We owe all of our veterans a debt we can never fully repay.
As Veterans Day approaches, we want to thank all of you who have served and who now continue to live and work in Arkansas.
We are home to over 225,000 veterans. Of those, 186,000 served in time of war.
Whether they served in time of war or peace, our veterans all share a common bond - their unwavering belief in the cause of freedom, a belief so strong they were willing to give their lives, if need be, in its defense.
Last week, we updated you on the progress of the new veteran’s home in North Little Rock. This week, we want to remind you about more recent legislation passed to keep our state a place where veterans and active military feel appreciated.
Act 141 will exempt military retirement benefits from state income tax beginning next year. We join 13 other states in doing this.
Around 26,000 Arkansans are currently receiving retirement pay.
We have also passed legislation to provide tuition assistance for soldiers and airmen of the Arkansas National Guard.
Act 741 allows a soldier or airman of the Arkansas National Guard to attend a state-supported institution of higher education tuition-free.
Act 204 requires the medical board, nursing board, pharmacy board, and dental board to waive annual renewal fees for active military members.
Act 131 states the driver’s license of military member will not expire while the individual is living out of state if he or she applies for an extension of the expiration date.
And Act 807 allows the Department of Veteran Affairs to create a data collection system to locate veterans and military families living in Arkansas. The information would be used to make sure they have access to information and resources available to them.
Our work on veteran affairs is a continual process. In the months ahead, many of us will be looking at new proposals to introduce in the next regular session.
The Arkansas House is very proud to say that 16 of our representatives have served their country. We will be sharing their photos and stories on our social media sites over the next several days.