Veterans Funding Escapes Cuts

Parker thanks colleagues for level funding veterans; passing veterans/military related measures

Senator David Parker (R-Olive Branch) thanked his colleagues in the Mississippi legislature for preserving funding for veterans and the National Guard this session.

“Last year when we got to the final days of the session, the legislature cut the budget for veterans. This year my colleagues and I made it clear we did not want cuts. The final National Guard budget was about $30,000 more than the initial legislative budget recommendation, and veterans affairs received level funding.  That’s a big deal when everyone else is getting cut,” Parker said.

Parker, who is the Chairman of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs committee, led colleagues on the Senate floor in February opposing cuts to the veterans budget.  “Our state and country made promises to our veterans. Honoring that commitment honors their service,” Parker said. Funding for the Veterans Affairs Board was appropriated in SB2969.

Additionally, two more measures supported by Parker on military issues passed the legislature.

Parker authored SB2544 which passed the Senate, but the legislature ultimately passed the House companion bill which mirrored Parker’s legislation: HB1026 by Representative Mac Huddleston (R-Pontotoc). When a disaster hits Mississippi and the National Guard is mobilized, it uses its operating fund to fulfill its missions. Those funds are reimbursed by FEMA or MEMA.   But in the months it takes for reimbursement, the National Guard might have to make cuts in operations or delay missions for lack of funding. The measure supported by Parker and Huddleston creates a Mississippi National Guard State Active Duty Emergency Operations Fund which the Guard could pull funds from during a disaster and later replenish when reimbursed without using operations funds for an emergency.

SB2620, authored by Parker, makes amendments to the Code of Military Justice requested by Mississippi military officials. This bill was signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant on March 20.

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