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AB 1453 just passed the Assembly, 76-0!
(Had Young Kim been there, maybe it would have been 75-1. We’ll never know.)
It now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. He will surely sign it.
VICTORY IS OURS!
[To be returned to Aug. 21 after a suitable interval.]
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva’s office has reported that AB 1453 — the bill she authored and navigated through the legislative process, along with co-sponsorship from fellow OC Assembly Members Allan Mansoor, Tom Daly, and Don Wagner — has just unanimously passed the State Senate as (quite reasonably) amended and is now going back to the Assembly for a final vote before it goes to Governor Jerry Brown for his presumed signature. It’s text as amended appears below.
This means that this is the FINAL CHANCE for Young Kim to announce, before the Legislatures work on Quirk-Silva’s signature accomplishment is complete, that she supports the bill. (If she does.)
Her support for the bill would have seemed a given for a politician, especially an immigrant from one of the nations that some of U.S. Vets likely to be buried there risked their lives to defend from a communist Chinese invasion, except for a few things:
- Wealthy corporate development interests (and big political contributors) in Irvine opposed the bill at every opportunity because it might undercut their chances of selling houses to wealthy investors from the country that invaded Korea in 1950
- Irvine Mayor Steven Choi, a big supporter of Kim’s and a fellow South Korean, did everything within his power to delay and block the critical components of the bill — a grant from the City of Irvine to house the Veteran’s Cemetery in the Great Park — until resistance became pointless
- A major argument against the bill was that it violated the principles of feng shui
- It is, again, Quirk-Silva’s signature accomplishment — and far from being a easy two-foot putt, it’s something that many people right up until the last day thought would not be possible over the objection of the developer Five Point — and Kim may just really, really dislike thanking her
- Those squadrons of elderly Korean women working their fingers to the bone for her election probably just assume SO STRONGLY that she would be supporting this bill that they would assume that anyone who said otherwise was just lying, and keep on dialing and stuffing envelopes. (But, 존경받는 장로, I promise you that I do not lie — she really has not said whether she supports a veterans’ cemetery in Orange County. Maybe you can talk reason to her.)
I searched her website. The number 1453 turns up nothing. I searched on the word “veterans” and came up with only one page, filled with apparently ghostwritten boilerplate:
Veteran’s Day Thoughts
On this Veteran’s Day, I am reminded of what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said: “We, too, born to freedom, are willing to fight to maintain freedom. We, and all others who believe as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.” We are a proud peace loving nation, but when alternatives fail, we will fight to maintain liberty and freedom.
Today, I am honored to share few thoughts in honor of our veterans because they are worthy of our honor. The men and women who have served and are currently serving our country here and abroad truly deserve our admiration and appreciation for their commitment and sacrifice – in times of conflict, and in times of peace.
In many instances, they have worked together and in many cases died together, so that we may remain free. Let us also pray for the safekeeping and safe return of our thousands of American service men and women who are serving this great nation. And let us also honor the families of service members, as they have faced, and continue to endure hardships and sacrifices from being separated from loved ones who have fought or are fighting for this country.
God Bless You!
“Worthy of our honor.” Yes — SO HOW WOULD YOU VOTE?
This is actually part of a larger issue. As Chair of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee, Quirk-Silva has also shown leadership in issues ranging from homeless veterans to veterans benefits. That’s good — that’s what Orange County wants! So — why is she completely AWOL on veterans’ issues?
Given all that, it seems fair to ask Young Kim whether, even at this very very late date, she would throw her support to the bill. In fact, it seems more than fair — it seems downright gallant to offer her a public forum for her to do the right thing.
It’s relevant because, at this point, with even Choi and Irvine Councilwoman Christine Shea waving the flag of surrender over the project, Young Kim’s refusal to support AB 1453 starts to look more than simply politically perverse, but a sign of something seriously wrong with her approach to politics.
As I think that her advisors, if she were willing to listen to her, would tell her:
“IT’S REALLY EASY. SUCK IT UP AND SAY THAT YOU SUPPORT THE BILL.”
But she isn’t, and she won’t. Why?
Is it a lack of understanding of the political process in Sacramento — which Northwest Orange County needs her to have to fight for its interests — which is a far cry from coordinating Rep. Ed Royce’s social calendar?
Is it extremely zealous devotion to feng shui or — far worse — to welathy real estate developers?
Is it an atypically Republican (and truly shocking) diffidence towards veterans?
Is it because I keep asking her to do so — something that I don’t know that Sharon appreciates, but it seems sporting — and her Roycean advisors are telling her that that’s proof that she shouldn’t do it?
Is she just THAT PETTY AND STUBBORN?
(If it’s the latter, that’s a character flaw about which voters really do need to know.)
This continued refusal to take a stand on an issue of this prominence and importance at some point becomes simply WEIRD.
So, as a gesture of kindness and civility, I’m putting forth the bill here — the bill on which Young Kim would be voting if she were in the Assembly. She can read it, talk to her advisors, and say what she thinks.
Or, she can leave everyone guessing — and that might be a bigger statement than actually taking a stand.
AMENDED IN SENATE AUGUST 19, 2014
AMENDED IN SENATE AUGUST 4, 2014
AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 19, 2014
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 22, 2014
California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session
ASSEMBLY BILLNo. 1453
Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk-Silva
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Daly, Mansoor, and Wagner)
(Coauthors: Senators Correa and Wyland)
January 9, 2014
An act to add Chapter 9.5 (commencing with Section 1410) to Division 6 of the Military and Veterans Code, relating to veterans, and making an appropriation therefor.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
AB 1453, as amended, Quirk-Silva. Southern California Veterans Cemetery.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (department) is created in state government and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is the head of the department. Under existing law, the department, in voluntary cooperation with the Shasta County Board of Supervisors and the boards of supervisors of specified northern California counties, is required to design, develop, and construct a state-owned and state-operated Northern California Veterans Cemetery. Under existing law, the department, in voluntary cooperation with the Board of Supervisors of the County of Monterey, the City of Seaside, the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, and surrounding counties, cities, and local agencies, is required to design, develop, and construct the state-owned and state-operated veterans cemetery, which shall be located on the site of the former Fort Ord.
Existing federal law authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to make a grant to any state for the purpose of establishing, expanding, or improving a veterans’ cemetery owned by the state and operating and maintaining a veterans’ cemetery.
This bill would require the department, in voluntary cooperation with local government entities in Orange County, to design, develop, construct, and equip a state-owned and state-operated Southern California Veterans Cemetery. Subject to specified requirements described in federal law, the bill would make
begin delete allend delete honorably discharged begin delete veterans andend delete their spouses and children eligible for interment in the cemetery. The bill would require the department to establish a fee to be charged for interment of veteran spouses and eligible children.
The bill would create the Southern California Veterans Cemetery Master Development Fund
begin delete, a continuously appropriated fund,end delete and would require all moneys received for the design, development, construction, and equipment of the cemetery to be deposited in this fund. begin delete By creating a continuously appropriated fund, the bill would make an appropriation.end delete The bill would also create the Southern California Veterans Cemetery Perpetual Maintenance Fund and would direct all moneys received for the maintenance of the cemetery begin delete, including those moneys received for the interment of a spouse or child,end delete to be deposited in this fund.
The bill would make proposals for the construction, placement, or donation of monuments and memorials to the cemetery subject to review by a specified advisory committee and subject to final approval by the secretary.
The bill would authorize the cemetery administrator to accept donations of personal property to be used for the maintenance, beautification, or repair of the cemetery. The bill would require cash donations to be deposited into the Southern California Veterans Cemetery Donations Fund, a continuously appropriated fund created by this bill, and would require the cash donations to be expended for the maintenance, beautification, and repair of the cemetery, as specified. By creating a continuously appropriated fund, the bill would make an appropriation.
The bill would require and authorize the department to adopt regulations, as specified.
The bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to appropriate funds in the annual Budget Act to fund annual cemetery operations and maintenance and to enact any additional legislation that may be necessary to set dollar limits on funding for those operations and that maintenance. The bill would specify that if no appropriation is made for these purposes, the department would not be required to comply with the provisions of this bill.
The bill would appropriate $500,000 from the General Fund to the department to be used for the grant proposal, as described below. The bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to appropriate funds in the annual Budget Act to support the department in carrying out these provisions. The bill would specify that if no appropriation is made for those purposes, the department would not be required to comply with provisions of this bill.
The bill would require the department to apply to the Veterans Cemetery Grants Program of the federal Department of Veterans Affairs for a grant of not more than 100% of the estimated cost for designing, developing, constructing, and equipping the
begin deletecemetery.end delete begin deleteTheend delete bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to prohibit the expenditure of moneys appropriated to the department until the department has received written approval of the grant requested and a commitment from the federal Veterans Cemetery Grants Program that the funds appropriated under the grant are available for expenditure by the begin delete state, except as specified.end delete
begin deletemajority end delete. Appropriation: yes. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Chapter 9.5 (commencing with Section 1410) is
2added to Division 6 of the Military and Veterans Code, to read:
P4 1Chapter 9.5. Southern California Veterans Cemetery
(a) (1) The department, in voluntary cooperation with
4local government entities in Orange County pursuant to Section
51412, shall design, develop, construct, and equip a state-owned
6and state-operated Southern California Veterans Cemetery, which
7shall be located
begin delete in Orange County, California.end delete
11(2) The department shall oversee and coordinate the design,
12development, and construction of the cemetery.
13(3) For purposes of this chapter, “department” means the
14Department of Veterans Affairs.
15(b) (1) Subject to the eligibility requirements described in
16Section 2402 of Title 38 of the United States Code, as amended
17from time to time,
begin delete allend delete honorably discharged begin delete veterans andend delete
18their spouses and children are eligible for
19interment in the cemetery. The department shall establish a fee to
20be charged for interment of veteran spouses and eligible
21children. The amount of the fee shall not exceed the reasonable
22costs to the department for interment in the cemetery.
23(2) Subject to Section 1418, for the purposes of this subdivision,
24the department shall adopt regulations to specify the eligibility
25requirements for interment in the cemetery.
26(3) All fees received pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be deposited
27in the Southern California Veterans Cemetery Perpetual
28Maintenance Fund created pursuant to Section 1412.
(a) For the purposes of Section 1410, all local
30government entities in Orange County may join together for the
31purpose of cooperating with the department in the design,
32development, construction, and equipment of the cemetery.
33(b) All moneys received for the design, development,
34construction, and equipment of the cemetery shall be deposited in
35the Southern California Veterans Cemetery Master Development
36Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury.
begin deleteNotwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, moneys Moneys
38in the fund are continuously appropriated to the department for
39the purpose of designing, developing, constructing, and equipping
40the cemetery.end delete
2appropriated by the Legislature for these purposes shall also be
3deposited in the fund.
4(c) (1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 1416, all
5moneys received for the maintenance of the cemetery, including
6moneys received pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1410, shall
7be deposited in the Southern California Veterans Cemetery
8Perpetual Maintenance Fund, which is hereby created in the State
begin delete Any state funding for the annual maintenance of the
10cemetery shall be appropriated by the Legislature in the annual
11Budget Act.end delete
13(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to appropriate funds in the
14annual Budget Act to fund annual cemetery operations and
15maintenance and to enact any additional legislation that may be
16necessary to set dollar limits on funding for those operations and
(a) Proposals for the construction, placement, or donation
19of monuments and memorials to the cemetery shall be subject to
20review by an advisory committee comprised of the cemetery
21administrator, representatives from local government entities within
22Orange County, local veterans’ service organizations, and others
23as approved by the secretary.
24(b) All proposals for the construction, placement, or donation
25of monuments and memorials to the cemetery shall be subject to
26the final approval of the secretary.
27(c) Subject to Section 1418, the department shall adopt
28regulations for the policies and procedures to be followed with
29respect to the construction, placement, donation, and approval of
30monuments and memorials proposed to be placed on the cemetery
(a) Notwithstanding Section 11005 of the Government
33Code, the cemetery administrator, subject to the approval of the
34secretary, may accept donations of personal property, including
35cash or other gifts, to be used for the maintenance, beautification,
36or repair of the cemetery.
37(b) Cash donations made pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be
38deposited into the Southern California Veterans Cemetery
39Donations Fund, which is hereby created. Notwithstanding Section
4013340 of the Government Code, moneys in the fund are
P6 1continuously appropriated to the department for the maintenance,
2beautification, and repair of the cemetery or, subject to the approval
3of the secretary, for a specified cemetery maintenance or
4beautification project designated by the donor.
For purposes of carrying out the provisions of this
6chapter, the department may adopt regulations. All regulations
7adopted pursuant to this chapter shall be adopted pursuant to the
8Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with
9Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government
begin deleteSEC. 2.end delete
It is the intent of the Legislature to appropriate funds
18in the annual Budget Act to support the Department of Veterans
19Affairs in carrying out the provisions of Chapter 9.5 (commencing
20with Section 1410) of Division 6 of the Military and Veterans
21Code. If no appropriation is made for these purposes, the
22Department of Veterans Affairs shall not be required to comply
23with the provisions of Chapter 9.5 (commencing with Section
241410) of Division 6 of the Military and Veterans Code.
begin deleteSEC. 3.end delete
(a) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall apply
27to the Veterans Cemetery Grants Program of the federal
28Department of Veterans Affairs for a grant of not more than 100
29percent of the estimated cost for designing, developing,
30constructing, and equipping the cemetery.
31(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the moneys to be
32appropriated in the annual Budget Act under Section
begin delete 2end delete of this
33act are not expended until the Department of Veterans Affairs has
34received written approval of the grant requested under subdivision
35(a) and a commitment from the federal Veterans Cemetery Grants
36Program that the funds appropriated under the grant are available
37for expenditure by the
begin delete state, except it is the intent of the Legislature
38that the department may expend an amount necessary for
P7 1completion of the grant proposal from the funds intended by the
2Legislature to be appropriated under Section 2.end delete
(That’s a pretty good piece of legislation there!)
Candidate Young Kim, the ball is — as it has been for an awfully long time now — in your court!
Would you vote YES on AB 1453, would you vote NO, or would you CONTINUE TO ABSTAIN?