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Bill to address "blind spot in the law"

Posted at 1:56 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 15:57:20-05

Representative Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) introduced a bill Tuesday in the House Transportation Committee aimed at honoring the surviving spouses of Idaho’s Veterans.

The bill, co-sponsored by Chaney and Representative Rick Youngblood (R-Nampa), would loosen the criteria for surviving spouses wanting to display veteran’s license plates after their veteran has died, according to a news release.

Under current law, spouses of veterans who have plates at the time of their passing may keep them; or, they may apply for them within five years of the veterans’ death. However, surviving spouses of disabled veterans had no option to display any type of veteran’s plates.

“This is a blind spot in the law,” Chaney said during the hearing, “I’m sure that the legislature never meant to exclude this distinguished group of Idahoans.”

In addition to including spouses of disabled veterans, the bill also eliminates the 5-year limit on applying for veteran’s plates after the death of the veteran. Instead, for so long as a surviving spouse meets the Veterans Affairs’ definition in federal code, he or she will qualify for the license plates.

Chaney told the committee: “This is a good way to allow surviving spouses to continue to honor their loved ones’ service to our country, while also recognizing the invaluable contributions that these spouses make to our nation, their veterans, and military service.”