The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 28, 2011
Bill watch: Firefighter certification bill streaks toward perfection

Assembly Bill 398, which would make it easier for some military veterans to become firefighters in California, rolled through a Senate committee this morning without any opposition.

The measure by Republican Assemblyman Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga hasn't drawn a single "no" vote so far: The Assembly supported it 75-0 last month after two committees in the lower chamber voted a combined 33-0 in favor.

This morning, the 11-member Senate Committee on Governmental Organization approved OK'd the bill without any dissenting vote. It now goes to Senate Appropriations for consideration. From there the full Senate will take it up.

The measure would allow the state fire marshal to accept federal Department of Defense firefighter certification as equal training for Firefighter I, which is the basic certification California requires for firefighting jobs. (Here's our earlier post about the bill.)

Morrell has touted the proposal as a way to smooth the path to employment for some of the 30,000 or so veterans who return to California each year. It's not clear how many of them have firefighter certification from the Defense Department or, if they do, how many would apply for firefighter jobs if entry is simplified for them.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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