Governor Arnold Scharzenegger may drive Evangelical Right-wing Conservatives batty. But he proves why he beat Gray Davis in the recall and easily won re-election, as the top of the Republican ticket. The Conservatives think they have ownership over ideas, and the GOP brand. They do not. Governor Schwarzenegger has always been a vocal supporter of our Armed Forces. Heck, he even loved their HumVees so much that he basically strong-armed the industry into providing them to the general public, and now he’s got eco-friendly fuel cells to power his Hummers. (That is the Republican entrepreneur spirit!)

More importantly – he walks the walk when it comes to governing responsibly. He signed bills today that benefit our troops and our veterans in a real way. If this is post-partisan, fine. But I think it’s a pretty darn Republican thing to do.

— Media Lizzy

Per Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, via the Press Office:

Governor Schwarzenegger today announced that he has signed legislation that will benefit California veterans, military personnel and their families. One proposal provides important protections against predatory lenders; another one requires employers to allow the spouse of a service member, when he or she is on leave, to take up to 10 days of unpaid leave. Also included are bills that expand educational opportunities, waive certain vehicle fees, make voting easier, increase access to state retirement benefits and make it a crime to misrepresent a military medal.

“These bills demonstrate California’s commitment to those who currently serve, those who have served and the families who have sacrificed so much to support them,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Our military community deserves strong consumer protections, continued educational opportunities and as much support as we can give their families.”

The following bills have been signed into law:

AB 7 by Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D-Torrance): Provides armed service members and their families a number of consumer credit services protections against predatory and deceptive lending practices and unlawful financial and investment schemes and allows California to enforce federal law.

AB 392 by Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D-Torrance): Requires employers to allow the husband or wife of a soldier serving to take up to 10 days of unpaid leave while their husband or wife is home on leave.

AB 1528 by Committee on Banking and Finance: Prohibits false and deceptive marketing of financial services or products to service members, veterans and their families.

AB 282 by Assemblymember Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley): Makes it a crime for any person to falsely represent himself/herself to have been awarded any military decoration or medal with the intent to defraud.

AB 223 by Assemblymember Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster): Allows a person called for military service after the absentee ballot application deadline to vote absentee by fax.

AB 950 by Assemblymember Mary Salas (D-Chula Vista): Extends the period of time in which non-California members of the Armed Forces are entitled to pay the lower in-state fees at California State University and the University of California.

SB 14 by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Montclair): Allows members of the California National Guard to qualify for membership in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), and to purchase additional PERS service credit.

SB 272 by Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley): Gives members of the armed services priority enrollment for California State University and California Community Colleges classes and requests the University of California to do the same.

SB 386 by Senator Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto): Waives various fees on vehicles owned by the surviving spouse of a former prisoner of war (POW) or Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and allows the family to keep a special interest license plate as a remembrance of the deceased.