Legislators in Kentucky have introduced a bill that would help veterans in the state start small businesses, reported The Associated Press. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, calls for state administrators to waive registration fees and reduce annual report-filing payments for veterans looking to start small businesses in life after service.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes pitched the legislation to Richards and promoted the bill, HB 367, in front of the Kentucky House Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Safety. The group, on March 2, authorized HB 367 and passed it along to their colleagues in the House of Representatives for review.

"Kentucky is proud to be the home of 50,000 active military men and women, and importantly, over 300,000 veterans," Grimes told The State Journal. "A top priority of mine as secretary of state has been to honor the service and sacrifice of our military women and men." 

The legislation, if passed, would form the basis for a veterans business initiative tentatively called "Boots to Business." 

"When the Secretary came to me with the idea for this legislation, I immediately agreed to shepherd it through the House," Richards said in an interview with WBKO. "We owe a great debt to our veterans, and this is the perfect opportunity for the Commonwealth can say, 'Thank you.'"

Currently, Kentucky charges $40 to prospective business owners looking to obtain articles of incorporation. Annual report-filing fees are $15.  

The state offers help to veterans who wish to start a small business under its Veterans Business Assistance Program. Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs, in partnership with Business USA, provides startup resources to former servicemembers.

According to the Small Business Administration, veterans make up around 10 percent of all U.S. small business owners.