Senate passes bill to update Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs

Published 7:54 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

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The Alabama Senate passed House Bill 103 on Wednesday, May 8 to update the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs.

Presented by State Rep. Kenneth Paschal, the legislation aims to rebrand and modernize the department by updating the Code of Alabama section governing the agency, which has remained unchanged since 1945.

“The needs of veterans and their dependents in 2024 are vastly different from those in 1945, when the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and its responsibilities were first established,” Paschal said. “By modernizing and bringing the statute governing the Veterans Affairs department up to date, we can provide better and more meaningful services to the men and women who wore a uniform and served our country.”

According to a statement released by Paschal, House Bill 103 was carried in the Senate by Sen. Gerald Allen and seeks to reorganize responsibilities, clarify service areas and districts and streamline sections for increased efficiency.

The bill is a part of the Alabama Military Stability Commission package and now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey for signature.

A U.S. Army veteran with 21 years of service, Paschal is also sponsoring HB 283, which aims to provide a state income tax exemption to pay earned by members of the National Guard and Reserves forces while on active duty in another country or while supplementing state or federal emergency response efforts.

Active in the veterans’ community, Paschal previously served as post commander of American Legion Post 555 of Pelham and was appointed by the Legion’s national commander to serve on the National Executive Americanism Council.