Gov. signs seven laws to benefit veterans
BY ROBERT SWIFT
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP – While “thank a vet” is a common expression heard on Veteran’s Day, lawmakers said they are taking that sentiment a step further with the signing Monday of a package of state laws to help veterans.
Gov. Tom Corbett signed seven new veterans laws during a ceremony at the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Keystone Conference Center at the military installation off Interstate 81.
“We must show our gratitude in actions, not just words,” said state Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20, Lehman Twp., author of a law establishing a Veterans Trust Fund, a public-private partnership to help underwrite veterans’ service program.
The fund will receive $1.7 million after the sale of the now-closed state Scotland School for Veterans Children and revenue from a voluntary $3 check off contribution on drivers’ license renewals and vehicle registrations and a special license plate for motorists wishing to honor veterans.
“Within a year, every motorist will be given a chance to donate $3 when they renew their license or vehicle registration,” said Baker. “If they purchase an ‘Honoring Our Veterans’ license plate, $15 will be devoted to the fund.”
Another new law creates a veterans or “V” designation on a driver’s license or ID card for veterans.
Two other laws provide training for law enforcement on how to recognize and deal with veterans who may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or brain injuries and sets a goal of having at least 3 percent of state contracts awarded to veteran-owned small businesses.
“Today is about honoring a debt,” said Corbett.