In Simi Valley today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger held a ceremonial signing of two bills honoring former President Ronald Reagan.
The governor signed the bills in the Air Force One Pavilion of the Reagan Library with former First Lady Nancy Reagan and a crowd of admirers looking on. One bill, SB 944, officially designates February 6 of each year as Ronald Reagan Day in California. On that day, the state will encourage educational institutions to remember the life and accomplishments of its 33rd governor and the country’s 40th president.
Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911. He was 93 years old when he died six years ago; had he lived, next year he would have turned 100. So the other bill the governor signed, AB1911, creates the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission, tasked with promoting the celebration of that anniversary.
"We've got to celebrate really big," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "So this is why we create the commission which will help plan events and help us celebrate this special day. Maybe we throw a huge parade, name a college after him, or maybe a mountain range after him, or a lake after him – I don’t know. But the least thing we can do is start building a great statue of Ronald Reagan up there at the state capitol," he said.
The sponsor of AB1911, Assemblyman Martin Garrick of Carlsbad, said it was drafted with Reagan's philosophy in mind.
"In keeping with President Reagan's distrust of big government, we made sure that this bill won't use any taxpayer dollars and won't grow the bureaucracy," said Garrick.
The former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who turned 89 this month, did not speak at the ceremony.