Rep. Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom and retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, introduced two measures that would assist veterans and better serve their disabled children in Washington state. Muri is currently serving his first legislative session as a state representative for the 28th District.
“As a veteran, I work alongside many serving and retired military to ensure we are doing all we can as a community and a state to care for those who have bravely fought for our freedoms,” said Muri, who serves on the Joint Committee on Veterans’ and Military Affairs. “As one of the newest legislators, my goal is to utilize the work I do in the community with veterans and others and address outstanding needs. Working with our military families, I drafted two bills that I hope will better assist them in our state.”
House Bill 2343 would allow the option for veterans to have a veteran designation on their driver’s licenses and identicards issues by the state Department of Licensing.
“The optional veteran designation on a driver’s license or identicard may seem like a small issue, but this change could help veterans in many ways,” Muri said. “Many businesses offer veteran discounts, this bill would ensure they have easy identification to take advantage of those benefits and services.”
Local retired Master Sergeant Tommy E. Darnell of Lakewood and member of VFW Post 2329, testified on behalf of House Bill 2343, noting the ease in which veterans would be able to be recognized and offered the services they have earned.
Muri added that it’s not just the veterans that locate to our state; often times they bring their children with them, some of whom may have special needs.
House Bill 2363 would require the state Department of Health and Social Services to provide services to developmentally disabled children of military service members in the order he or she was on the waiting list in another state, rather than having to go to the bottom of the list for services after relocating to Washington.
“In Washington, we have a long-standing tradition of offering outstanding support for veterans and their families. But, I saw a small gap in the system when military service members relocate to our state after separation and have a child with special needs, they lose their place in line on a waiting list and start back at the bottom when arriving here. My bill would make it easier for the military parents to transition back to our state and be welcomed into the services they need for their children,” Muri said.
House Bill 2343 received a public hearing Jan. 22 and is scheduled for executive session in the House Transportation Committee on Jan. 29 at 3:30 p.m. House Bill 2363 received a public hearing Jan. 21 and is scheduled for executive session in the House Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee on Jan. 31 at 1:30 p.m.
For more information about Rep. Muri, visit: www.representativedickmuri.com.