The 2013 Legislative Session is underway and will run until April 28, 2013. So far, a number of bills have been introduced and are moving through the legislative process that will impact veterans and their families.
WDVA keeps a list of State Legislation on its website (www.dva.wa.gov click About WDVA and Public Information) and also sends out a weekly email with the status of bills that the agency is monitoring.
Below are summaries of 9 of the 32 bills that are currently on the list:
Gold Star License Plates: HB 1132 and SB 5161
Allows Gold Star spouses to receive Washington’s Gold Star License Plate.
Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day: HB 1319
Declares March 30 of each year to be Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in Washington State. In addition to other holidays, public entities must display the POW/MIA flag on this day.
Veteran Owned Business: HB 1909 and SB 5834 (Governor request)
Asks public entities to do 5% of all purchasing and contracting with Veteran Owned Businesses certified by WDVA. Allows spouses to jointly own a business as long as the veteran is involved in day to day operations. Requires the veteran be a Washington State resident and the business be based in Washington State.
Veterans Innovations Program: SB 5273
Original Bill: Removes requirement for Washington’s Lottery to run a special Veterans Raffle to fund the Veterans Innovations Program and directs $300,000 of Lottery proceeds to the VIP. Also eliminates expiration date of the VIP.
Substitute Bill: Removes the requirement for Washington’s Lottery to run a special Veterans Raffle, but does not direct any Lottery funds to the VIP. Eliminates expiration date of the VIP.
Veterans Homes: HB 5691
Allows WDVA to operate the Walla Walla Veterans Home and eliminates outdated statutory language.
Veterans Designation on Driver’s License: SB 5775
Allows a person to apply to the Dept of Licensing to obtain a veteran designation on a driver’s license or identicard.
B&O Tax Exemption for Hiring Veterans: SB 5812 (Governor request)
Establishes the hire our heroes tax credit program. Provides a B&O tax of up to $3,000 to businesses hiring unemployed veterans.