Taylor backs bills for part-time soldiers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Taylor backs bills for part-time soldiers

January 19, 2005

Albany- Hundreds of South Georgia National Guardsmen recently said goodbye to their families and headed off for training before joining Operation Iraqi Freedom.

But while they're gone, the bills get harder to pay, even with their military paycheck coming in. That's why Georgia democrats in the Senate and the House will be pushing legislation to help.

One bill would create a Heroes fund, a check-off box on income-tax forms where Georgians could donate to a fund for needy soldiers.

"The constitutional amendment creates a fund within our consitution and protects the money from being used for any other purpose," Taylor said.

Another would waive taxes on their non-military income.

"My proposal exempts all their income for the years in which they are on active duty for 90 days or longer."

There will also be legislation to boost college education benefits for returning soldiers.

"Eligible guardsmen can receive this grant for up to four years and it will be applied toward any tuition or fees at any Georgia public, private or technical college."

The fourth bill would have the state pick up the tab for soldiers' life insurance premiums. As much as the legislation may help these families, it still comes at a cost. "The $5.2 million dollar price tag for heroes is a very small price."

A small price to pay for the ones who risk their lives for freedom.