Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear Signs Bills to Benefit and Honor Veterans

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 22, 2011  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Jill Midkiff

New laws affect tuition, property taxes and more

FRANKFORT, Ky.--Governor Steve Beshear today signed into law nine bills that will help and honor Kentucky veterans.

“From helping military families with deployment costs to providing a preference for veterans in state hiring, my administration is committed to honoring all who sacrifice and serve our great state and our great nation,” said Gov. Beshear.  “With these new laws, we continue our efforts to assist military service members and veterans with their education, health care and job-seeking efforts, make it easier for disabled veterans to receive the homestead exemption on property tax, and provide new ways for Kentuckians to show them recognition they so mightily deserve.” 

At a public bill signing ceremony today at the Frankfort VFW Post 4075, Gov. Beshear was joined by legislators and Kentucky Veterans as he signed the following bills in law:

HB 425 allows Kentucky public universities to charge in-state tuition to veterans who are non-Kentucky residents if that veteran qualifies under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

HB 202 helps veterans obtain commercial driving licenses by waiving the driving skills test for applicants with recent military service who are experienced in operating commercial-sized motor vehicles.
HB 244 amends the homestead exemption on property tax to allow totally disabled veterans to document their qualifying disability at the time of initial application, eliminating the need to reapply annually for the exemption.

HCR 138 is a concurrent resolution urging Congress to direct more resources and attention to providing treatment to combat military personnel and combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat-related stress disorders.

HB 303 clarifies the law relating to veterans programs that may benefit from the Kentucky Veterans Program Trust Fund.

HB 187 creates a new specialty “I Support Veterans” vehicle license plate. This license plate will be available for purchase by any Kentucky resident, veteran or non-veteran. A portion of the fee for the specialty plate will support the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs.

HB 200 requires the state to create a plaque honoring Kentucky’s Medal of Honor recipients. The plaque must be installed in the Capitol building and properly maintained. Forty-two Kentuckians have earned the Medal of Honor and two recipients, Ernie West and Don Jenkins, currently reside in Kentucky. Kentucky’s Medal of Honor recipients also include the only woman to earn a Medal of Honor, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker of Louisville.

HB 302 allows members of Veterans Service Organizations to drill or parade with arms.

HB 317 requires the Kentucky Department of Highways to display the POW/MIA flag along with the United States flag and the Commonwealth of Kentucky flag at all state rest areas. Previously, flying the POW/MIA flag at state rest areas was permitted, but not required.