Holden Bill to Give Returning Vets a Voice in Community College Leadership Passes First Committee Hearing

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sacramento – Assemblymember Chris Holden’s (D-Pasadena) legislation to give veterans a stronger voice in college leadership was overwhelmingly approved today in the Assembly Higher Education Committee.  AB 1557 has solid, bipartisan support - 14 Democrats and Republicans have co-authored the bill.

AB 1557 gives veterans permanent seats on the Board of Governors of the California Community College system by adding a student member who is a veteran or current member of the military. The bill also requires one of the existing 12 board seats to be held by a member or former member of the Armed Forces who has demonstrated expertise and leadership in the field of veterans’ affairs.

“This bill is designed to give veterans a voice in college leadership,” explained Assemblymember Holden. “As we wind down these wars, veterans returning to college face unique challenges and need a voice in their college leadership.  If campuses are not prepared to help these soldiers transition from combat to college, we run the risk of alienating thousands of returning vets.”

Thousands of veterans are expected to fill the seats at California’s public colleges and universities. Already the state’s community colleges lead the nation with more than 44,000 vets enrolled – the largest number since World War II.

AB 1557 is supported by American Legion - California, AMVETS - California, California Association of County Veterans Service Officers, Veterans Caucus of the California Democratic Party, Veterans of Foreign Wars – California.