Bill protecting dignity of Gold Star families passes House
March 1, 2017 | By Rep. Kristine Reeves
OLYMPIA – For the family members of Armed Forces members who die as a result of service to their country, the state and federal government offer benefits to help. One such state benefit is the Gold Star license plate, which is free of charge for one vehicle to the widow or widower. Unfortunately, there are those who would prey on these surviving spouses for financial gain.
“Imagine being a young widow of a fallen service member, wanting to honor your husband’s memory with a license plate disclosing your status as a Gold Star family, only to find yourself pursued in the grocery store parking lot or at your children’s daycare because someone is seeking financial gain at your expense,” said Reeves. “Losing a loved one in the service of their country shouldn’t result in nuisance by those looking for a pay day. We need to take care of our military service family members, and this is one small way to do that.”
Reeves sponsored HB 1320, which allows Gold Star widows or widowers to receive a standard Washington state license plate free of charge for one vehicle, to protect their Gold Star status from public view and avoid those who would abuse the disclosure of this status. The bill passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 98-0.