United States: North Carolina General Assembly Week In Review: Spotlight On Veterans And Military

Thank You Veterans and Military Personnel

On behalf of the McGuireWoods Consulting LLC Raleigh office, thank you to our veterans and military personnel for your service, sacrifice, and protecting our freedom.

ICYMI, Political News

Ribbon Cutting

On Tuesday Governor Pat McCrory celebrated the ribbon cutting and dedication of the historic downtown Raleigh Seaboard building, which will house the newly created Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Approximately 200 veterans and service members were in attendance at the ceremony.

Gov. McCrory stated, “Today is an important step in building on our accomplishments and reinforcing North Carolina’s reputation as one of the most military and veteran friendly states in the country.”

Read the press release here.

NOT RUNNING

On Monday Rep. Ken Waddell (D-Columbus) announced he will not seek reelection in 2016. Rep. Waddell joins twelve other general assembly members not seeking reelection. Rep. Waddell, a retired educator, is in his second term in the House.

Spotlight on Veterans and Military

This session, the legislature supported Gov. McCrory’s request to create a Department of Military and Veteran Affairs in its budget bill, H97, Appropriations Act of 2015 . The Department is led by retired Marine Corps Major General, Cornell Wilson. Secretary Wilson stated, “As a cabinet level position, you have a greater opportunity to influence the decisions that are made in the legislature, and also with the federal government.”

Additionally, the following bills became law during 2015:

H97, Appropriations Act of 2015

  • Reauthorizes the Division of Motor Vehicles to produce a special registration plate for military veterans and removes the requirement that the division must receive a minimum number of applications before issuing the plate.
  • Enhances benefits payable through the National Guard Pension Fund.
  • Authorizes United States Department of Defense-certified child care facilities to participate in the state-subsidized child care program.
  • Allocates funding for Armory Facility Development Projects.
  • Increases funding by $200,000 for the National Guard Tuition Assistance Program.
  • Increases contributions from the General Fund to the National Guard Pension Fund by over $1 million.
  • Provides $1 million in funding for the UNC Core program, an online program for active duty service members and veterans housed at the Friday Center for Continuing Education at UNC Chapel Hill.

H140, Lineman Appreciation Day in NC
Designates the eighteenth day of April 2015, and the second Monday in April of each year thereafter as Lineman Appreciation Day.

H254, Protect National Guard Reemployment Rights
Extends National Guard reemployment rights to members of the national guards of other states.

H340, Weekend Burials/State Veterans Cemeteries
Provides for weekend burials at all of the state's veterans cemeteries.

H558, Reserve & Nat. Guard/Military Affairs Comm.
Ensures representation on the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission of the North Carolina National Guard and a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces.

H595, Military Experience/LEO Cert. Requirements
Recognizes experience as military police officers for purposes of law enforcement certification and increases the size of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.

H691, Assault on National Guard Member
Makes it a felony to assault a member of the North Carolina National Guard who is discharging or attempting to discharge official duties.

H709, NCNG Tuition Assistance Benefit Amendment
Allows members of the North Carolina National Guard who are enrolled in a program granting a graduate certificate to be eligible for the North Carolina National Guard tuition assistance benefit.

S37, Waive Tuition/Fallen Officer Was Guardian
Provides that the tuition waiver for survivors of law enforcement officers, firefighters, or rescue squad workers and certain others also applies to children whose legal guardians or legal custodians are law enforcement officers, firefighters, or rescue squad workers.

S43, CDLs for Veterans Revisions
Extends the period from 90-days to one-year that the Division of Motor Vehicles may waive the skills test for qualified military applicants at the time they are applying for a commercial drivers license. This change became effective immediately upon signature into law.

S545, Workforce Enrichment/Veterans
Requires occupational licensing boards to license military-trained veterans who pass a proficiency examination offered by the occupational licensing board for veterans.

Gov. McCrory and the NC General Assembly honored military personnel and veterans with the following proclamations and resolutions in 2015:

Proclamations

Employ a Veteran Week

70th Anniversary of the Ending of World War II

Marine Corps League Day

Military Appreciation Day

Memorial Day

Military Appreciation Month

Month of the Military Child

Resolutions

HR665, Honor State’s Veterans
House Resolution honoring the state's veterans by expressing appreciation for their service to our state and nation.

SJR421, Military Appreciation Month
Joint Resolution expressing gratitude and appreciation to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

SR580, Honor State’s Veterans
Senate Resolution expressing gratitude and appreciation to our veterans.

SJR720, Honor World War II Veterans
Joint Resolution honoring the veterans of World War II.

Legislation to Watch For in 2016

H842, Medicaid Waiver Protections/Military Families

S105, Include No. Veterans Employed/Annual Report

S495, Provide Funding/NC Military Business Centers

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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