Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Rocky Chávez pushes tuition discount for veteran college students

Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside, during Assembly session on March 11, 2013.
Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside, during Assembly session on March 11, 2013. The Sacramento Bee file

Legislation passed last year by Congress requires public colleges and universities to extend in-state tuition to all veterans and their dependents or lose access to G.I. Bill benefits.

Schools in California, one of 18 states that didn’t already charge veterans a resident rate, have until July 1 to adopt new policies complying with the federal statute. In March, the University of California’s governing board voted to grant the discount to veterans.

Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside, wants to ensure California community colleges do the same. His AB 13 would exempt veterans from paying nonresident tuition fees and allow community college districts to claim those students for state apportionment funding.

A similar proposal requiring California State University to remain eligible for G.I. Bill benefits has already passed two Assembly committees. But AB 13 is stalled in the appropriations committee, which estimates that districts could claim an additional $470,000 in state funding for every 100 nonresident veterans enrolled full-time. Chávez will attempt to kickstart the bill’s prospects with a press conference featuring student veterans, 11 a.m. at Los Angeles City College.

CORE-OGRAPHY: As California undergoes its first year of standardized testing based on the new Common Core curriculum, there is plenty of anxiety – perhaps more among parents than students. But what does the shift in standards really mean for California? Policy Analysis for California Education holds a seminar examining the challenges and successes of Common Core implementation at the high school level and above, 11:30 a.m. at the UC Center Sacramento on K Street.

TAX ON, TAX OFF: As programs like prison realignment and the new school funding formula shift more government authority to the local level, communities will need additional money to fund increasing services. The Public Policy Institute of California leads a discussion on the future of parcel taxes and other local revenue sources, noon at the Capitol Event Center on 11th Street.

LET’S VET TO IT: Meetings of the Assembly Select Committee on Mental and Behavioral Health and Proposition 63 Implementation continue with a hearing on how a federal plan to end veteran homelessness will affect access to mental health services for California’s homeless veterans, 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building in Culver City.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, who turns 68 on Saturday.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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