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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
You and I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our veterans and active military men and women. They are the front lines of our defense, giving of themselves, and in some cases, paying the ultimate sacrifice so we can live in freedom. Imagine what the maps of the world would look like today had it not been for the strength, courage and willingness of our soldiers to give their all.
That's why, as a state representative, I am proud to support legislation that gives back to our veterans and active duty service members, including House Bill 2522 and House Bill 2915, both veterans-related bills of which I authored and introduced.
House Bill 2522 would allow a veteran to qualify for a Disabled American Veteran or Prisoner of War license plate if the veteran has a service-related disability and is receiving service-connected disability compensation at the 70 percent rate or higher. Current law provides eligibility only if the compensation rate is at 100 percent. This bill would allow more disabled veterans to benefit from receiving a fee-exempt license plate.
I am pleased to report this bill passed out of the House Community Development and Tribal Affairs Committee. It was referred to the House Transportation Committee, and is awaiting a hearing. I believe this measure is a small, but important way to give back to our veterans who have given so much in service to us and to their country.
House Bill 2915 would prohibit a court from including certain disability-related benefits or Veterans' Administration compensation in gross income for purposes of calculating child support obligation.
I stand strongly in support of requiring parents to meet their child support obligations. However, I believe it is shameful when a veteran who became disabled because he or she fought to protect our country is forced to live on the street or under a bridge because a court has taken such a large portion of their disability payments for child support obligations.
We have too many homeless veterans. Their service to our country should mean something. This does not prevent a court from including other compensation. It just prevents disability-related and VA compensation to be considered as gross income in child-support calculations.
HB 2915 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. I am still working to get a hearing on the bill.It was also my honor on Friday to join with the entire House of Representatives in sponsoring and supporting a resolution honoring the Washington National Guard.
President George Washington once said, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” That's why it is so important for us to do what we can to improve the lives of Washington state's 615,000 veterans.
I welcome your comments. My contact information is below.
"Protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!"
469 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7812 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000