By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley) – All eight Veterans Homes of California are one step closer to securing directional signs thanks to legislation introduced by Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley).
Passed unanimously out of its first policy hearing, Senate Bill 842 (Knight, 2014) clarifies discrepancies among regional CalTrans offices regarding interpretation of “supplemental signage” policy, the category Veterans Homes fall under within CalTrans guidelines. Homes in Yountville and Barstow have been able to secure signs, while requests for West Los Angeles, Ventura, and Lancaster were recently denied, as were their appeals shortly thereafter due to local offices’ differing interpretation of policy.
“California should have a sense of pride for these veterans homes, as they provide our brave men and women of the military with a place of dignity that contributes to veterans’ feelings of self-reliance,” said Senator Knight. “I’m proud to author legislation that directly benefits not only the William J. ‘Pete’ Knight Veterans Home in my district, but all of the Veterans Homes of California and their many noble residents and visitors.”
Senator Knight’s SB 842 codifies a clear, consistent policy specifically for directional highway signs that guide passersby to the Veterans Homes of California: CalTrans shall implement these signs for each home once private, non-state funds are raised to cover manufacturing and installation costs.
After the Lancaster request was denied, in 2013 Senator Knight introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 59, a measure that would have instructed CalTrans to implement a highway sign for the William J. ‘Pete’ Knight Veterans Home of California—Lancaster, named after the Senator’s late father, a United States Air Force Colonel who spent 32 years in dedicated service to his country and flew more than 253 missions in Vietnam. SCR 59 passed through the Senate but was killed in the Assembly due to political differences with the Colonel for which the home is named. This prompted Senator Knight to write 2014’s SB 842 to be inclusive all Veterans Homes, present and future.
On Tuesday SB 842 was heard in Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and passed with a bipartisan 11-0 vote. Next it will be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee prior the Senate Floor, where it must receive a majority vote in order to be heard in the Assembly.