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Ainsworth: New military laws improve Alabama’s standing

The Alabama Legislature this year approved several bills related to the military, its members and their families, furthering the state’s military friendly status.

“Alabama is working hard every day to meet the many needs of active service members, military families and veterans who remain here once their service ends,” Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, chair of the state’s Military Stability Commission, said in a written statement. “The jobs, incomes, and revenues that Alabama’s military facilities generate are important drivers of our economy, and we are doing everything possible to keep those defense assets growing and expanding for many decades to come.”

The bills signed into law this year were:

House Bill 44 by Rep. Chris Blackshear, R-Phenix City, expands the Military Stability Commission to include representatives from Fort Moore, previously named Fort Benning. In Columbus, Georgia, Fort Moore provides 4,346 jobs in Alabama’s Russell and Lee counties.

Senate Bill 17 by Sen. Tom Butler, R-Madison, requires that all state references to the United States Armed Forces should include the United States Space Force.

Senate Bill 37 by Senator Sam Givhan, R-Huntsville, extends professional license reciprocity to spouses of U.S. Department of Defense contractor spouses.

Senate Bill 46 by Senator Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, creates an interstate teacher mobility compact that allows teachers licensed in compact member states to teach in Alabama as long as their license requirements meet or exceed Alabama’s requirements.

Senate Bill 67 by Sen. Clyde Chambliss, R-Prattville, provides flexibility for educational tuition reimbursement for active members of the Alabama National Guard.

House Bill 246 by Rep. Kenneth Paschal, R-Pelham, creates a compact allowing cosmetologists who are licensed to practice in participating states to also practice within Alabama.

House Bill 129 , also by Paschal, outlines the proper and respectful final disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of military veterans in a state or national cemetery.

House Bill 210 by Rep. Rhett Marques, R-Enterprise, allows active military members who have motor vehicles registered in Alabama but live in another state on military assignment to get their required vehicle liability insurance in the state where they are stationed.

The Military Stability Commission’s mission is to protect and expand military installations in the state. A recent economic impact study found that the defense industry, including private aerospace companies and shipbuilders, accounted for an annual economic impact of $50.3 billion in Alabama, providing 264,780 jobs with an annual payroll of $19.3 billion.

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