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Public Statements

Issue Position: Respecting and Caring for our Veterans

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

Harrell Vision

Gayle's family has a long history of military service. From her grandfather and father to her husband and daughter, Gayle and her family know sacrifice. Her husband has four siblings, and all of those families have served in the Military. Two were in the Army and three were involved in service with the Navy. Two of James' uncles served for the duration of WW 2. His Uncle Martin served in Europe for three and a half years, and Uncle Jack died in a plane crash just weeks before the surrender of Japan. That's why Gayle believes our veterans deserve the very best care and consideration when it comes to rewarding their service and the sacrifice of their families.

Harrell Record

*Gayle sponsored and passed HB 435, Military Rights/Child Custody, in 2007. It prohibits courts from modifying child custody agreements during the time a parent is activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service unless there is clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child to modify the custody agreement.

*Sponsored and passed HB 373, Tuition Waivers in 2006. It requires state universities and community colleges to waive tuition for a recipient of a Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence.

*Cosponsored HM 821, USS John F. Kennedy. It urges Congress to ensure that the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy remains in active service, that Naval Station Mayport remains the home port for the USS John F. Kennedy, and that the strength of the U.S. Navy's Atlantic carrier fleet is maintained at its current level.

*Cosponsored HB 23, Property Tax Exemption in 2004. It provides a 100 % property tax exemption for permanently and totally disabled veterans.

*Cosponsored HB/CS 875, Requirements for High School Graduation in 2004. The bill enabled honorably discharged veterans of the Korean War who did not complete the necessary graduation requirements to receive their diplomas.

*Cosponsored HB 61, Property Tax Exemptions. The bill entitles disabled veterans and the surviving spouses of such veterans to an exemption from taxation of the value of personal property and household goods.

*Co-sponsored HB 111, Specialty License Plates in 2003. It creates the U.S. Paratroopers specialty license plate.

*Cosponsored HM 209 in 2003. It is a memorial to the Congress of the United States urging Congress to provide adequate federal funding for a full accounting of those missing from our nation's wars, including any Florida resident who is classified as a United States Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA)

*Cosponsored HB 679, Specialty License Plates. It creates a series of Military Services license plates and provides for the distribution of annual use fees received from the sale of such plates.

*Cosponsored HB 1241 Veterans' Affairs. It revises the definition of the term "veteran"; provides preference eligibility to veterans who served in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; provides an end date to the Persian Gulf War; excluding active duty for training from criteria for eligibility for veterans' appointment and retention preference.

*Cosponsored HB 1475 Military Affairs. It creates the "Florida Uniformed Service members Protection Act" and prohibits a landlord from discriminating against a service member in offering a dwelling unit for rent or in any of the terms of a rental agreement.

*Sponsored HB 115 Medical School/Military Academies in order to assure that only qualified military graduates will be treating our military personnel. Click Here to see Spinelli Amendment article.

*Cosponsored HB 7, National Guard/Residency/Tuition Cites act as "Sergeant Larry Bowman Act". It revises provisions for determination of residency for tuition purposes to classify certain members of active Florida National Guard as residents for tuition purposes.

*Sponsored HB 465 in 2011 to establish a Veterans Hall of Fame in the Plaza of the Capitol in Tallahassee.

*Sponsored HB 1319 in 2011 that will allow spouses of veterans who have been transferred to Florida to obtain a temporary license to work immediately in their profession in Florida for six months while they are involved in getting the paper work done for a full license in Florida.

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