Assisting Military Families and Veterans Remains Top Priority for NC House Republicans
The Republican-led North Carolina House has continued to make it a top priority to support the brave men and women who serve in the military and the veterans who call our great state home.
This legislative session, the House has already approved multiple bills to assist these American heroes, including landmark legislation, the No Veteran Left Behind Act, to expand access to mental health support for veterans.
In North Carolina, we strive to be the most military friendly state in the nation, and the House will continue to look for ways to ensure those who have answered the call to duty have the resources and support they need and deserve.
Here is a full breakdown of the bills approved so far this session:
✓ Assist Military Families in Qualifying for In-State Tuition (House Bill 53)
House Bill 53 allows high schoolers who qualify for in-state tuition and needs-based scholarships when they submit their application to remain eligible for the lower tuition rate and aid if their parents have to move to another state due to military service. Students whose parents move could also stay in their North Carolina public school if they’re living with a caregiver here. The bill was signed into law.
✓ Help Veterans with Mental Health Resources (House Bill 370)
House Bill 370, the No Veteran Left Behind Act, launches a pilot project across the state, in conjunction with North Carolina-based, The Independence Fund, to provide additional training for law enforcement to help improve interactions between first responders and veterans in crisis.
✓ Expand Access to In-State Tuition for Veterans (House Bill 602)
House Bill 602, among other things, eliminates the requirement that individuals would only be eligible for in-state tuition after three years from discharge if they remained continuously enrolled in the institution of higher education. Therefore, covered veterans would be eligible for in-state tuition even after three years from discharge without being continuously enrolled.
✓ Waive DMV Fees and Extend Deadlines for Deployed Troops (House Bill 297)
House Bill 297 waives DMV penalties and fees of servicemembers if their registration expires while on deployment. Additionally, the bill would give servicemembers up to 30 days upon return from deployment to renew an expired license without penalty. Lastly, it provides deployed military the ability to convert their provisional license to a full license online.
✓ Designate April 24th as Wounded Heroes Day (House Bill 138)
House Bill 138 recognizes April 24th each year as “Wounded Heroes Day” in North Carolina. The date was chosen in honor of Union County’s Sgt. Michael Verardo who endured life changing injuries in Afghanistan on April 24, 2010. The bill was signed into law.
✓ Establish PTSD as Mitigating Factor in a Veteran’s Sentencing (House Bill 584)
House Bill 584 provides that a court may consider a defendant's diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) connected to military service in a combat zone, as a specific mitigating factor for the purposes of criminal sentencing.
✓ Require POW/MIA Flags at State Buildings and Schools (House Bill 746)
House Bill 746 requires POW/MIA flags to be flown at state owned buildings and public schools if the flags can be attached to an existing flagpole.