I have spent my years in the legislature supporting bills that reflect the gratitude and respect that we, as citizens, feel for our military men and women. They give so much to protect our freedoms and we should do all that we can to provide opportunity for them and their families when they return home, as well as take care of them when they are in need of assistance. Below I have outlined just a few of the bills that I’ve supported to show my gratitude for the service of our men and women in the military:

  • Veterans affairs in the state of Utah used to be under the National guard. This legislation changed that, making Veterans Affairs a cabinet level department in the state.

  • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs was changed to the Department of Veterans’ and Military Affairs, allowing for more involvement and interaction from Hill Air Force Base.

  • tuition waiver to any state institution of higher learning was instituted for anyone who has received a purple heart as a result of military service.

  • The Scott B. Lundell Tuition Waiver for National Guard Members’ Surviving Dependents provides free college tuition at any state institution of higher learning for Utah resident dependents of a Guard member killed on active duty.

  • Property tax exemption for disabled veterans, or the dependents of military members killed while serving our country, was instituted.

  • An adjustment was made to the disabled veterans’ property tax deduction, which allows the amount of the deduction to increase as property values and inflation increase. This bill also creates an assumption of citizenship for all military veterans, leading to a decrease in the amount of paperwork needed in order to take advantage of this deduction.

  • The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, which allows for a more seamless school transition for military children as they move from state to state.

  • A requirement that Utah National Guard pay be on par with their federal counterparts.

  • A resolution supporting a veteran’s freedom memorial in the state.

  • Three veterans nursing homes were built using a method never before utilized. At the time Utah was in need of a veterans nursing home and had surplus finances to build one, the line for matching federal funding was long. I was able to work with Rob Bishop to get the VA to agree that if Utah were to build the facility with all of its own money, we would be reimbursed the federal portion at the time our turn came up. This strategy allowed us to build a home in Ogden. When the federal money was refunded to the state, we were able to use those funds to build in Provo and then St. George, at a time when the state wouldn’t have had the additional money otherwise.Click here for HB 492Click here for HB 493.