Democrats in the Georgia House are considering legislation to ease the burden on military families as well as help the state attract and retain military veterans.
To find out what issues are most important to military families and retirees, state lawmakers are holding a series of forums at many of Georgia’s defense communities. On Tuesday, three House Democrats hosted a roundtable discussion in Augusta, home of Fort Gordon, reported the Augusta Chronicle.
One outstanding concern is that the state doesn’t use data identifiers for military kids when tracking educational outcomes. State Rep. Gloria Frazier said she had a difficult time tracking credits when she had two daughters in grade school.
“Everybody has a different system, but this will truly help out our children” Frazier said.
The Democratic caucus also is concerned it is losing military retirees to surrounding states. State Rep. Earnest Smith said the caucus plans to introduce a measure exempting military pensions from state income tax.
“Every morning, many of those residents [from other states] come in to Georgia to work, and every evening there’s a sucking sound as they leave the state of Georgia,” Smith said. “Those states are very good at providing a good fiscal cushion for these military retirees.”
Georgia is home to 10 military installations, 105,000 active-duty personnel and more than 750,000 veterans.