University Place – State Representative Mari Leavitt, D-University Place, will join the National Conference of State Legislators’s Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs. The task force brings together a bipartisan coalition of state legislators from across the country to work on issues affecting military families, communities, and veterans.
Rep. Leavitt is a practiced advocate for veterans, service members, and their families. She has advocated for them in the Washington State Legislature as a sponsor or co-sponsor of the most significant related bills and policy this past term from pay equity for WA National Guard members, increased access to services, to expanded property tax exemptions to name some, as well as other roles she’s had in her career, and she has lived experience as the child of a military family.
Rep. Leavitt has already passed significant bi-partisan legislation directly supporting military families this year. House Bill 2188, introduced by Rep. Leavitt, removes unnecessary barriers for veterans who have the federal qualifications for a commercial driver’s license but have not gone through the Department of Licensing process.
Another bill introduced by Rep. Leavitt, HB 2303, removes barriers for active service members or their spouses to be employed in Washington State while stationed here. The bill allows military families to use a license that is active in another state in Washington provided other conditions are met. This will come back to the legislature in ‘21.
Rep. Leavitt’s bill HB 2185 was a part of HB 2543 established an explicit legal precedent to give service members and their families in-state college tuition when they have been stationed out of state.
Rep. Leavitt represents an informed voice on the needs of service-members, veterans, and their families and she has effectively leveraged her experience to advocate for those groups. She will bring this perspective to the NCSL Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs. Rep. Leavitt also serves on Washington veterans committees to include the House Veteran’s Committee as well as the Joint Committee on Military and Veteran’s Affairs Committee.