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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bonnen saves legislation in support of disabled veterans

Insider's Report Vol. 8, No. 12

On Tuesday, with only ten minutes remaining in the Texas House for consideration of non-local Senate Bills, Speaker Straus recognized me for a rare and important motion:

"I make the motion to move to suspend all necessary rules to take up and consider Senate Bill 516. Senate Bill 516 is Representative Fletcher's bill, and it is appropriate to get this done tonight. It's to support our veterans who have given so much to us, so I move to suspend all necessary rules to pull this bill up."

The motion prevailed unanimously, and Senate Bill 516 passed 146-0.

Currently, a totally disabled veteran receives a 100% property tax exemption. SB 516 extends the homestead exemption to their surviving spouse.

In November 2011, voters will have the opportunity to pass a constitutional amendment (SJR 14) that is necessary for this new law to take effect.  With the passage of this legislation and hopeful passage of the constitutional amendment in November, the spouse will retain the total homestead exemption of their current home. If they wish to move about the state, closer to family, or to a different home, they will receive an exemption on their homestead in the amount equal to the exemption they received on their former homestead. 

SB 516 will provide a spouse the financial peace of mind by ensuring that their property tax exemption continues to be granted and will not expire after the death of the disabled veteran.

I was proud to stand at the front microphone of the House Chamber to make this motion in strong support of not only the heroes who made a tremendous sacrifice for our freedom, but also for their loved ones.