beshear flags 300FRANKFORT, Ky. (7/1/13) – Governor Steve Beshear today ceremonially signed three bills to improve benefits and services to veterans and members of the military.

“We can never repay our military men and women for their service and sacrifice,” said Gov. Beshear, “But we can, in fact we must, act where appropriate to lessen the hardship that military service sometimes creates to provide deserving recognition, to support our military installations, and to help our veterans and active service members take advantage of opportunities.”

House Bill 167 houses several additional measures related to the Commonwealth’s military, veteran and public protection agencies, including declaring Kentucky as a Purple Heart state, allowing Kentucky to officially and formally recognize and honor the prestigious decoration and those Kentuckians who have been wounded or killed in the service of our country by being engaged in combat with an enemy force while protecting our freedom.

Sponsors of the measure include: Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, of Lexington; Rep. Tanya Pullin, of South Shore; Rep. Reggie Meeks, of Louisville; and Sen. Dennis Parrett, of Elizabethtown.

House Bill 272, sponsored by Rep. Dwight Butler, of Harned, requires the design of the Purple Heart license plates to include a picture of the Purple Heart medal and the words “Combat Wounded.” The design changes take effect during the next re-plating cycle.

The Purple Heart license plate is one of several military veteran license plates available to Kentucky veterans. A total of $5 from the sale of each license plate goes to support the Kentucky Veterans Program Trust Fund.

House Bill 167, sponsored by Rep. Bob Damron, of Nicholasville, includes several significant initiatives related to the Department of Military Affairs and the Kentucky National Guard. First, this legislation enhances the Commonwealth’s ability to support growth by our defense-related businesses operating at Lexington's Bluegrass Station.

Employment at Bluegrass Station has grown from 600 jobs in 1995 to approximately 2,800 jobs today, with 800 of those jobs created over the past 5 years. This legislation protects tax exempt status for military contractor “built-to-suit” projects on the 700-acre compound, providing for continuing economic growth and stability for Kentuckians.

Second, the legislation fully replaced the Kentucky National Guard’s outdated Kentucky Code of Military Justice (KCMJ), created in 1954 and last updated in 1986, with a modern code based on the national Model State Code of Military Justice developed by the National Guard Bureau, modified to comply with the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The new code creates a military justice system that is more easily understood by the soldiers and airmen whom it covers, and provides more consistency throughout military service whether under Title 10 (federal funding/federal control), Title 32 (federal funding/state control) or State Active Duty (state funding/state control) military status.

The legislation also codifies an executive reorganization for the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, creating the Kentucky Intelligence Fusion Center – a unified hub for law enforcement and military agencies at all levels in the fight against criminal activity and domestic and international terrorism.

Additionally, the legislation designates the Kentucky Long Rifle as the official gun of Kentucky.

Finally, House Bill 149, sponsored by Rep. Pullin who is chair of the House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee, codifies the intent of the Veterans’ Program Trust Fund, clarifying the role of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) as manager of the Fund.

The bill also extends eligibility for the Kentucky Medal for Freedom to members of the armed forces killed in action who are buried in Kentucky on or after July 15, 2008, and who have a surviving spouse, parent or next available family member who is a Kentucky resident.

“Some of these changes may seem small, but they mean a great deal to the Kentucky veterans and their families who benefit from them,” said KDVA Commissioner Ken Lucas. “We appreciate always having Gov. Beshear’s full and unwavering support.”

“I am proud to have sponsored House Bill 167, but this bill’s numerous measures certainly would not have been possible without the help and hard work of all other legislators who sponsored pieces of legislation that became a part of my bill,” said Rep. Bob Damron, sponsor of HB167. “The measures within HB167 signify Kentucky’s continued dedication to its servicemen and women, veterans and homeland security operations, and I am honored to have been a part of its passage.”

“Our servicemen and women devote their lives to ensure our freedom, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart is an organization all Kentuckians value,” said Rep. Dwight Butler. “I am honored to have sponsored HB272 recognizing Combat Wounded Purple Heart veterans in Kentucky with a special commemorative license plate.”
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by the office of Gov. Steve Beshear

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

April 23, 2015 7709

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News
April 20, 2015 4980

Nortonville Woman Charged with Meth Possession at…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 24, 2015 4306

UPDATE: Police Can't Substantiate Injured Man…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 22, 2015 4038

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 22,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers
April 22, 2015 3958

Madisonville Man Accused of Domestic Violence/Rape

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 12595

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 02, 2015 8871

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 26, 2015 937

New Drug Helps Farmer with Parkinson's Return to…

by Laura Dawahare
April 26, 2015 564

White Plains Civil War Festival Provides Learning…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 26, 2015 497

College of Education Alum's Studies, Experience…

by Amanda Nelson
April 26, 2015 469

Legislator's Log - Week of April 26, 2015

by Brent Yonts
April 26, 2015 465

Spring Lawn, Garden Fair Participants Learn from…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 26, 2015 459

Dave Says - April 26, 2015

by Dave Ramsey
April 26, 2015 442

Mother's Day Buffet Planned at State Parks May 10

by Gil Lawson
April 26, 2015 426

Outdoor Truths - April 26, 2015

by Gary Miller
April 27, 2015 412

Mustangs Lose to Ohio County via Shutout

by Steve LeMaster
April 26, 2015 299

Dawson Springs Mule, Draft Horse Days Come to a…

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News