As I detailed in last week’s column, Missouri has the great honor of being home to a number of major military installations, including Whiteman Air Force Base, the United States Army Maneuver Support Center at Fort Leonard Wood and Rosecrans Air National Guard, which is critical to our region. With such a large military presence, my colleagues and I in the Legislature understand the importance of supporting our military service personnel.
I am proud to say Missouri lawmakers passed several measures during the 2016 session that will further improve the quality of life for our servicemen and women and their families. One of those is Senate Bill 814. Under this measure, after Jan. 1, 2016, any income earned by an active-duty military member through their service can be deducted from their total state taxable income. The bill also applies to active duty incomes that are filed as a combined return with a spouse. Senate Bill 814 is a means to further support those service members who are called to active duty to serve and defend our country.
We also passed Senate Bill 968, which allows current members of the Missouri National Guard, as well as members of the Armed Forces reserve, to receive in-state tuition at any public four-year higher education institution and in-district residency for two-year schools. Additionally, the measure reauthorizes the Wartime Veteran’s Survivor Grant Program until 2020, with the opportunity to be reauthorized. This great program provides financial aid to the spouses and children of wartime veterans who were killed or injured in the line of duty. Senate Bill 968 also modifies the Missouri Returning Heroes’ Education Act to help ensure Missouri’s combat veterans are able to receive the most affordable education possible.
Both of these measures are a reflection of Missouri lawmakers’ steadfast commitment to improving the lives of the veterans and military families who call the Show-Me State home. It is essential to support our service members and our military communities in Missouri. I am proud to have supported these measures.
As always, please feel free to call, email, or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is [email protected] and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.