"They did not know if they would survive the hour. They did not know if they would grow old. But they knew that America had to prevail. Their cause was this Nation, and generations yet unborn.”
– President Donald Trump
This week, our nation and world recognized the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. The brave soldiers who put their lives on the line that day to secure the world’s freedom will never be forgotten.
Today, men and women continue to fight for our citizens’ liberty, life and the pursuit of happiness. They fight around the world to secure our borders while their brothers and sisters in arm courageously keep our citizens safe on our soil. We owe them a debt of gratitude for all they do to keep us safe each and every day.
While we can never thank these brave men and women enough, I believe it is our duty to ensure we pass legislation that will ease any burdens for those returning home and for those who fight each and every day. During the 2019 session, we passed legislation that is leading us in the right direction but we recognize there is always more work that can be done.
Below are some highlights of legislation that passed and was signed into law which will have an impact on members of our military and veterans:
· Senate Bill 140 will extend the World War I Commission until December 31, 2019. This legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
· Senate Bill 170 honors the life of those men and women of the United States Armed Forces who paid the ultimate sacrifice by designating ‘The Honor and Remember’ flag as the state’s emblem of services and sacrifice. This legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
· House Bill 25 allows servicemen to terminate contracts when they are deployed. This includes internet, cable (television/video), audio and establishments like gyms whose primary purpose is to improve a person’s physical condition and health. Under HB 25, a relocation order of at least 90 days is required. This legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
· House Bill 33 allows active duty military members whose weapons carry license expired while they were serving on duty out of state to be authorized to carry a weapon with an expired license for six months from the date of their discharge from active duty or reassignment, to a location back in Georgia. The individual must also carry with them a copy of their official military orders or written verification signed by their commanding officer as proof of authorization. This legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
· House Bill 59 allows students, who have a military parent or guardian on active duty in the United States Armed Forces who has received military orders to relocate within the state, to enroll in the public school of the attendance zone they will be relocated to prior to establishing physical residency. A copy of official military orders will need to be presented upon enrollment. This legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
· House Bill 64, "Protecting Military Children Act,” requires a child welfare agency to make efforts to determine whether a parent or guardian of an abused or allegedly abused child is on active duty in the United States Armed Forces. If so, HB 64 requires relevant military law enforcement to be notified. This legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
On the anniversary of D-Day and every other day, I encourage you to be grateful for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who are currently fighting to secure your rights to live the “American Dream.” It is our duty to pass legislation that will positively impact these brave men and women. I look forward to continue this work on their behalf. The courage it takes to run into a battle that everyone else is running from may never be known to some, but to those who volunteer to keep our nation safe, I say thank you.