Legislature Presents 2008 Military Appreciation Package

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The State Legislature unveiled the final appreciation package for Hawaii's military community.

The package includes five bills, nine resolutions and more than $77 million in capital improvements funds to improve facilities.

"The activation of national guard, reserve members and deployment of troops has left a deep impact on our community," said Rep. Mark Takai.  "We appreciate their willingness to serve and protect our nation, but also recognize the disruption to their personal and professional lives."

The highlights of the package include:

Providing for the exemption of vehicle weight taxes for noncommercial vehicle per members of the National Guard or Reserves.

Adjusting the length of time a person's license will remain valid based on their age and provides military personnel whose driver's license has expired while on active duty outside of the country to be authorized to drive for 90 days upon their return to the U.S.

Awarding the Hawaii Medal of Honor, in appreciation for military personnel with Hawaii ties who are killed in action since 2003.

Funding for the Keaukaha Joint Military Center, Armed Forces Center in Hilo, Hawaii and development of the Molokai Caring for Veterans facility.

Funding for improvements to the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery and other veterans cemeteries statewide.

Members of the legislature say they will continue to address issues facing Hawaii's military personnel and their families now and in the future.