Gov. Stitt recognizes new veteran legislation at ceremonial signing in Lawton

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 11:50 AM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt held a ceremonial bill signing in Lawton on Tuesday, which recognized multiple new bills passed in the last legislative session to help support Oklahoma veterans.

The Lawton/Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce hosted the amazing event, which took place at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Veterans Resource Center.

Stitt was joined by Secretary Nash, Mayor Booker, Senator Montgomery, Senator Stanley, Representative Bush, Representative Caldwell, Representative Hasenbeck, Representative Pae, Brett Martin, Senior Vice Commander of the American Legion, Oklahoma Department and local veterans.

The signing focused on the passing of multiple bills including SB 401, which provides total tax exemptions to veterans in Oklahoma and SB 1670, which provides sales tax exemptions to widows of military members who have died in combat. The signed set of veteran-centered bills also included HB 3649, which provides sales tax exemptions to veteran-affiliated organizations and HB 3709, which allows veterans in public retirement systems to purchase military service credits. Lastly, Stitt signed HB 1067, which establishes a program to ensure dignified burial for certain veterans.

Governor Stitt hopes these changes to legislation will help to keep more veterans here in Oklahoma.

“We want to make sure when people get out of the military, after serving our country and our state, that they stay right here at home in Oklahoma,” said Stitt.

In the states around Oklahoma, only New Mexico and Colorado tax military pensions. SB 401 means around 36,000 retired service members in Oklahoma will be able to deduct their retirement income from state income tax, compared to the 75 % or $10,000 they were able to deduct before.