Lieutenant Gov. Will Ainsworth applauds the legislature's passage of a bill package meant to improve the lives of veterans, service members and their families in Alabama.

The 2023 legislature concluded its business on June 6 after passing eight bills designed to improve the lives of military service members in the state. 

The Alabama Military Stability Commission, designed to expand the footprint of federal military bases and other Department of Defense infrastructure across the state, presented a bill package to address needs in the state. The bills in the package received final passage before the session ended.

Ainsworth, who chairs the Alabama Military Stability Commission, applauded the bills, calling the legislation the "least we can do for the men and women who serve our nation."

"Alabama is working hard every day to meet the many needs of active service members, military families, and veterans who remain here once their service ends," Ainsworth said. "The jobs, incomes, and revenues that Alabama's military facilities generate are important drivers of our economy, and we are doing everything possible to keep those defense assets growing and expanding for many decades to come."

The legislative package included the following bills:

House Bill 44 (HB44) by State Rep. Chris Blackshear (R-Phenix City) expands the composition of the Military Stability Commission to include representatives from Fort Moore, previously known as Fort Benning. A study by the Military Stability Commission reported that Fort Moore, located in Columbus, Georgia, provides 4,346 jobs in Russell and Lee counties with a payroll of $151 million and an economic impact of $472 million.

Senate Bill 17 (SB17) by State Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison) provides that all state references to the United States Armed Forces should include the United States Space Force.

SB37 by State Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville) extends professional license reciprocity to spouses of United States Department of Defense contractor's spouses.

SB46 by State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) establishes the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact allowing teachers licensed in compact member states to teach in Alabama as long as their license requirements meet or exceed Alabama's requirements.

SB67 by State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) provides flexibility for educational tuition reimbursement for active members of the Alabama National Guard.

HB246 by Representative Kenneth Paschal (R-Pelham) creates a compact allowing licensed cosmetologists to practice in participating states to also practice within Alabama.

HB129 by State Rep. Kenneth Paschal (R-Pelham) outlines the proper and respectful final disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of military veterans in a state or national cemetery.

HB210 by State Rep. Rhett Marques (R-Enterprise) allows active military members who have motor vehicles registered in Alabama but who are required to reside in another state under their military assignment to satisfy their mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance requirement by purchasing liability coverage in the state where they are stationed on active duty.

"Of all my responsibilities as lieutenant governor, working to ease the lives of our nation's soldiers, veterans, and the families that love them is the one that brings me the most personal satisfaction," Ainsworth continued. "Military service is a deep commitment for those who sign the enlistment papers and for the spouses and children who accompany them from duty station to duty station, so making their transition to Alabama easier is the least we can do for the men and women who serve our nation."

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