From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
November 8, 2010
Contact: Sarah Gomez, 512-463-0126

Senator Van de Putte files legislative package to make Texas the leader in military family and Veteran initiatives

(AUSTIN) — Senator Leticia Van de Putte filed three bills aimed at assisting military service members and their families in the state of Texas. As Chair of the Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee, Senator Van de Putte consistently authors legislation that will improve the quality of life for the brave men and women who serve our country, and who call Texas home. "I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve this brave population, and will continue to fight for measures and initiatives that recognize the tremendous sacrifice that serving our nation in the armed forces requires, "Senator Van de Putte said.

In order to assist our warriors while they're deployed far from friendly shores, Senator Van de Putte filed Senate Bill 100 (SB 100), which helps implement the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act). The federal MOVE Act permits those serving our country overseas to receive an e-mailed ballot for all federal elections. SB 100 will expand the elections covered under the MOVE Act to certain state elections. By allowing deployed service members to receive their voting ballots via e-mail, the voting process is vastly simplified for our brave men and women serving overseas.

When a warrior is deployed to a combat zone, the family he or she leaves behind is forced to adapt to life without a father, a mother, or a spouse. The routine aspects of domestic living become that much more challenging. In an effort to prevent miscommunication between a homeowner's association and a homeowner, Senator Van de Putte filed Senate Bill 101 (SB 101), which will require a homeowner's association to determine if the owner of the home, or the owner's spouse, is serving on active military duty. This will assist in the prevention of non-judicial foreclosures on homes owned by an activated member of the United States military.

Service members must designate a person authorized to direct the disposition of their remains in the event of their death. Texas state law on the disposition of human remains does not currently provide for the accommodation of the expressed, written wishes of service members through execution of the federally-prescribed "Record of Emergency Data," or DD Form 93. Senator Van de Putte filed Senate Bill 99 (SB 99), which will eliminate potential conflict with federal law, as well as conflict within the family at a time of bereavement.

"As elected officials, it is our job to ensure that the concerns of military families are heard, and subsequently addressed. This legislative package is a direct result of our responsiveness to those Americans who serve on our behalf," said Senator Van de Putte. "I am proud and excited to be a part of the effort to honor America's heroes."