With troops returning from combat in the Middle East, Assembly Republicans unveiled a 13-bill package today designed to recognize their service and assist them in returning to civilian life.
One of the GOP's Assembly legislators, Jeff Gorell of Camarillo, is among those coming home after yearlong duty as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan. He is expected back on the Assembly floor April 9.
Legislation touted by Assembly Republicans today target issues ranging from single-parent custody rights to extending the number of years that veterans are given a priority for college class registration.
Key measures in the package include:
Assembly Bill 1807, to protect the custody rights of single-parent members of the Armed Forces when they return from deployment.
AB 1832, to extend from four to 15 the number of years that members or former members of the military receive priority class registration at community colleges and state universities.
AB 2004, to exclude two kinds of payments -- Combat-Related Special Compensation and Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay - from gross income in calculating income taxes.
AB 1976, to require state entities that license health professionals to recognize the education, training and practical experience obtained in the Armed Forces.
AB 2151, to appropriate $26.1 million from the state's general fund to open and operate new Veterans Homes in Fresno and Redding.
Another bill, AB 1652, calls for a privately funded California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial to be erected in Capitol Park.
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, applauded the GOP package by saying that Californians "must remember our veterans, and not just with words but with actions."