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Proposed Southern California State Veterans Cemetery
In 2014, Assembly Bill 1453 (AB 1453) was introduced in the California legislature to establish a Southern California Veterans Cemetery in Orange County (by former California Assemblymember Quirk-Silva). The California legislature adopted AB 1453 and Governor Brown signed it into law in September 2014. AB 1453 became effective January 1, 2015 and signifies an initial step in a multi-agency, multi-year process led by the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).

While AB 1453 was being considered by the State Legislature, on July 22, 2014, the Irvine City Council adopted Resolution No. 14-92 expressing its intent to convey what is referred to as 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 all necessary and appropriate studies, procedures and agreements with the State and Federal governments.

CalVet is responsible to oversee and coordinate the development of a state-owned and operated Veterans Cemetery in voluntary cooperation with local agencies, which will take multiple steps and several years to fund, design and construct. As an initial step, AB 1453 directs CalVet to submit a pre-application requesting Federal Veterans Cemetery Grant Funds (administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) to design, develop, construct and equip the cemetery.

CalVet is moving forward with the pre-application to request Federal Veterans Cemetery Grant funds for a Southern California Veterans Cemetery. This is an annual Federal Veterans Cemetery Grant program with pre-applications due every July 1. The Federal VA then evaluates pre-applications received from all states across the nation.
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