Sharon Quirk-Silva for Assembly

Gov. Brown signs Veterans Cemetery Bill

Orange County Register
September 27, 2014 

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation establishing what would be the first veterans cemetery in Orange County on 125 acres of Irvine’s Great Park, formerly the El Toro military base.

 

 

Gov. Brown signs bills to help veterans, create O.C. cemetery.

Los Angeles Times - BY PATRICK MCGREEVY September 27, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed 21 bills to help and recognize military veterans, including a measure to help create the first veterans' cemetery in Orange County.

Other bills signed protect veterans' rights to healthcare, education and shelter.

The cemetery bill by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) requires the California Department of Veterans Affairs to work with local governments to design, develop, construct and equip a veterans' cemetery in the former Marine Corps Station El Toro in Irvine. The state agency will apply for a grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to pay for the creation of the cemetery.

“Local veterans, many of whom risked their lives on foreign soil, deserve an honorable place that will provide their families and communities a true and lasting opportunity to pay their respects,” Quirk-Silva said in a statement in support of AB 1453.

She noted that California is home to more veterans than any other state in the nation, with a majority of those veterans residing in Southern California.

Other bills signed by the governor will:

-- Allow the courts to create a diversion program for active duty military personnel or veterans who commit misdemeanors and are suffering from service-related trauma or drug abuse. Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) authored SB 1227.

-- Require that non-veteran spouses living in Veterans Homes in California pay the same fees as veteran residents. Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) introduced SB 1440. 

-- Protect the ability of 78,000 veterans to continue to enjoy benefits of the G.I. Bill while attending California universities and community colleges by updating in-state tuition policies. The bill provides in-state college tuition for veterans who were stationed in California immediately before being discharged. Assemblywoman Connie Conway (R-Tulare) authored AB 13.

-- Allow veterans to apply for a driver's license or identification card from the state that features a "Veteran" designation. Assemblyman Jim Frazier Jr. (D-Oakley) authored AB 935.

- Los Angeles Times

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Gov. Brown signs bill for Great Park veterans cemetery

REGISTER STAFF REPORTS Published: Sept. 27, 2014 

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation establishing what would be the first veterans cemetery in Orange County on 125 acres of Irvine’s Great Park, formerly the El Toro military base.

The bill, introduced by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, appropriates $500,000 for the state Department of Veterans Affairs to complete preliminary design work and directs the department to seek federal funds to cover the cost of construction.

According to Quirk-Silva, a veterans cemetery in Orange County is badly needed because the one in Los Angeles is at capacity and there is a lengthy wait for veterans to be buried in Riverside County.

The Irvine City Council voted unanimously in July to provide the Great Park acreage for the proposed cemetery.

- Orange County Register Staff 

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Sharon Quirk-Silva statement on the signing of the Veterans Cemetery Bill: 

“Today marks a historic moment for Orange County as we solidify our rich military history with the signage of AB 1453.  Our veterans, many of whom risked their lives on foreign soil, deserve an honorable resting place near home that will provide their families and communities a true and lasting opportunity to pay their respects to their loved ones,” stated Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva, “this will be a meaningful way in which we honor the countless sacrifices that veterans have made serving and defending our nation.”

AB 1453 would direct the California Department of Veteran Affairs and the local government entities in Orange County to work collaboratively to design, develop and construct a state-owned and state-operated Orange County Veterans Cemetery. 

“This bill will give veterans in Orange County the final resting place they deserve and would not have been possible without the skill and tireless work of Assemblymember Quirk-Silva,” said California Governor Jerry Brown. 

California is home to more veterans than any other state in the nation with a majority of those veteransresiding in Southern California.  According to the National Cemetery Administration, the closest regional option for Orange County veterans is Riverside Veterans Cemetery, which offers neither a convenient location nor a long term solution for the large number of Orange County veterans and their families.

“I believe that the best legislation comes from the community.  Several years ago, a group of local veterans got together and formed the Orange County Veteran Memorial Park Committee to garner support for a veterans cemetery.  This is a great opportunity to celebrate their tireless efforts as we move forward with the legislation.  We sincerely thank Governor Brown for joining us in honoring our nation’s greatest heroes,” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. 


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