GOVERNOR SIGNS BLOCK BILLS TO ASSIST TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES

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September 24, 2012 (Sacramento)--Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, September 21 signed into law three bills by Assemblymember Marty Block (AD-78) aimed at assisting military families and returning veterans.

“I’m thrilled that the governor approved my bills – AB 1904, AB 2202 and AB 2462. They will help California repay the tremendous debt we owe our veterans,” Block said.

The measures are:

• AB 1904 which requires the California Department of Consumer Affairs to expedite the professional licensure process for the spouses and domestic partners of active duty military service members so they can quickly resume their chosen careers after moving into the state;

• AB 2202 which reconvenes a task force aimed at addressing issues affecting military children transferring between states and school districts when parents are called to or return from active duty. The task force will review issues such as school absences, graduation credits, eligibility for extracurricular activities and other education issues. It also extends the deadline for the task force to make recommendations because of changes in the composition of the group and

• AB 2462 which requires the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges to determine which courses should be granted academic credit for prior military training and experience.

“The time and cost associated with transferring a professional license every time a service member relocates from one state to another can be lengthy, expensive and can hinder a spouse or domestic partner in their job search,” said Block. “AB 1904 will make that adjustment a little easier for these families.” AB 1904 is part of the White House initiative to help military families. It received bipartisan support in the legislature and was supported by the National Military Association, the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense (DOD), State Liaison Office and others.

Block said he authored AB 2202 because of the large number of military children in the state and their unique needs. California has the third largest contingent of military children in the United States. “Statewide, more than 67,000 military children are between the ages of 5 to 18 years old. They must frequently move from state-to-state, and the least we can do is help make those transitions easier and do what we can to help them succeed in the classroom.” AB 2202 was supported by the DOD, the California State Commanders Veterans Council and U.S. Marine Corps Installations West. It, too, received bipartisan support in the legislature.

AB 2462 helps cut the “red tape” and disparate process in receiving community college academic credit for previous military experience. The bill creates a recognized and uniform standard to evaluate experience using American Council on Education recommendations. “We want to ensure that our veterans’ experience, where appropriate, will count toward a degree – especially as they seek to rejoin a civilian workforce,” Block said. “In California approximately 30,000 troops leave service with work skills that could be counted toward an academic degree, professional license or certification that could help them transition to civilian life after service to their country.” AB 2462 was supported by the DOD, the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers, the California State Commanders Veterans Council and the Vietnam Veterans of America California State Council. It received unanimous support in both houses.

The three measures take effect after Jan. 1, 2013.

Assemblymember Marty Block represents the cities and communities of Bonita, Chula Vista, Lemon Grove, San Diego and Spring Valley.

Web site: www.asmdc.org/block