Honors and Awards

Senator Richard D. Roth is an award-winning legislator, recognized throughout his term in the State Senate by a diverse group of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of individuals from all over California.

Senator Roth’s service in the State Senate is underscored by his lifelong commitment to public service, a commitment forged over the course of a 32-year career in the United States Air Force. When he retired from the Air Force in the grade of major general in 2007, Roth had earned numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He was named Air Force Judge Advocate of the Year in 1986 and California Air Force Reserve Officer of the Year in 1992.

Among numerous awards for his outstanding service in the State Senate, Senator Roth has been especially recognized for his commitment and service to California’s veterans, students, and the elderly. Notably:

  • In honor of "an individual who served as a judge advocate, separated from military service, and subsequently accomplished great contributions and achievements in the private sector." Judge Advocates Foundation recognized Senator Roth with the 2023 Chief John Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • For his leadership as "a 211 champion as co-author of SB 318."  Inland Southern California United Way honored Senator Roth as 2023 Legislator of the Year.
  • In recognition of his "outstanding efforts to train students and foster their interest in the justice system and careers in law," California LAW Pathways named Senator Roth their 2022 Diversity Champion;
  • For his "leadership on SB 622 to develop educational pathways for individuals in probation working with foster youth," the Chief Probation Officers of California recognized Senator Roth as their 2021 Partner in Collaborative Community Safety
  • For his "continued advocacy and support for funding for veteran students throughout California Community Colleges," the League of Community College League of California Veterans Caucus presented Senator Roth with their 2020 Annual Service Award;
  • For his "work and leadership toward financial aid reform to ensure that students can receive year-round access to financial aid," the Campaign for College Opportunity recognized Senator Roth with their 2019 Dean’s List Award for Distinction in College Affordability;
  • For his leadership in addressing the workforce needs of the changing economy, the Riverside County Workforce Development Board named Senator Roth their 2019 Elected Official Workforce Advocate of the Year;
  • For his "outstanding contributions to public education," including his leadership and vision, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association named Senator Roth their 2019 Legislator of the Year;
  • For his "contribution and support for Enrollment in California," the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges named Senator Roth their 2019 Legislator of the Year
  • For his commitment to ensuring access to higher education, the California Association of Postsecondary Schools honored Senator Roth as their 2018 Legislator of the Year
  • For his leadership in promoting funding for primary care physician residency program, the Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California recognized Senator Roth their 2017 Legislator of the Year;
  • For his “commitment to children through legislative leadership in education”, the California School Board Association honored Senator Roth with their 2017 Outstanding Legislator Award;
  • For his "lifetime of outstanding records of community service beyond the bar association and the legal profession," the Riverside County Car Association Presented Senator Roth with their 2017 James H. Krieger Meritorious Service Award
  • For his “courage and empathy for patients and his dedication to advocating for family medicine and primary care,” the California Academy of Family Physicians named Senator Roth their 2016 Champion of Family Medicine;
  • For his commitment to veterans and their families, the Vietnam Veterans of America California State Council named Senator Roth their 2016 Legislator of the Year;
  • For his "championing graduate medical education, extending the Maddy emergency until 2027, and serving as a leader on health policy," the California Hospital Association honored Senator Roth with the 2016 Public Service Award;
  • For his commitment to affordable housing options, the Apartment Association of Orange County named Senator Roth their 2016 Legislator of the Year;
  • For his "willingness to step forward and be the champion for what is right and just," the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice honored Senator Roth with their 2015 Legislative Champion Award;
  • For his protection of "the right to education for all children," the Inland Empire Health, Choice, Educate, Advocate: A Voice for Choice named Senate Roth their 2015 Champion for Children;
  • For his “work to protect and improve the civil justice system in California,” the Civil Justice Association of California honored Senator Roth with their 2015 Civil Justice Leadership Award;
  • For his “steadfast dedication to California’s 1.9 million veterans and their families,” the California Association of County Veterans Services Officers honored Senator Roth with their Motomu Nakasako Award for 2015 Legislator of the Year;
  • For his "willingness to discuss agricultural issues critical to the State's future," California Women for Agriculture honored Senator Roth with the 2015 Cornucopia Award;
  • For his "leadership and commitment to the citizens of Jurupa Valley," the City of Jurupa Valley presented Senator Roth with the 2015 Key to the City of Jurupa Valley;
  • For his “exemplary and tireless efforts in support of California’s veterans,” the American Veterans Department of California named Senator Roth their 2014 Legislator of the Year;
  • For his “outstanding legislative service to California’s veterans,” the American Legion Department of California recognized Senator Roth as the 2014 Leo P. Burke Legislator of the Year;
  • For his “support and dedication to agricultural education,” the Norco Future Farmers of America named Senator Roth an Honorary Member;
  • For his “commitment to children through legislative leadership in education,” the California School Boards Association proclaimed Senator Roth as 2014’s Outstanding Freshman Legislator; and
  • For his “efforts to improve the lives of California’s older adults,” LeadingAge California named Senator Roth their 2014 Legislator of the Year.
  • For his commitment to the “principles of effective government,” the California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions recognized Senator Roth as their 2013 Legislative Leader of the Year;
  • For his “continued support of education,” the Riverside County School Boards Association named him their 2013 Freshman Legislator of the Year;