Leavitt bills to support military families and veterans headed to the Governor’s desk. 

OLYMPIA – The Washington state legislature has passed a series of bills, sponsored by Rep. Mari Leavitt, University Place, that will help veterans and military families gain access to resources, workforce training and physician assistant certification. 

House Bill 1943 extends the Washington National Guard Postsecondary Education Grant to the direct family of a Washington National Guard member. Additionally, it expands the time that qualifying individuals may use the program, given the various missions they are called upon to perform. 

The legislature also approved House Bill 1917, which enters the state into a physician assistant (PA) interstate compact. This makes it easier for PAs to get certification once they have moved to Washington. This helps alleviate workforce issues in the industry but also benefits military-connected families who are trying to find employment after reassignment. 

In addition, Senate Bill 5803 will provide a referral bonus for a Washington National Guard member who successfully recruits a new enlistment contract. This creates an incentive of up to $500 per recruitment for existing Guard members to help bolster the critical ranks. Rep. Leavitt sponsored the House version of the policy, House Bill 1869, and worked extensively with stakeholders and the Washington Military Department. 

“Our service members make sacrifices, but so do their families,” said Leavitt. “We must acknowledge the service of military families. Making it easier for military-connected families to get workforce training, a college degree, or simply get certified to practice as a physician assistant are important steps in supporting all military families, regardless of branch of service.” 

The legislature also sent House Bill 1862 to the governor, extending a Business and Occupation tax credit to nonprofits serving veterans with disabilities which are located on military installations. It also extends a sales tax exemption to disabled veterans while utilizing those facilities. 

“This is an important step to aid non-profit service providers serving the veterans who must now navigate life with a disability and provide this tax break for our veterans and disabled veterans,” continued Leavitt. “I am grateful these bills are headed to the Governor’s desk.”