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Background - Proposed Southern California State Veterans Cemetery

On January 9, 2014, California Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva introduced Assembly Bill 1453 (AB 1453) in the California legislature proposing to establish a Southern California Veterans Cemetery in Orange County. The legislation, which is also co-sponsored by Assemblymember Donald Wagner representing the City of Irvine, was approved by the State Assembly and Senate as of August 25, and now Governor Brown will have until September 30, 2014 to either sign or veto AB 1453.

On March 11, 2014 the Irvine City Council adopted Resolution No. 14-27, which, in part, supported the passage of AB 1453 and expressed the City Council’s strong interest in providing land at the Orange County Great Park to develop a State Veterans Cemetery. The City Council also established an Ad Hoc State Veterans Cemetery Committee to consider this matter. The Ad Hoc Committee was comprised of Irvine Mayor Steven Choi, Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Lalloway, a representative of Five Point Communities Management, Inc., a representative from the California Department of Veterans Affairs, and two members representing veterans groups.

T
he Ad Hoc State Veterans Cemetery Committee met on June 13, 2014 and on July 11, 2014.  The Committee considered and discussed information regarding potential sites and the process required to establish a State Veterans Cemetery, as well as receiving comments from interested members of the public. 

O
n July 22, 2014 the Irvine City Council adopted Resolution No. 14-92 expressing its intent to convey the Amended and Restated Development Agreement (ARDA) Transfer Site (at the former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro) to the State for the purposes of creating the Southern California Veterans Memorial Park and Cemetery, subject to the final passage of AB 1453 and the Governor’s signature, and further subject to all necessary and appropriate studies, procedures, and agreements with the State and Federal governments.

Next Steps

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Having been approved by the State Legislature as of August 25, AB 1453 will now proceed to Governor Brown for 
   his signature or veto (September 30 deadline)


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If AB 1453 is signed, preparation of State Veterans Cemetery Grant Pre-Application to the U.S. Department 
   of Veterans Affairs prepared/submitted by the California Department of Veterans Affairs  (annual July 1 deadline)