New legislation could grant Utah veterans who received either honorable or general discharge benefits and services from the state. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the legislation was proposed during a meeting of the Utah Veterans Reintegration Task Force and was unanimously upheld by the committee. However, the bill will not be officially voted on until the state legislature resumes its session in January 2014.
According to the news source, the proposed changes would help make veterans benefits more consistent across the state's available services. For example, veterans applying to college can receive special preferences if they had an honorable or general discharge, while only servicemembers who were honorably discharged can have their skills test waived when requesting a commercial driver's license.
"By requiring a lot of [benefit qualifications] just be honorable, we're denying some of our military members benefits," Esther Cheslea-McCarty, the state's legislative associate general counsel, told the news source.
Utah is not the only state attempting to expand its benefits for veterans. The Winston-Salem Journal reported that North Carolina is increasing its cost of living benefits by 1.5 percent for disabled veterans and their children starting Jan. 1.