Management and Disbursement of Funds Previously Set Aside for Repealed Governor's Scholarship Programs
(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The California National Guard exists to provide a military organization in California with the capability to protect the lives and property of the people of the state during periods of natural disaster and civil disturbances, and to perform other functions required by the Military and Veterans Code or as directed by the Governor.
(2) The California National Guard performs an essential public purpose in protecting the health, safety, and property of California's citizens and, in order to fulfill its objectives, it is necessary for the California National Guard to have sufficient human resources to deal with natural or human-caused disasters and emergencies.
(3) An educational assistance award program for members of the California National Guard would enhance retention rates within the California National Guard. Similar educational assistance programs have been highly successful in other states and have resulted in substantially higher retention rates.
(b) (1) As citizen soldiers, members of the California National Guard represent California's labor force, which is a diverse workforce comprised of skilled and talented workers from all regions of the state. Education assistance awards have the added benefit of improving the skills, competencies, and abilities of the servicemen and servicewomen in the California National Guard who make significant contributions to our economy and are a vital component of the civilian workforce. It is the intent of the Legislature that members of the California National Guard use this education assistance program to enhance the state's highly skilled and highly trained civilian labor force.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that the California National Guard has the ability to retain its most competent and capable members, both in the present and in the future. The Legislature recognizes that every member of the California National Guard represents additional federal funding to the State of California annually. Increasing the strength of the California National Guard through higher retention rates would augment the total federal revenue to the state, leading to additional money flowing into the General Fund as tax revenue.
(c) It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature that, in order to fulfill the public program of maintaining required strength in the California National Guard, an inducement be provided to members of the California National Guard by making education assistance awards available to California National Guard members seeking to improve themselves through higher education. It is the intent of the Legislature that these assistance awards be available to California National Guard members who serve the state faithfully.
(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 328, Sec. 54.)