Those who have served our country deserve our utmost gratitude and respect. They have dedicated years of their lives, and in many cases sacrificed much more, to keep you and I safe in the country that we love. My father was a WWII Navy veteran and my brothers and uncles all served their country in the U.S. Army. I will make every effort to make sure our veterans get the support and services they have earned in protecting our country. This is an issue I care deeply about. At the state level, we have been able to pass some good, practical legislation to support our former servicemen and women which I will always honor and support.
We created a Veterans Assistance Grant Program, HB14-1205, which awards funds to nonprofits and government agencies who provide services to veterans. We also expanded the eligibility of the state’s Military Family Relief Fund. Under current law, a member of the Colorado National Guard must be involuntarily mobilized for at least 30 days on active military duty for the member or his or her family to be eligible for a grant from the Military Family Relief Fund. This bill expands grant eligibility to Colorado National Guard members and the families of members who are called to state active duty by executive order of the governor. This is especially important in the wake of our state call-ups during our recent disasters in the last two years to which our Guard units answered the call.
I was also was pleased to help pass a bill which helps encourage development of small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans by awarding them state contracts. It is through common-sense solutions like these that together we can continue to keep Colorado at the forefront of serving those who have served us. I am proud to stand up and be a voice for our veterans.