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Political Landscape: Assembly veterans committee supports O.C. cemetery

May 02, 2014|From staff reports

A bill that would allow the establishment of a state veterans cemetery in Orange County earned unanimous support in the Assembly's Veterans Affairs Committee, the bill's author, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), announced.

The bill is expected to be heard in the Appropriations Committee next week.

Quirk-Silva, who chairs the Veterans Affairs Committee, said in a statement, "Orange County's veterans and their families deserve an accessible location to celebrate the life and contributions of the brave men and women who have courageously served our nation."

Assembly Bill 1453 is a necessary step toward the construction of a cemetery for local veterans, who have pushed for the city of Irvine to make room for one in the Orange County Great Park.

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It would request a federal grant to establish the cemetery to be run by the state.

Members of the local veterans community spoke at the bill's committee hearing in Sacramento, according to a news release from Quirk-Silva's office.

"I believe that a Southern California state veterans cemetery would be a valuable benefit [to] the families of those soldiers who spent part or all of their lives defending our freedoms," said Robert Brower, a longtime Irvine resident and a decorated Vietnam veteran.

Officials throughout the county have backed the bill, though some have expressed concern about getting veterans' hopes up when the state may not have the money to maintain such a facility.

Others have said Quirk-Silva, in taking up the veterans' plea, is making the idea something of a political football. Quirk-Silva is up for re-election this year.

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Moorlach endorses Mansoor

Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa), who is running for Orange County supervisor, has been endorsed by the man he is vying to replace.

Supervisor John Moorlach, who represents the board's 2nd District, will be termed out next year.

"Allan Mansoor pretty much grew up in this district," Moorlach, a longtime county official who lives in Costa Mesa, said in a statement. "He has a solid understanding of local issues and wouldn't have much of a learning curve. He could hit the ground running."

Mansoor debated his opponents — state Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel, Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno and Huntington Beach councilman Joe Carchio — earlier this week at the most recent Feet to the Fire forum.

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Petros, Daigle, Hill back Steel

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