Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Honoring Missouri’s Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces

The Missouri Legislature strives to give honor where honor is due. One thing everyone can agree on is that honor is due the young women and men who have served in our nation’s armed forces. In the military, these young people gain technical and leadership skills that surpass many of their peers. Therefore, it is only fitting that we provide our veterans with opportunities to transfer their military skills to the college classroom.

Senate Bill 106 (Sen. Brown, R-16), requires public colleges and trade schools to accept credits for equivalent courses that veterans already passed as part of their military training. This act also exempts military members in the medical field from having to renew professional licenses while they are on active duty. These servicemen and women are often updating their medical knowledge through military courses, and, if they are stationed in a combat zone, they are learning under pressure in the classroom of experience.

SB 117 (Kraus, R-8) allows any individual who is separating from the military forces of the United States with an honorable discharge or a general discharge to be considered a resident student for admission and in-state tuition purposes at approved 4-year and 2-year colleges and universities. This is just another way of thanking veterans for their service and giving them more opportunities for their civilian careers.

SB 116 (Kraus, R-8) ensures that military members on active duty have fair access to exercising their right to vote. This act requires the Secretary of State to establish an electronic transmission system for uniformed voters stationed overseas. Through this system, military members may apply and receive voter registration materials and military-overseas ballots.

SB 110 (Brown, R-16), gives active military members more options for visiting their children of whom they don’t have full custody. This act allows a deploying parent to have access to his or her child, and protects the best interests of the child.

SB 186 (Brown, R-16) ensures the unclaimed remains of veterans are interred with the due respect they deserve.

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