Governor Ducey signs legislation to honor veterans and ease burdens

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PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey took action today to continue honoring veterans, signing two bills to reduce barriers for the women and men who have served our nation.

Both bipartisan bills reduce the financial burden of licensing fees for veterans, building on several veteran-focused bills signed into law this session. This includes a Investment of 10 million dollars to abolish tuition fees for their spousesa commitment made during his January State of the State Address.

“Our veterans give us so much, and Arizona is dedicated to finding more ways to honor them,” Governor Ducey said. “This session, we delivered. We followed through on our statewide pledge to launch a program to waive in-state tuition for the devoted husbands and wives of veterans who also served and sacrificed. Arizona will continue to break down barriers and give back to this selfless and courageous community.

HB 2741, sponsored by Representative Joanne Osborne, waives state business license fees for military spouses and honorably discharged veterans, helping those who have served their country start their own businesses.

This decision adds to the current rule that agencies must waive any initial business license fee for an applicant whose income does not exceed 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.

“I was honored to sponsor HB 2741, which will have a tremendous impact on military families and veterans who have recently been discharged from the military,” Rep. Osborne said. “In Arizona, career opportunities are widely available, and we should ensure that military spouses are able to further their careers in Arizona by waiving their licensing fees. I thank my fellow legislators who passed this law and Governor Ducey for enacting it.

“Through Arizona’s Roadmap for Veteran Employment, we’ve seen how consistent employment can stabilize the military family,” said retired Air Force Col. Wanda. Wright, director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services. “This fee waiver represents an important next step in breaking down barriers and creating a pathway to employment for military members, their spouses and veterans who have or are transitioning from military life to civilian life.”

HB 2701, sponsored by Rep. Leo Biasiucci, lowers hunting and fishing license fees issued by the Arizona Game and Fish Department for veterans. Under the new law, veterans with service-related disabilities will receive a 25% discount on their hunting and fishing licenses and Purple Heart recipients will receive a 50% discount.

“It is important that we continue to support those who have done so much to protect our nation: veterans,” Rep. Biasiucci said. “HB 2701 achieves this by reducing the cost of hunting and fishing licenses for veterans in Arizona. I am pleased to see this legislation signed into law by the Governor, and thank everyone who has shown their support.

“The Arizona Department and Fish and Game Commission has a long history of honoring our veterans, it’s another way we continue to thank them for their service,” said Ty Gray, director of the Department of Arizona hunting and fishing. “Thank you to Governor Ducey and the Arizona Legislature for the opportunity to offer this to the brave men and women who have served our country and appreciate the role our veterans play in wildlife conservation.”

Veteran-focused bills the governor has signed into law this session include:
SB 1115 student status in the state; veterans (Borrelli)
Veterans Service Department SB 1212; commission; sequel (leaching)
SB 1406 excused military absences; higher education (Gowan)
military HB 2062; purple heart; ALV Exemptions (Blackman)
emergency HB 2223; military affairs; National Guard (Blackman)
veterans organization HB 2320; rented property; ranking (Kavanagh)

CONTEXT
Throughout his administration, Governor Ducey has worked to expand opportunities in Arizona for those who have answered the call to serve our nation.

The Arizona Coalition for Military Families helps veterans build rewarding careers outside the service.

The Arizona Roadmap for Veteran Employment– developed in partnership by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, and public and private sector partners – is a statewide plan that engages organizations to connect military, veterans and their families to employment opportunities and other essential resources.

Under Get Connected: Career navigation section of the roadmap, professional career navigators assist military members, veterans, spouses, and family members through resume coaching, interview preparation, and career counseling. The Coalition also helps train employers in military and veteran culture and to understand a veteran’s transition to a civilian workplace. The Career Navigation team matches job seekers with employers.

The Arizona Department of Veterans Services, in partnership with [email protected] and the Arizona Housing Coalition – offers the Veteran Toolboxwhich provides eligible veterans with funds for expenses associated with starting employment, including work clothes, tools, protective gear, transportation and essential electronics.

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