Senator Morrell Announces Veterans Legislative Package

Bills aim to ease transition into civilian workforce, protect memorial sites, and increase access to outdoor recreation
Friday, March 4, 2016

SACRAMENTO – Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) has announced that he is authoring three bills this legislative session to help veterans transition to civilian life and honor the memories of fallen service members.

“Our veterans and their families devoted their lives to our country,” said Morrell. “While we can never fully thank them for their sacrifices, we can take steps to make their transition back home a little easier. This package of bills works toward this goal as well as honoring the memories of all those who have served in the Armed Forces.”

Senate Bill 1155 removes a barrier for veterans seeking work in California and encourages immediate entrance into the civilian workforce by waiving the application and initial license fees paid to the state in order to receive an occupational license. This policy shift will help veterans as they apply for jobs. It can also be a tool in alleviating the crisis of veteran homelessness. A similar program was recently enacted in Wisconsin.

Senate Bill 1080 holds individuals who vandalize the gravesites or memorials of veterans or first responders to greater accountability for their crimes. This bill would enhance legal penalties for actions such as defacing or stealing items left in memory of loved ones who served in the military including, among many things, honorary American flags and grave markers.

Senate Bill 1081 enables veterans to more easily participate in sport fishing and hunting in California. All honorably discharged veterans would be able to purchase sport fishing licenses and hunting licenses for a flat fee of $5. Disabled veterans and recovering service members would be eligible to receive licenses free of charge.

“In defending our nation, veterans have given up countless hours of time with family and loved ones,” continued Morrell. “For those veterans who enjoy fishing and hunting in California, there should be fewer barriers in place to accessing these recreational sports, especially since they are often bonding activities for families. By reducing the overall price burden, we also give these individuals greater opportunity to take advantage of our state’s natural resources.”   

All three bills will be set for committee hearings later in the spring.