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Rep. Miller testifies on legislation to provide additional benefits to those fighting COVID-19 pandemic, other public safety efforts

Qualifying uniformed services would get state designation and benefits, match federal designation
February 24, 2021
Adam C. Miller News

COLUMBUS— State Rep. Adam C. Miller (D-Columbus) testified today before the House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee on behalf of House Bill (HB) 29, his bipartisan bill that would authorize county recorders to establish a veterans' identification card program to individuals who have served with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), or the U.S. Space Force (USSF). 

Ohio Veterans ID cards provide a state identification, designation as a member/former member of the uniformed services, and other benefits including discounts and other perks provided by the government and private sector.

“Our Public Health Service is on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, risking their lives to serve our country in unprecedented times,” said Rep. Miller. “We must recognize and honor uniformed service members – whether they served alongside our military overseas, in Ohio, or in the eye of a hurricane— with the benefits and distinction of their service.  They serve us; we work for them.  That’s our promise.”

The mission of the USPHS is to protect, promote and advance the health and safety of the United States. Officers respond to national crises like hurricanes, biological attacks, floods, acts of terrorism and more. They have served alongside Armed Services in Iraq, Afghanistan and have led the way domestically in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

NOAA provides weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to services that support the U.S. economy and affect more than one-third of America’s gross national product.  NOAAA officers are frequently transferred, serve extended periods at sea under hazardous conditions and operate a number of research aircraft that penetrate and monitor hurricanes at low levels to provide critical data for hurricane warnings.

The U.S. Space Force (USSF) is the newest branch of the Armed Forces, established December 20, 2019 with the enactment of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. The USSF was established within the Department of the Air Force, meaning the Secretary of the Air Force has overall responsibility for the USSF.

Miller is ranking member of the House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee. HB 29 awaits additional hearings.