was a firefighter employed by the federal government whose duty assignment involved the performance of firefighting services in this state.
(3) The deceased person’s His or her  principal duties consisted of active law enforcement service or active fire suppression and prevention. This section does shall  not apply to a person whose principal duties were clerical, even if the person  he or she  was subject to occasional call or was occasionally called upon to perform duties within the scope of active law enforcement or active fire suppression and prevention.
(4) The deceased person He or she  was killed in the performance of active law enforcement or active fire suppression and prevention duties, died as a result of an accident or an injury caused by external violence or physical force incurred in the performance of the person’s  his or her  active law enforcement or active fire suppression and prevention duties, or died as a result of an industrial injury or illness arising out of and in the course of active law enforcement or fire suppression and prevention duties.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a person who qualifies for the waiver of mandatory systemwide fees and tuition and mandatory campus-based fees  under this section as a surviving child of a contractor, or of an employee of a contractor, who performed services for a public agency shall, in addition to the requirements set forth in subdivision (a), meet both of the following requirements:
(1) Enrollment as an undergraduate student at a campus of the University of California or the California State University or as a student at a community college campus.
(2) Documentation that the student’s  his or her  annual income, including the value of any support received from a parent, does not exceed the maximum household income and asset level for an applicant for a Cal Grant B award, as set forth in Section 69432.7.
(c) As used in this section:
(1) “Contractor” or “employee of a contractor” does not include a security guard or security officer, as defined in Section 7582.1 of the Business and Professions Code.
(2) “Public agency” means the state or any city, county, city and county, district, or other local authority or public body of or within the state.
(3) “Spouse” has the same meaning as defined in Section 22171.
(4) “Surviving child” means either of the following:
(A) A surviving natural or adopted child of the deceased person.
(B) A surviving stepchild who meets both of the following requirements:
(i) The stepchild  He or she  was living or domiciled with the deceased person at the time of the deceased person’s his or her  death.
(ii) The stepchild  He or she  was claimed on the tax form most recently filed by the deceased person prior to that person’s death, or the stepchild  he or she  received 50 percent or more of the stepchild’s  his or her  support from that deceased person in the tax year immediately preceding the death of the deceased person, or both.
SEC. 3.
 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.