Bills advance to improve management of Guard

The California Senate Veterans Affairs Committee this week approved two bills meant to improve oversight of the state Military Department, including the National Guard.

The statute of limitations for recouping improper payments to Guard members would be extended from three years to six years by Senate Bill 806, which will now be considered by the Appropriations Committee.

An independent inspector general for the department would be established by Senate Bill 921, which will now be reviewed by the Judiciary Committee.

The proposed laws were prompted by a series of investigations in The Bee that showed evidence of widespread fraud and improper payments to Guard members, including the agency's former head, Major Gen. William H. Wade II. Each bill was approved 7-0.