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Governor Perdue Signs Military Service Legislation

Thursday, April 21, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


            MARIETTA, GA – Governor Sonny Perdue today visited Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia to sign three bills that will benefit Georgia's military service personnel.  Governor Perdue signed the Military Spouses Benefits Bill (HB404), the Georgia Military Support Act of 2005 (SB258), and the Military Life Insurance Tax Credit Bill (HB538). 

            “Georgia's military installations have always done more than their share to defend our nation,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “The purpose of these bills is to show our military families that we appreciate their sacrifice and we will do everything in our power to enhance their experience as a part of our Georgia family.”

Military Spouses Benefits Bill (HB404)

HB 404, sponsored by State Representative John Yates, amends Georgia's unemployment benefit insurance provisions to provide that persons leaving an employer to accompany a spouse who has been reassigned from one military assignment to another are not disqualified from receiving benefits by that fact alone.  The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously. 

Georgia Military Support Act of 2005 (SB258)

SB 258, sponsored by State Senator John Douglas, provides various exemptions for service members who are on ordered military duty for 90 days or more, and in some cases, for their spouses.  The bill requires that military service members and their spouses be excused or deferred from jury duty; allows service members who are also licensed pharmacists whose license expires while on military service be able to practice with an expired license for six months upon their return; provides an honorary hunting and/or fishing license for one year to any returning veteran; provides a six-month grace period for any service member whose drivers license expires while they are on active duty; provides a six month grace period for returning service members whose professional licenses expire while serving on active duty; allows a service member to terminate a residential rental or lease agreement with 30 days notice to the landlord; and allows a service member to terminate a cell phone service contract with 30 days notice to the provider.

Life Insurance Tax Credits Bill (HB538)

HB538, sponsored by State Representative Larry O'Neal, allows members of the armed forces or national/air guard deployed for more than 90 consecutive days a tax credit for the amount he or she expended for qualified life insurance premiums through the service members' Group Life Insurance Program, administered by the United States Department of Defense.  This tax credit will be applicable beginning January 2005.  The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

During today's bill signings, Governor Perdue was joined by Major General David Poythress, Adjutant General of the Georgia Department of Defense, State Senator John Douglas, State Senator Seth Harp, State Senator Jack Hill and David Ratcliffe, chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.  The bill signing ceremony was also attended by members of Georgia's National Guard.

Last week, Governor Perdue signed into law HB 282, the Entrepreneur and Small Business Growth Initiative, which included a provision giving every Georgian the opportunity to contribute to the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation on their income tax return starting next year.  This non-profit organization provides humanitarian support to members of the Georgia Department of Defense and their families.