To commemorate Silver Star Service Banner Day, Assemblymember Alex Lee is celebrating the passing of AB 2949 out of the Transportation Committee as well as the Military and Veterans Affair Committee. The bill passed with bipartisan support and bipartisan co-authorship and exempts vehicles registered to US military veterans (including disabled veterans and purple heart recipients) from paying tolls on toll bridges and toll highways.
“Our veterans have sacrificed so much for us already,” said Assemblymember Alex Lee. “Through this small act, we can provide financial relief and show gratitude for those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their service to our nation.”
“Having to cross toll bridges to and from my medical appointments over at the City of Palo Alto, it adds up and can be quite costly for necessary care for my injuries,” said Curtis Brunn, US Marine Corps Veteran and Fremont resident.
Tolls can be incredibly cost-prohibitive throughout the Bay Area and Southern California, which can result in a significant economic impact on someone who must take a toll road. These barriers can be prohibitive for disabled veterans, who may find it more difficult to attain a job.
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly three in ten disabled veterans say their impairments prevented them from getting or keeping a job at some point in their working lives. In addition, those with the greatest degree of disability encountered the most obstacles in the workplace – with two-thirds who are 100% disabled saying their impairments prevented them from getting a job.
AB 2949 would provide financial relief to veterans who display one of the following license plates:
- Disabled veteran
- Pearl Harbor survivor
- Former Prisoner of War
- Congressional Medal of Honor
- Purple Heart Recipient
- Army Medal of Honor, Navy Medal of Honor, Air Force Medal of Honor, Army Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, or Air Force Cross