2019 Legislative Advocate Update

By: Seth Reeb, Reeb Government Relations

The 2019-20 California legislative session is now under way. Legislators and advocacy groups are putting together their legislation for this legislative year. The deadline to introduce bills is February 22. Only a few military and veteran bills have been introduced so far and we are studying those bills to gauge their relevance. We have also been working with the NGAC Legislative Committee Chair John Haramalis on drafting legislation for the NGAC.

 The Senate President pro-Tem and the Assembly Speaker have named the members of the Senate and Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs. These committees provide oversight and hear legislation relating to the National Guard/Military Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and benefits and programs which help California’s active military, Guard, Reserves, veterans, and their dependents.  The Senate committee has 4 veterans and 2 have service in the Reserves (Roth, Umberg).  There are 3 veterans on the Assembly committee and 1 was in the National Guard (Mathis).

All legislator’s bios and contact information can be found at:

California State Senate:  https://www.senate.ca.gov/senators

California State Assembly:  https://www.assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers

Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs

Bob Archuleta (D) (Chair) – Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, East La Mirada, Hacienda Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, Lakewood, Montebello, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, RoseHills/North Whittier, Santa Fe Springs, South Whittier, West Whittier-Los Nietos, Whittier

*US Army Veteran

Shannon Grove (R) (Vice Chair) – Bakersfield, California City, Maricopa, Ridgecrest, Taft, Tehachapi, Barstow, Needles, Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, Exeter, Tulare, Visalia

*US Army Veteran  

Melissa Hurtado (D) – Fresno, Orange Cove, Parlier, Reedley, Sanger, Selma, Arvin, Bakersfield, Delano, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, Avenal, Corcoran, Hanford, Lemoore, Dinuba, Farmersville, Lindsay, Porterville, Woodlake

Jim Nielsen (R) – Biggs, Chico, Gridley, Oroville, Paradise, Colusa, Williams, Orland, Willows, Roseville, Antelope, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Elverta, North Highlands, Rancho Cordova, Rio Linda, Live Oak, Yuba City, Corning, Red Bluff, Tehama, Marysville, Wheatland

Richard D. Roth (D) – Corona, Coronita, Eastvale, El Cerrito, Highgrove, Home Gardens, Jurupa Valley, Mead Valley Moreno Valley, Norco, Perris, Riverside

*US Air Force Veteran

Thomas J. Umberg (D) – Corona, Coronita, Eastvale, El Cerrito, Highgrove, Home Gardens, Jurupa Valley, Mead Valley, Moreno Valley, Norco, Perris, Riverside

*US Army Veteran  

Scott Wilk (R) – Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville

Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs

Jacqui Irwin (D) (Chair) – Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village

Randy Voepel (R) (Vice Chair) – Aguanga, Anza, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, Pinyon Pines, Valle Vista, Alpine, Borrego Springs, Descanso, El Cajon, Eucalyptus Hills, Granite Hills, Harbison Canyon, Jacumba, Jamul, Julian, La Presa, Lakeside, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, San Diego Country Estates, Santee, Spring Valley, Tecate, Winter Gardens

*US Navy Veteran

Tasha Boerner Horvath (D) – Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, and Encinitas.

William P. Brough (R) – Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Las Flores, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano

*US Army Veteran

Tom Daly (D) – Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Orange.

Jim Frazier (D) – Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg, Isleton, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville

Todd Gloria (D) – Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach, Solana Beach communities of San Diego

Devon J. Mathis (R) – Bakersfield, Delano, Dinuba, Hanford, Lindsay, Porterville, Tulare, Visalia

*US Army National Guard Veteran

Al Muratsuchi (D) – Gardena, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Redondo Beach, Torrance, West Carson

Cottie Petrie-Norris (D) – Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach.

Rudy Salas (D) – Arvin, Bakersfield, Delano, Lamont, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, Avenal, Corcoran, Hanford, Lemoore

FY 2019-20 state budget

The Governor submitted his $209 billion FY 2019-20 budget proposal to the Legislature on January 10.  The Governor is taking a cautious approach with his first budget.  He refrained from making long-term commitments in case of a recession and instead devoted most of the dollars to one-time spending and paying down debt (including unfunded pension liabilities).

To support the operations the Military Department, the Governor’s budget proposes $194 million.  Major changes to the Military Department budget include $1.74 million General Fund and 8 positions to provide additional administrative support for emergency response activities, including helicopter maintenance staff, and to accelerate logistical functions and travel arrangement processing.

The next step for the budget is legislative and public input.  The Legislature has until June 15 to pass the budget.  This five-month period id devoted to for public comment on the state’s spending priorities via the subcommittee hearing process, which typically begin in March. During the subcommittee hearings, the Legislature discusses and debates budget alternatives and, in the process, makes many changes to the original proposed budget.  On May 14, the Governor announces an updated revenue forecast, which accounts for changes in revenues since January (“May Revise”).

Eventually, the Assembly and Senate develop two versions of the budget proposal which are then reconciled in the Conference Committee and this version is voted on by each house.   The final budget bill is then sent to the Governor who has 12 working days to sign it.