Washington State House Democrats announcement.
Last month, Rep. Mari Leavitt (D-University Place) was recognized as the 2023 Outstanding Service to Veterans Legislator of the Year by the Governor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee (VAAC) and the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA).
In recognition of her unwavering support for veterans and military members and the historic progress achieved by the legislature during the 2023 session, this award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the lives of those who have served our country.
“As the daughter of veterans, I am sincerely honored to receive this award,” said Rep. Leavitt. “Our veterans and military members deserve our full support, and I am committed to doing everything I can to help them and their families.”
Rep. Leavitt has been a tireless advocate for veterans and military members. Her recent achievements include:
- Reducing licensing and career barriers via the Military Spouse Employment Act (HB 1009)
- Expanding the definition of “veteran” for benefits, civil service scoring criteria, and other programs (HB 1007)
- Supporting the establishment of the Purple Star Award designation for school district (HB 1346)
- Expanding scholarship eligibility for military spouses and providing critical wrap-around services to ensure success (HB 1763)
- Improving access to mobile crisis systems for veterans and military members (HB 1234)
- Supporting property tax exemptions for disabled veterans (HB 1355)
- Expanding access to veteran service officers and peer supports for veterans (SB 5358)
- $13 million to address PFAS contaminated water in the Lakewood and DuPont areas
- $250,000 for a military defense sector statewide economic impact analysis
- $79.5 million in regional projects near Joint Base Lewis-McChord
In addition to this work, Rep. Leavitt is actively involved in the veteran community through her co-chairing of the Joint Committee for Veterans’ and Military Affairs (JCVMA). The JCVMA regularly meets with military partners and veterans to hear their concerns and learn more about their needs. She also serves on the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) National Task Force on Military and Veteran’ Affairs.
“With one of the largest military installations west of the Mississippi in my district, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the 40,000 active-duty soldiers, 60,000 family members, and 15,000 civilian and contract employees in my district and to advocate for their needs,” said Rep. Leavitt.