During my time as a member of the Public Safety Appropriations Committee, I worked to help those who sacrifice so much for our freedoms. We need to restore full funding to our veterans homes and hospitals for our aging veterans and those returning from current conflicts. I support restoring the funding that was moved from the veterans budget in the 90s. I will again continue to work for a special lottery ticket dedicated to care for our retired military. In spite of our budget challenges, we must keep our promise to our veterans.
2012 will mark the end of the double tax on military retirement benefits. At the time we passed the phase out Missouri was one of sixteen states that taxed veteran's pensions. I am happy to say we now stand with the majority of states who help our retired soldiers live in dignity.
Currently returning service men and women can use Bright Flight scholarships if they enroll in college within 27 months of high school graduation. I made sure it can be used within six months of the end of their service in the case of longer deployments. We should not penalize our soldiers because they serve our country longer than anticipated. And finally, I support banning protests at military funerals and applaud the presence of the Freedom Riders who honor the memory of our heroes. These disgusting protests add to the suffering of families already grieving for a fallen soldier and must not be tolerated.