The Ohio Senate today passed Senate Bill 301, sponsored by Senator Kevin Bacon (R–Minerva Park), which will designate a week in May of each year as “Ohio Warrior Awareness Week” to honor more than 100,000 Ohio veterans who have a military service-related disability.

“Ohio Warrior Awareness Week is a way for Ohio to show its gratitude for those who have service-related disabilities,” said Bacon. “We have a responsibility to support these brave men and women when they return home and connect them with the medical care and other resources they need.”

Ohio Warrior Awareness Week gives Ohioans the opportunity to recognize employers who support Ohio Guard and Reservists before their deployment and upon their return.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are approximately 48,000 Ohioans currently serving in active duty, not including the thousands more who serve in the Ohio National Guard or Reserve. Approximately 76,000 Ohioans have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and over 100,000 veterans in Ohio have a service-connected disability.

Senate Bill 301 follows the unanimous passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 28 last fall, which Bacon authored to designate a week in May 2014 as “Ohio Warrior Awareness Week,” coinciding with Armed Forces Week. This legislation will make the awareness week an annual event.

The Senate also approved Senate Bill 283, sponsored by Senator Bacon, which lengthens a member’s term and a chairperson’s term on the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities until their successor takes office. Under current law, if new council members are not appointed in a timely manner, the council may not be able to conduct business for lack of quorum.

“The bill gives current law flexibility so if deadlines for appointments are not met, the Council can fulfill its duties to Ohioans and the Disabilities Community,” said Bacon.

Both bills will now proceed to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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