Kenneth Paschal’s Military Veterans and Parental Rights bill signed into law

Published 4:23 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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PELHAM – State Rep. Kenneth Paschal (R – Pelham) announced on Monday that Gov. Kay Ivey has signed into law four bills that he sponsored and passed during the recently completed 2023 regular legislative session.

The legislation includes the Parental Rights Protection Act, a landmark bill that was a priority of the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee, and three measures designed to ensure Alabama remains the nation’s most welcoming state for active service members and military veterans.

“Because the agenda of the 2023 regular session was so jam-packed, many worthy and significant pieces of legislation failed to secure final passage,” Paschal said.  “The fact that I was able to have four bills pass and signed into law offers evidence of their importance in improving the lives of everyday Alabamians and the men and women who serve our nation in the military.”

The Parental Rights Protection Act that Paschal sponsored requires Alabama to recognize parental rights as “fundamental rights,” which cannot be taken away unless there is a “compelling reason” to do so, rather than “ordinary rights,” which allow parental decisions to be overridden by state government more easily.

He noted that parental rights measures have been introduced in the Alabama Legislature as far back as 2014 by three different sponsors, but his is the first to navigate its way to final passage.

In addition, Paschal, who serves as vice chair of the House Military & Veterans Affairs Committee, also passed legislation that seeks to identify the unclaimed cremated remains of military veterans and outlines their proper and respectful final disposition in a state or national military cemetery.

Bills that create a multi-state occupational licensure reciprocity compact, which benefits military dependents, and allow distinctive license plates for members of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Space Force were also among the Paschal’s bills that were enacted into law.