Bills aid military personnel

Governor Mary Fallin Thursday announced she signed into law measures to aid Oklahoma military personnel and families. House Bill 1603, House Bill 1343 and Senate Bill 115 which all received unanimous support in the Oklahoma Legislature.

“As the legislative session comes to a close and Memorial Day approaches, this is a fitting end to a constructive and historic legislative year,” said Fallin. “I’m proud of our lawmakers for working in a bipartisan manner to get these bills to my desk and ensure that we are honoring the brave Oklahomans in the United States military.”

HB 1343 grants college scholarships to the children of military personnel killed in the line of duty after January 1, 2000. Scholarships will be administered through the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP).

HB 1603 prohibits the use of military deployment as a cause for changes in child custody agreements, ensuring that military deployment cannot be used as a negative factor in determining custody.    

SB 115 protects military voting rights by ensuring state election law complies with federal law relating to voting practices for active duty military personnel.

“We owe our very freedom to the servicemen and women who risk their lives to defend this state and this nation,” Fallin said. “I am proud to be able to sign into law a series of bills that protect their families and their rights. They deserve nothing less.”  

Thursday was the last day Fallin had to act on legislation passed during the 2011 legislative session.