The governor signed the final piece of legislation Friday afternoon to make the deadline for the proposed Fort Ord veterans cemetery to get funding this year.

Organizers can now apply July 1, which is necessary to meet the Aug. 15 deadline with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

"We did it!," state Sen. Bill Monning wrote in an email. "The Governor's signature on SB 106 today completes the legislative process that required urgency and convening special hearings during the past six weeks."

Gov. Jerry Brown had signed a budget that included $1.5 million in funds Thursday, but Monning's bill was needed to ensure the state, and cemetery foundation, would be reimbursed if the grant did not go through.

Monning's office was confident the grant would be approved as was Janet Parks, the past president of the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation.

"I think [Rep.] Sam Farr [D-Carmel] has pretty well got them lined up out there when it comes in," she said of federal approval.

The move is the first time the state has ever offered to allocate money to the project.

Phillip Molnar can be reached at 646-4487 or pmolnar@montereyherald.com



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