Press Release: Gov. Glenn Youngkin Ceremonial Signs Legislation to Support Virginia’s Military Veteran Community and Proclamation Honoring Armed Forces Day

RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin ceremonially signed 23 bills highlighting the priorities of Virginia’s military and veteran community. After delivering remarks, Governor Youngkin also signed a proclamation to honor Armed Forces Day, which will be recognized on May 21, 2022.

“Making Virginia the best place for military service members and their families to live and the number one state for service members to retire has been a priority of mine since day one. Our military makes sacrifices daily, and the Commonwealth owes them great gratitude and support to them and their families, ” said Governor Youngkin. “ I am proud of the significant bipartisan effort around the 23 bills we are here to celebrate today, but this is just the beginning. When the time comes for service members to retire…to turn the page on the next chapter of their life…we want them to make Virginia their permanent home. To help make that possible, we are working diligently to eliminate taxes on the first $40,000 in military retirement pay. Our message is simple: when you come back to the safety of our shores and eventually retire, we want you to retire here, in the great Commonwealth of Virginia.”

“As a Marine veteran, it is heartwarming to see the many pieces of legislation that passed to encourage veterans to call Virginia home – for work reciprocity for spouses, and for their children to have educational choices. Promises made, promises kept,” said Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears.

“Freedom is not free. Virginia’s veteran and military community have dedicated their lives to preserving America’s freedom,” said Attorney General Jason Miyares. “Growing up and living in a military community, I have the utmost respect and admiration for the brave men and women who have served and those currently serving in the armed forces. There is no braver or more selfless group than the United States military, and Virginia is dedicated to supporting them.”

“I am pleased with this package of bills and the services it provides to our National Guardsmen, Veterans, and their families and look forward to furthering this work in the sessions to come,” said Secretary Craig Crenshaw, Secretary of Veteran and Defense Affairs.

Additionally, reflecting on Armed Forces Day, Governor Youngkin added: “This is a great opportunity to pay tribute to these brave men and women who keep our nation safe every day. It is because of them we get the privilege of calling our Commonwealth and nation safe and free. As Governor, it is my honor to recognize our heroes by signing this Armed Forces Day Proclamation.”

A copy of the Armed Forces Day Proclamation can be found here.

Watch the full event here.

Governor Youngkin Ceremonially Signed Four Day One Game Plan Bills Including:

HB 358, patroned by Delegate John McGuire, R-Goochland, and SB 572, patroned by Senator Jen Kiggans, R-Virginia Beach, which Directs the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, in conjunction with the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, to examine the waiving of fees associated with permits necessary to establish a small business for veteran-owned small businesses.

HB 994, patroned by Delegate Emily Brewer, R-Isle of Wight, and SB 529, patroned by Senator Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, which directs the Board of Education to determine the feasibility of amending its regulations to permit all active duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States who serve as caregivers to dependents to apply for the Child Care Subsidy Program.

Governor Youngkin Ceremonially Signed 19 Additional Bills Including:

HB 17, patroned by Delegate Buddy Fowler, R-Hanover, and SB 618, patroned by Senator Richard Stewart, R-King George, which exempts members of a lawfully recognized military color guard, honor guard, or similar organization, and members of a veterans service organization that is congressionally chartered or officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, when such member is participating in a training or educational exercise, funeral, or public ceremony on behalf of such military color guard, honor guard, or similar organization or veterans service organization, from the crime of unlawful paramilitary activity unless such member engages in such activity with malicious intent.

HB 40, patroned by Delegate Phillip Scott, R-Spotsylvania, which authorizes a disabled veteran special license plate issued to a disabled veteran to be transferred, upon his death, to his unremarried surviving spouse.

HB 120, patroned by Delegate Scott Wyatt, R-Hanover, which authorizes resident veterans who have a service-connected disability of at least 30 percent to receive from the Department of Wildlife Resources, at no cost or a reduced cost depending on the veteran’s disability rating, a lifetime license to hunt and freshwater fish.

HB 210, patroned by Delegate Emily Brewer, R-Isle of Wight, and SB 256, patroned by Senator John Bell, D-Loudon, which authorizes the Department of Military Affairs to utilize grant funding to recruit qualified applicants for service in the Virginia National Guard.

HB 230, patroned by Delegate Carrie Coyner, R-Chesterfield, and SB 154, patroned by Senator Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, which requires the Board of Education’s licensure regulations to provide for licensure by reciprocity for any spouse of an active duty or reserve member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a member of the Virginia National Guard who has obtained a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, that is in force at the time the application for a Virginia license is received by the Department of Education.

HB 231, patroned by Delegate Bobby Orrock, R-Caroline, which increases, from 15 to 21 days, the number of days a member of the armed services, reserves, National Guard, Virginia Defense Force, or National Defense Executive Reserve shall be entitled to paid leave for military duties.

HB 354, patroned by Delegate Anne Ferrell Tata, R-Virginia Beach, and SB 315, patroned by Senator Lionell Spruill, D-Northern Chesapeake, which establishes the Virginia Military Community Infrastructure Grant Fund to support military communities in the Commonwealth by awarding grants to aid the planning and design, construction, or completion of infrastructure projects that enhance military readiness, installation resiliency, or quality of life for military communities.

HB 642, patroned by Delegate Betsy Carr, D-Richmond City, and SB 719, patroned by Senator John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, which provides that the Department of Military Affairs shall have the power to pay the employer portion of health care premiums for any member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force when certain circumstances are met.

HB 857, patroned by Delegate David Reid, D-Loudon, and SB 71, patroned by Senator Frank Ruff, R-Mecklenburg, which adds parameters around grants distributed by the Department of Military Affairs to members of the Virginia National Guard who are enrolled in any course or program at any public institution of higher education or accredited nonprofit private institution of higher education.

HB 957, patroned by Delegate Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax County, which provides that beginning with taxable year 2022, any locality may declare real property owned by a surviving spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who died in the line of duty with a line of duty determination from the U.S. Department of Defense, where such death was not the result of criminal conduct, and where the spouse occupies the real property as his principal place of residence and does not remarry, a separate class of property for local taxation of real property that may be taxed at a different rate than that imposed on the general class of real property, provided that the rate of tax is greater than zero and does not exceed the rate of tax on the general class of real property.

HB 1203, patroned by Delegate Anne Ferrell Tata, R-Virginia Beach, which establishes the position of Suicide Prevention Coordinator in the Department of Veterans Services to support and closely coordinate effective mental health care services for military service members and veterans and their families.

SB 212, patroned by Senator Jen Kiggans, R-Virginia Beach, which authorizes the issuance of revenue-sharing special license plates with a design that incorporates the emblem of the United States Navy to active members and certain veterans of the United States Navy.

SB 768, patroned by Senator Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, which amends the definition of “qualified survivors and dependents” under the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program to include that a child who is a stepchild of a deceased military service member shall receive all program benefits if the military service member claimed the stepchild on his tax return or on his Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System while serving on active duty.