As November rolls around, we are reminded of a day that holds a special place in the hearts of countless Americans – Veterans Day. On this occasion, we pause to reflect on the sacrifices, courage, and unwavering commitment of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Honoring our veterans is about recognizing the sacrifices they've made. It's the sleepless nights and missed birthdays, anniversaries, and family gatherings. It's the physical and emotional scars, the injuries, and the post-traumatic stress that some bear for the rest of their lives. It's the time away from home and the loved ones left behind. It's the uncertainty and the courage to face danger head-on.
More than 186,000 veterans call Arkansas home. That equals close to 6% of our state’s population.
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 living here.
In the last Regular Session, we passed Act 395 defines “homestead” for purposes of the property tax exemption for disabled veterans, surviving spouses, and minor dependent children of disabled veterans.
The General Assembly also passed Act 201 and Act 137.
Act 201 seeks to have veteran disability benefits excluded as income for eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by directing DHS to seek a federal waiver.
Act 137 allows a licensing agency to consider national certifications toward occupational licensure requirements for uniformed service members and veterans. It also extends the application for initial licensure to the spouse of a uniformed service member or a uniformed service veteran and removes the one-year limit for veterans to apply for service education, training, or certifications toward occupational licensure.
We will continue to review proposals to improve the lives of veterans in Arkansas. We encourage Arkansans to consider ways they can support our veterans this Veterans Day and throughout the year.
Veterans Day is not just a day on the calendar; it's a time for us to pause, reflect, and appreciate the sacrifices and bravery of our veterans. It is a reminder that the debt we owe them is immeasurable, but we can still strive to repay it with gratitude, respect, and support.