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AB-2116 Bill of Rights Monument.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/08/2018 09:00 PM
AB2116:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2116


Introduced by Assembly Member Melendez

February 08, 2018


An act to add Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 6750) to Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, relating to state government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2116, as introduced, Melendez. Bill of Rights Monument.
Existing law provides for the placement of certain memorials on the grounds of the State Capitol, including a Firefighters’ Memorial among others, and authorizes a task force to select the site for that memorial after consultation with the State Office of Historic Preservation and after consultation with, and approval of, the Department of General Services and the Historic State Capitol Commission. Subject to the approval of the Capitol Building and Planning Commission, existing law also requires the Department of Finance to acquire and do all acts necessary to erect and maintain other monuments on the grounds of the State Capitol.
This bill would authorize the construction of a Bill of Rights Monument on the grounds of the State Capitol. The bill would require the State Office of Historic Preservation to select the site for the monument and would require the Department of General Services to approve construction of the monument. The bill would prohibit construction of the monument until the occurrence of specified approvals and would also prohibit state moneys from being used for this purpose.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) The lasting promises of our great nation, those of freedom from oppression and the preservation of individual liberty, are fundamental themes of the very documents upon which our system of government was founded.
(b) The central importance of the principles outlined in the United States Constitution once prompted President Harry S. Truman to describe it as “a living force”; similarly, President Ronald Reagan evoked the power of individual liberties safeguarded by the Constitution, referring to “a government which empowers its people” as “mankind’s best defense against tyranny.”
(c) Nowhere are these constitutional guarantees regarding the rights of the individual articulated more clearly that in the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution—the aptly named Bill of Rights.
(d) While the State Capitol grounds and other properties and sites throughout the state display statues, memorials, and other commemorations of people, ideals, and events that demonstrate our country’s abiding dedication to the values established by the Bill of Rights, there is currently no specific tribute to the Bill of Rights anywhere in the State of California.
(e) A commemorative structure to honor the Bill of Rights would be a worthy addition to these State Capitol grounds, which are visited annually by thousands of California schoolchildren in their first direct experience of our system of government, and the addition of a monument will engage future visitors directly with the text of the Bill of Rights and the principles and individual liberties that have been the cornerstone of our society for over 225 years.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 6750) is added to Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, to read:
CHAPTER  7.5. Bill of Rights Monument

6750.
 (a) (1) The construction of a Bill of Rights Monument on the grounds of the State Capitol is hereby authorized. For purposes of this chapter, the grounds of the State Capitol is that property in the City of Sacramento bounded by 10th, 15th, L, and N Streets.
(2) The actual site for the monument shall be selected, and the design approved, by the State Office of Historic Preservation after consultation with, and approval of, the Department of General Services and the Historic State Capitol Commission.
(3) The Department of General Services shall approve the construction of the monument and shall consult with MyBillofRights.org.
(b) The Department of General Services shall not begin construction of the monument until an update to the 1977 Capitol Area Plan is prepared subsequent to the 1997 Capitol Area Plan, the updated plan is approved and adopted by the Joint Committee on Rules, and the Joint Committee on Rules and the Department of Finance have determined that sufficient private funding is available to construct and maintain the monument.
(c) No state moneys shall be expended for any of the purposes specified in this chapter. Funds for the construction of the monument shall be provided exclusively through private contributions for these purposes.