Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) introduced her first bill to the California State Legislature Thursday, her staff announced.
If passed, AB 526 titled by Melendez as the California Military Families Financial Relief Act of 2013 would amend existing laws by allowing any member of the National Guard or any reservists called to active duty to defer payments—without interest—on a mortgage, credit card, car loans, property taxes and other financial obligations. The bill would also give an additional 90 days of deferral on financial obligations prior to the report date of active duty.
Current law only provides financial protections for military reservists deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom, according to Melendez, who served in the Navy and whose husband is a Navy veteran who has previously been recalled to active duty.
“As tensions strain around the globe and our country relies on our National Guard and Reserves to augment active duty military, their service is no longer required only in two countries; their service is required around the globe for dozens of operations and exercises,” Melendez explained. “Our servicemen and women deserve every opportunity to be able to serve with distinction without worrying about the burdens they may leave at home because of their willingness to serve.”
Melendez represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar and a portion of Hemet. It also includes the Riverside County unincorporated areas of Lake Mathews, Good Hope, Nuevo, and Winchester. She was elected to office in November. She previously served one term on the Lake Elsinore City Council after being elected there in 2008.