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Doug Elmets, a Sacramento public affairs consultant who worked in Ronald Reagan's White House, thinks it's about time to erect a statue of his old boss at the state Capitol - and more than a few lawmakers agree.

Assembly Bill 2358, coauthored by just about every Republican in the Assembly, would authorize a statue of the late president and California governor on the Capitol grounds. Its construction and maintenance would be paid for by private donations.

"The reality is this," said Elmets, who plans to raise money for the effort. "He is one of the only presidents who has also served as governor of a state that does not have a statue at the state Capitol."

The bill is scheduled to be heard in committee next week.

Elmets said supporters of the project haven't decided where to put the statue, or who will make it. He estimated the cost at anywhere from $80,000 to $200,000.

The Legislature has some history with Reagan memorials. Two years after Reagan's death, lawmakers elected in 2006 to put a bronze statue of him in the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall.

The statue displaced one of Thomas Starr King, the abolitionist who died in 1864. King's statue was moved to the state Capitol and dedicated there in 2009.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Thomas Starr King.



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