McDonnell Signs Veterans Rights Bills
Governor Bob McDonnell signed over two dozen bills yesterday that he says will make Virginia, the country’s most ‘veteran-friendly state.’ Craig Carper reports.
One bill would require the Board of Elections to have absentee ballots prepared and available 45 days before any election.
Another bill would restrict property owners associations from prohibiting the display of the U.S. flag.
Governor McDonnell said he was honored by the bipartisan effort to make the state a better place for veterans.
McDonnell: We have 830,000 veterans, more per capita than any other state in America. So we understand, perhaps more than any other state, the importance of the military to our freedom and security as well as our economy.
Other bills would grant veterans new rights and privileges; including waiving handling fees for those wanting to open a small business, and the ability for uniformed officers to use HOV lanes regardless of passengers in the Hampton Roads area.
Another bill would call for a state referendum in November that would approve or reject a property tax exemption for veterans with a service-connected, permanent and total disability.
Earlier in the day Governor McDonnell held a reception at the executive mansion for Heath Calhoun, an Army Ranger who lost both legs while serving in Iraq. This weekend’s NASCAR race in Richmond will be named in Calhoun’s honor.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square.