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Veterans legislation awaiting signature by the Governor

On Wednesday, the Alabama Senate voted for legislation that updates the mission of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and positively impacts approximately 400,000 veterans and four state veterans' homes across the state.

House Bill 103 (HB103) is sponsored by State Representative Kenneth Paschal (R-Pelham). The bill was carried in the Senate by State Senator Gerald Allen (R - Cottondale). This legislation rebrands, reforms, and modernizes the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs by updating the Code of Alabama section governing the agency, which has remained unchanged since being enacted in 1945.

"The needs of veterans and their dependents in 2024 are vastly different from those in 1945, when the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and its responsibilities were first established," Rep. Paschal said. "By modernizing and bringing the statute governing the Veterans Affairs department up to date, we can provide better and more meaningful services to the men and women who wore a uniform and served our country."

This bill is recommended by the Alabama Military Stability Commission. This aims to uphold Alabama's reputation as the most military-friendly state in the nation.

HB103 seeks to reorganize responsibilities, clarify service areas and districts, and streamline sections for increased efficiency.

This legislation is sitting on Gov. Ivey's desk awaiting her consideration and signature.

Paschal is also the sponsor of HB283, which provides a state income tax exemption to pay that is earned by members of the National Guard and Reserves forces while on active duty in another country or while supplementing state or federal emergency response efforts.

Rep. Paschal is a U.S. Army veteran with 21 years of service. During his military career, Paschal earned the rank of First Sergeant and received numerous commendations and leadership awards while on duty. Paschal previously served as post commander of American Legion Post 555 of Pelham and was appointed by the Legion's national commander to serve on the National Executive Americanism Council.

The 2024 Alabama Regular Legislative Session ends ended over a week ago.

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