State Senate Committees Approve Morrell Bill to Reduce Costs for Veterans Re-Entering Civilian Workforce

Thursday, April 27, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Two key policy committees in the California State Senate have unanimously passed Senate Bill 27 by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) to ease the transition of veterans back into civilian careers.

“Our veterans put their lives on the line for us and, while we can never fully thank them for their sacrifices, we can take steps to make their transition back home a little easier,” said Morrell. “SB 27 removes one potential barrier to employment for veterans as they re-enter the civilian workforce. After working hard and defending the freedoms we cherish, government fees should be the last thing they worry about.”

SB 27 would require boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs to grant one-time fee waivers for the application and issuance of occupational licenses to honorably discharged veterans. Similar legislation has been enacted in Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan, and Florida.

The measure passed without opposition through both the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development and the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. It will next be heard in the Senate Committee on Appropriations in May.

SB 27 is a re-introduction of SB 1155 (2016), which was held by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations without a vote.

California’s occupational licensing laws have come under increased scrutiny with the publication of a report issued by the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency created in 1962 to investigate state government operations. The report details how the state’s occupational licensing requirements have been proven to be a burden on many Californians, including veterans and their spouses. Read the full report at www.lhc.ca.gov.

Other veterans-related legislation coauthored by Morrell this legislative session include:

  • Senate Bill 197, which would encourage the construction of medical facilities in California that serve veterans and active duty troops afflicted with posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and related conditions. Specifically, it would waive state and local sales and use taxes for charitable organizations that purchase building materials and supplies to construct and equip military and veteran medical facilities, and donate those facilities to the U.S. Department of Defense for operation on federal land in California.

  • Assembly Bill 986, which would enable veterans to more easily participate in hunting and sport fishing in California. Under AB 986, honorably discharged veterans would be able to purchase hunting licenses and sport fishing licenses at a 25 percent discount. Disabled veterans and recovering service members would be eligible to receive sport fishing licenses at a 50 percent discount.