Capitol Alert

AM Alert: All things veteran at the California Capitol

A tiny American flag was among flowers and other mementos left in tribute at the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial on May 25, 2014.
A tiny American flag was among flowers and other mementos left in tribute at the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial on May 25, 2014. The Sacramento Bee file

Happy Veterans Day! It’s quiet around the Capitol, and across much of California, today as state employees enjoy a holiday from work. But those looking for a dose of government-sanctioned patriotism are not without their options.

You can now vote in honor of a veteran or active duty service member. Secretary of State Alex Padilla unveiled on Monday a new program to boost voter turnout by allowing Californians to dedicate their ballots to family and friends who have served in the military.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Veterans Affairs also jointly announced yesterday that former service members will be able to apply for special “veterans” drivers licenses and identification cards that will make it easier for them to obtain benefits and discounts.

And work continues to repair the dilapidated El Soldado memorial near the Capitol. The Mexican American Veterans Memorial Committee, which said this summer it was getting close to raising enough money for first phase of repairs, will host a fundraiser with Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, tomorrow night at the Brickhouse Art Gallery on 36th Street.

WHAT WOULD JERRY SAY?: “As we remember our brave Americans today, we should consider their valor and suffering in the service of our country and the challenges they face upon returning home,” Gov. Jerry Brown wrote in his proclamation declaring Veterans Day in California. “Let us welcome all our returning veterans with open arms.”

COME AND VET IT: Which California politicians should be recognized today for their military service? Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside; Assembly members Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside, Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, and Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore; and Reps. Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, Steve Knight, R-Lancaster, Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, and Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, who turns 67 today, and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is 75.

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