Four Arizona House bills to benefit veterans.

PHOENIX—There are four bills originating in the legislature of the Great State of Arizona from both sides of the aisle to benefit veterans in the State. Benefits would be in the area of employment, taxes, and lower hunting and fishing license fees.

Republican freshman Bob Thorpe of District 6 has introduced two bills. HB 2470(PDF) would create a Hiring Our Heroes award. He has also offered HB 2468(PDF) which would reduce hunting and fishing license fees for veterans.

HB 2470 would add 41-610 to Title 41, Article 7 (Department of Veterans’ Services) of the Arizona Revised Statute to read:

The department [of Veterans Affairs] shall develop and implement a hiring our heroes award to recognize Arizona businesses that provide job opportunities to veterans. The department shall hold an annual awards dinner to recognize Arizona businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to our returning soldiers. The department shall give the winning business a commendation, post the commendation on the department’s website and issue a press release praising the business.

HB 2468 would amend Title 17 of the Game and Fish laws to allow Game and Fish to offer reduced fees to veterans for fishing and hunting licenses. The Bill would amend 17-336 to allow the Game and Fish to reduced fees to honorably discharged veterans based on the number of years served. They would be able to reduce the fees by ten-percent for every four years of the veteran’s service in the military. This would also apply to members who served in the National Guard or a reserve component of the United States military. Those members would have to have been in Arizona for at least one-year prior to their application for the license.

Active duty military in the Great State of Arizona for thirty-days can purchase a residence license for hunting and fishing. The bill would allow them to apply for the same discount fees as the veterans above.

Justin Pierce, Republican from District , has introduced HB 2391 (PDF) which would amend to 43-1022 of the Arizona Revised Statue paragraph 38 which reads:

The full amount received as retired or retainer pay of the uniformed services of the United States by a taxpayer who is an honorably discharged veteran.

On the Democratic side of the aisle, Representative Mark Cardenas from District 19 proposes HB 2484(PDF) which has both Democrat and Republican cosponsors. The bill amends Title 38 and 43 of the A.R.S. concerning tax credits for hiring veterans.

HB 2484 would allow a tax credit for businesses who hire veterans (as defined in 41-601) for tax years from December 31, 2012 to December 31, 2015. The amount of the tax credit would be the lowest of the following:

(1) 10-percent of the salary earned and paid to the employee during the taxable year.
(2) Two-thousand dollars per employee.
(3) Four-thousand dollars for veterans who were honorably separated and has a service-connected disability or is receiving compensation or disability retirement benefits under the laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs or the armed services.

People who have a partnership in businesses that hire veterans could receive benefits based on their percentage of ownership.