HARRISBURG – Yesterday, during “National Guard & Veterans Day at the Capitol,” the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee advanced four measures important to the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Commonwealth’s nearly 800,000 veterans, said Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32), committee chairman.
Senate Bill 244, sponsored by Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41), would amend the Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption Program by excluding Veterans Disability payments from being included in the calculation of a veteran’s income in order to be eligible.
“This measure will help more veterans who are 100% disabled qualify for this important benefit,” said Stefano. “It is imperative that we ensure programs aimed at assisting veterans actually work for them.”
House Bill 2086, sponsored by Rep. Joe Kerwin (R-125), permanently allows members of the Pennsylvania National Guard to utilize Commonwealth vehicles during emergencies.
“During the pandemic, state agencies found many outdated laws that impeded response efforts,” said Stefano. “The governor temporarily waived some laws, but since the end of the pandemic, we have looked at which waivers ought to be permanently kept. This measure will ultimately help members of the National Guard do their job without unnecessary red tape.”
House Bill 2361, sponsored by Rep. Tracy Pennycuick (R-147), would designate June 12 as
“Women Veterans Day in Pennsylvania.”
“The first Women Veterans Day was observed in 2018 and is now commemorated in 14 states,” said Stefano. “I am hopeful that Pennsylvania will soon be the 15th to honor women who served our nation.
House Bill 2586, sponsored by Rep. Karen Boback (R-117), would designate March 29 as
“Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day in Pennsylvania.”
“The Tuskegee Airmen were vital to the success of the United States in World War II,” said Stefano. “In March of 1941, the 99th Pursuit Squadron, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen, received their flight training at a segregated air base in Tuskegee, AL, and became the first African American fighter squadron in the U.S. Army Air Corps.”
Each of the bills advance to the full Senate for further consideration.
Meanwhile, Stefano sponsored Senate Resolution 355, designating Sept. 20, 2022, as “National Guard and Veterans Day at the Capitol.”
“In 1747, Benjamin Franklin organized the ‘Philadelphia Associators,’ the precursor to the Pennsylvania National Guard,” said Stefano. “Today, Pennsylvania has the second largest Army National Guard in the nation and the fourth largest Air National Guard. With this resolution, we pay tribute to our citizens, soldiers, and airmen of the Pennsylvania National Guard, veterans of all services and components who have served, and their families.”
Click HERE for the video from the meeting.
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