My 2022 Veterans Bill Package

This week I was proud to introduce my 2022 Veterans Bill Package to offer simple solutions to ensure California’s Veterans receive the benefits they have earned.

AB 1629 seeks to relieve the children and spouses of our great men and women in uniform from the undue burden of taxed Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments. Much like a life insurance policy, SBPs are an optional benefit that military service members may opt to pay into. After their death, these benefits are considered a taxable income source. This bill would make the first $20,000 of payments from SBP tax exempt each year. Currently, 48 states partially or fully exempt SBP payments, and California is one of only two states in the country that fully taxes these benefits.

These families and survivors have paid the highest price for our state and nation. Surely one of the simplest ways we can express our gratitude is not to tax the very compensation we give them for that loss. It is long overdue that California joins the rest of the nation in providing them financial relief.

AB 1633 creates a pathway for the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems to share the contact information of student Veterans, with the student’s permission, with the California Veterans Administration (CalVet) to help further connect them with their well-deserved benefits. One of the primary reasons Veterans struggle is simply the lack of connection to many of the resources offered. Unfortunately, CalVet does not have accurate or up-to-date information sources and is primarily reliant on Veterans themselves showing up and asking for help. This bill will connect more Veterans with CalVet through the use of the G.I. Bill Education Benefits as over 60% of Veterans using their education benefits attend a public higher education college or university.

By simply having the CSUs and the UCs share contact information with CalVet, we can connect tens of thousands of Veterans with benefits. Each connection made is a connection to help a Veteran and their family.

I also introduced ACR 121, which would declare August 7th, 2022, as Purple Heart Day in California in honor of the many service members and veterans who were injured or killed by enemy actions in service to our country.

It is my honor to serve you in our 67th District, home to one of California’s largest Veterans populations.