Assembly bill proposes to alter state park access for veterans

Free access would be granted to any California resident who is also an Armed Forces veteran.

SACRAMENTO—The Covid-19 pandemic might have substantially slowed life down these past few months, but there is still business awaiting to be done at the State Capitol building in Sacramento. One piece of legislation elected officials could be reviewing soon is Assembly Bill 2281 (AB 2281), which proposes to give veterans greater access to California State Parks properties. Boating is one of the activities visitors could engage in at those properties managed by State Parks.

The proposal would give veterans, who are also California residents, free access to the state park system. Attending veterans must show proof of service in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Veterans, under existing law, could receive a free pass within the state park system under specific situations: disability; prisoner of war; Congressional Medal of Honor recipient; and, proof of honorable discharge from service.

“This bill instead would require the department to grant free access to a unit of the state park system to a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States who is a resident of this state and who, upon entrance to the unit, presents to department personnel government-issued proof of the veteran’s service in the Armed Forces of the United States,” language of AB 2281 stated.

Places within State Parks where boating activities take place include Castaic Lake, Lake Elsinore, Big Bear Lake, Mission Bay, San Vicente Reservoir, Lake Jennings, Santee Lakes, Lake Cuyamaca, Crowley Lake, Mono Lake and Bridgeport Reservoir.

Also within State Parks jurisdiction are Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island and San Miguel Island.

Beaches at Bolsa Chica, Corona Del Mar, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, San Onofre, Point Dume and Santa Monica are also managed by State Parks and would also be governed by AB 2281, should it pass and be signed into law.

AB 2281 was introduced on Feb. 14 by Assembly member Randy Voepel, R-Santee. The bill made it to an Assembly Committee on Feb. 27. A legislative analysis of the bill has not yet been filed; legislators have not yet voted on the bill, either.

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One thought on “Assembly bill proposes to alter state park access for veterans

  • June 11, 2020 at 9:35 pm
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    Just FYI, your statement in the article says “Also within State Parks jurisdiction are Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island and San Miguel Island.” This is incorrect. They are all part of Channel Islands National Park.

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