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Inventory of the California State Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Records
LP354  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Committee History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives
  • Oral Histories of Committee Chairs and Staff

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: California State Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Records
    Dates: 1989-2000
    Collection number: LP354
    Creator: Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
    Collection Size: 3.75 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The Senate Rules Committee created the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in 1989 to analyze legislation related to veterans, military affairs, and armories. The records of the committee consist of 4 series regarding the activites of the committee: Bill files (1989-2000), Hearing files (1991-1998), Correspondence files (1992-1999, Bulk 1996-1999), and Subject files (1989-2000).
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Records, LP[Series number] [Box]:[folder], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Records according to state law.

    Committee History

    The Veterans Affairs Committee evolved from the subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, which existed under the standing Senate Governmental Organization Committee from the 1981-1982 legislative session until the inception of the Veterans Affairs standing committee. That subcommittee consisted of three members with Senator Ralph Dills presiding as chair. The Senate Rules Committee created the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in 1989. The 1989-1990 legislative session marked the beginning of the committee's hearing of bills directly related to amending the Military and Veterans Code. Initially, this standing Senate Veterans Affairs Committee considered "bills relating to veterans and armories" as well as any other bill amending the Military and Veterans Code (California Legislature at Sacramento, 1989, p101). In 1999, the committee's responsibilities slightly increased as they were assigned to consider bills relating to military affairs in addition to those relating to veterans and armories (California Legislature at Sacramento, 1999-2000, p112). Additionally, the committee became involved with outreach and recognition for veterans and military groups. For instance, Senator Johannessen helped plan and spoke at the California Senate's celebration of the 50th Anniversary for the United States Air Force (For information, photographs and negatives for this event see the Subject File series).
    Originally, the committee consisted of five members. However, from 1991 to 1994 the number of members increased to seven before returning to five members during the 1995-1996 legislative session. Senator Wadie P. Deddeh (Dem.) served as the committee's first chair for only the first year, 1989. During the second year of that legislative session, 1990, Charles M. Calderon (Dem.) was elected to the Senate and almost immediately assigned to replace Senator Deddeh as committee chair. Senator Calderon served as chair until 1992 when the committee's previous vice chair, Senator Don Rogers (Rep.) took over the chair responsibilities to complete the 1991-1992 session and served through the 1995- 1996 session. In 1997, Senator K. Maurice Johannessen earned assignment as committee chair serving through 2000. Both Senator Rogers and Johannessen were particularly focused on issues of veterans' affairs as each had served in the military, United States Marine Corps and United States Army respectively (California Legislature at Sacramento Handbook, 1994, p36 and 1999-2000, p36). Since its inception, the committee has remained focused on its responsibilities to carefully consider bills and other matters relating to veterans, military affairs, and armories that would amend the Military and Veterans Code.
    The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee considered many bills that drew public interest because of their significant impacts on the large population of veterans and veterans advocacy groups in California. Occasionally, these bills were controversial in nature and generated impassioned constituent correspondence in support and opposition for these bills. For example, during the 1993-1994 session, the committee heard several bills regarding veterans' memorials including officially designating a stretch of California Highway 99 from Tulare to Fresno as the Pearl Harbor Survivors Memorial Highway. This bill produced vehement opposition from Japanese Americans and the Japanese Americans Citizen League because these groups felt that this memorial would cement the blame from this tragic event onto the Japanese American citizens for decades to come (SCR13, 1994).

    Scope and Content

    The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Records consist of 3.75 cubic feet of records reflecting the activity of the committee in overseeing legislation and other matters pertaining to the California Military and Veterans Code. The records cover the years, 1989-2000. These records are comprised of bill files, hearing files, correspondence files, and subject files. It is anticipated that the Archives will receive further records from the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, as it remains a functional standing committee in the California State Senate. Researchers might inquire about recently received, unprocessed records of the committee.
    Bill files comprise the majority of records in this collection as they consist of 2.75 cubic feet of the collection. Since being created in 1989, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has spent much of its time considering legislation relating to County Veterans Service Officers and the California Veterans Board, Cal-Vet Farm and Home Loans, veterans benefits, memorializing veterans, designating of veterans homes in California, ways to assist lower-income veterans including using non-operational armories as shelters for veterans in need. Among the several issues that continually arose during these legislative sessions, bills relating to amending the Veteran's Farm and Home Purchase Act of 1974, (the Cal-Vet loan program), were frequently introduced including AB2139 in the 1989-1990 session. Additionally, many bills relating to the California Veterans Board gained significant consideration from the committee. For instance, SB101 introduced during the 1999-2000 session set the number of board members to seven, all of which gain appointment through recommendation of the Governor. This bill was enacted into law, Chapter 219, 2000, affording the California Veterans Board greater presence and influence in state government.
    At certain times, the committee would hold hearings for significant veterans issues as well as the introduction of multiple veterans' bills. These hearing files encompass less than .25 cubic feet in this collection. Nevertheless, these files provide valuable information regarding the committee's procedures and issues central to the veteran and military communities, such as the administration of California's Veterans' Homes.
    The committee also compiled a series of correspondence and subject files that provide insight into the committee, its people, and activities. The correspondence files are primarily related to legislation and constituent support or opposition for that legislation. Additionally, these files can contain personal correspondence between legislators, the governor, and interested constituents. The subject files cover several topics including events paying tribute to dedicated military personnel, such as the California State Senate honoring the 50th Anniversary of the United States Air Force. This collection has photographs, including some of Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman K. Maurice Johannessen giving a speech, as well as written information and correspondence regarding this event.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California State Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
    Veterans--Law and legislation--California
    Veterans' benefits
    Veterans' Home of California

    Related Collections at the California State Archives

    Wadie Deddeh Papers
    Charles M. Calderon Papers
    Don Rogers Papers
    K. Maurice Johanessen Papers
    Ralph Dills Papers
    Dept. of Veterans Affairs Records

    Oral Histories of Committee Chairs and Staff

    Honorable Charles Calderon, oral history interview conducted by Lawrence B. de Graaf, 2003, Regional Oral History Office, California State University, Fullerton, for the California State Archives State Government Oral History Program.
    Ralph C. Dills, oral history interview conducted by Carlos Vasquez, 1985, Regional Oral History Office, University of California, Los Angeles, for the California State Archives State Government Oral History Program.