SALEM (WSLS 10) – Virginia strives to be Veteran friendly. Veterans groups and lawmakers talked about priorities for the next General Assembly session at the first Veterans Legislative Forum.
On the agenda is a summary of Proposed 2017 initiatives including:
-Guard Income Tax Subtraction: that the Governor and General Assembly increase the state income tax subtraction level for members of the Virginia National Guard from $3,000 to $5,000 per year
-In-state tuition for all members of the Reserve Components
-Virginia Veterans and Family Support Services: Recommendation that the Governor and General Assembly appropriate additional funds and new full time positions for the Virginia Veteran and Family Support as requested by the work group
-Electronic Ballot Return: that the Governor and General Assembly promote the development, approval and budgeting of secure procedures to permit the electronic return of absentee ballot by overseas uniformed military voters
We’re told Legislators shared as much information as they could.
“There is much going on in the General assembly that can, should and will affect veterans. Many of the issues that were raised or budgetary issues and obviously in a time when the Virginia budget is under stress that’s going to be difficult to get some of those items passed,” said John Miller, Retired Army Colonel. “What was learned is how little we know about some of the things that are going on that affect veterans in our commonwealth.”
The ideas come out an organization at the Commonwealth level made up of various veterans organizations that make recommendations to the General assembly and the governor.
Miller says the forum was well attended in Lynchburg and he hopes this becomes an annual event.