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Uniform bill moves on to governor's desk

SCV controversy spawns legislation to allow members to wear dress uniforms to graduate

Posted: August 20, 2009 10:26 p.m.
Updated: August 21, 2009 8:00 a.m.
 
California lawmakers passed a bill Thursday allowing high school students who are in the military to wear their dress uniforms to high school graduation ceremonies.

The bill passed on consent, meaning there was no opposition to the bill exempting it from a roll call vote, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth said. The next step for the bill is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk, where Smyth expects the bill to be signed into law.

"This bill is an example of our government working," said Smyth, R-Santa Clarita. "This bill came from a mom that wanted to change the law to benefit her son and other families in California."

Smyth authored the bill in reaction to a Santa Clarita Valley controversy.

Earlier this year, Saugus High School Principal Bill Bolde forbade then-student Nicholas Laccabue to graduate in his Marine Corps uniform.

The move by Bolde drew outrage from local residents and politicians, notably Smyth and Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon - now the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee.

Bolde reversed his decision and allowed Laccabue to wear his dress blue ceremonial uniform to the Saugus High graduation ceremony.

The William S. Hart Union High School District has since changed its dress code to allow seniors to graduate in military uniforms.

In other state capital business, Assembly Bill 1464 also passed on consent.

The bill allows local jurisdictions like Santa Clarita to coordinate with the California Department of Transportation on the dedication of bike trails of significance, Smyth said. He noted the Amgen Tour of California as a route that Santa Clarita and Caltrans could mark and promote to bicycle clubs and those interested in following the route.

"This bill is something to help promote bicycle tourism," Smyth said.

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