Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Veterans business bill passes House

The Kentucky House unanimously approved a measure proposed by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes which would help military veterans get businesses started in Kentucky.

“I’m proud that the members of the House overwhelmingly passed our Boots To Business bill to help honor the service of Kentucky’s more than 330,000 veterans,” said Grimes. “This initiative will help veterans begin writing a new chapter in their lives and help grow Kentucky’s economy.”

House Bill 367, sponsored by Rep. Jody Richards, waives initial registration fees for new veteran-owned entities and waives annual report filing fees for the first four years those businesses operate.

Brig. Gen. Benjamin Adams, chief of the joint staff of the Kentucky National Guard, told a press conference when Grimes announced the initiative that the bill is pro-veteran and would help service members better transition into society, especially for those leaving the military. Adams also commended Grimes for including veterans of the Kentucky National Guard in the legislation. Many former Guard members do not meet the qualifications for federal “veteran status.”

Retired Army Capt. Josh Kinsel owns K&S Customz, a motorcycle engine repair business, in Louisville endorsed Grimes’ bill and spoke in its favor before a House committee earlier this month.

“As a veteran, it feels good to know that someone is there supporting us. Support for the military – active-duty or veterans – is not what it used to be,” Kinsel told the committee. “Having Sec. Grimes present a bill like this helps not only with the monetary value, but with emotional value. I think I can speak for the majority of veterans that the thing that makes us happy is the fact that Sec. Grimes is continuing to help veterans.”

House Bill 367 now goes to the Kentucky Senate for consideration. Sen. Whitney Westerfield, whose district includes Fort Campbell, will sponsor and advocate for the legislation.

“I’m hopeful every Kentuckian will join me in honoring our veterans, and will contact their state senators to ask them to vote for House Bill 367.”