I’m happy to say the first bill I passed this year will help our veterans.
House Bill 1829 changes how counties can raise funds through the veterans’ assistance levy. In committee, supporters of the legislation testified that the veterans’ assistance levy is now part of a county’s general fund, which has limits. The effect is many counties don’t levy the maximum rate for veterans’ assistance.
Allowing counties to make a separate veterans’ assistance levy would free up funds to help local veterans.
This is about doing whatever we can to serve those who served our country. If this becomes law, counties will have a much stronger tool to help veterans in their community.
We heard in committee how these funds help local veterans struggling with homelessness, substance abuse or other issues. The money also let counties pay for help like rent assistance, heat, medical expenses, eyeglasses, mental health counseling and funerals.
A few hundred dollars can often make a life-changing difference.
And as the father of US Army enlisted soldier, I know the importance of providing key services to our veterans.
This bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support, 67-29. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.
I’m quite hopeful that this bill will become law, and when it does, it will help our veterans across the state, whether they live in Port Angeles, Yakima or Spokane.
Other legislation on veterans
There are other proposed laws being considered here in the House to help veterans, and I was happy to co-sponsor these bills:
- House Bill 1448— Creating the veterans service officer program.
- House Bill 1939— Concerning housing and supportive services for homeless and at-risk veterans in rural areas.
- House Bill 2185— Assisting spouses and dependents of active duty military by ensuring affordable access to higher education.
- House Bill 2187— Creating Washington state women veterans special license plates.
- House Bill 2188— Increasing the types of commercial driver’s license qualification waivers allowed for military veterans.
Please share your story
If you’re part of a military family and want to share your story, or offer your voice in support of these bills, I would love to hear from you. Those personal stories from the 24th District are the strongest tools we can use to help get legislation passed and signed into law.
You can reach me by email, regular mail, telephone or the toll-free Hotline.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!