Arkansas is home to more than 222,000 veterans. That equals close to 10% of our adult population.
Whether they served in times of war or peace, our veterans all share an unwavering belief in the cause of freedom.
As we approach Veterans Day, we want to extend our sincere appreciation to those who despite the risk and sacrifice, raised their hand to serve and defend our country. We are also grateful to families of service members and veterans who also serve this nation with their support and sacrifice.
The Arkansas General Assembly continually reviews ways to ensure our veterans and their families are well cared for and that our policies make life a little easier for those who call Arkansas home.
In 2017, we passed Act 141 which exempts military retirement benefits from state income tax. It is estimated that there are close to 25,000 military retirees living in Arkansas.
In the last Regular Session, we passed Act 988 which allows dependents of certain veterans to receive tuition waivers to private, nonprofit institutions of higher education; and caps the amount of the tuition waiver for dependents of certain veterans. This is an expansion of previous legislation assisting families in public higher education institutions.
We also passed Act 58 creates a veterans treatment specialty court program. This General Assembly passed Act 888 which waives the licensing fee for a license to carry a concealed handgun if the applicant is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces or is currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. And we passed Act 640 which ensures that the Suicide Prevention Hotline employs individuals who have experience working with veterans.
We encourage Arkansans to consider ways they can support our veterans this Veterans Day and throughout the year.
There are numerous volunteer opportunities across the state. Medical facilities, VA hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics need volunteers to perform a wide range of duties.
You can find links to resources for our veterans at veterans.arkansas.gov.