Bill would create state wounded soldier fund with alcohol money - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Bill would create state wounded soldier fund with alcohol money

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A Vernon Parish area lawmaker has filed a bill that, if approved, would dedicate a portion of the state excise tax levied on low alcoholic content beverages to the "Louisiana Wounded Warrior Fund."

House Bill 77, by Rep. Frankie Howard, R-Many, would dedicate 10 percent of the alcohol sales to the fund, which would be created.

The bill outlines that the fund be a special pool of money in the state treasury for use by Louisiana residents wounded while serving in the military.

"The monies in the fund shall be appropriated and used solely for expenses and costs associated with the hospitalization or rehabilitation of Louisiana citizens wounded while serving in the military," the measure states.

The bill calls for the money in the fund to be invested by the state treasurer "in the same manner as monies in the state general fund."

Under the bill, any interest earned on the investment would be credited to the state general fund.

If approved, the bill would become law on July 1.

Present law provides for the levy and imposition of an excise tax "on all beverages of low alcoholic content of $10 per barrel containing not more than 31 gallons, and at a like rate for fractional parts of a barrel," according to state law.

Another bill filed by a Southwest Louisiana lawmaker, Rep. James K. Armes, D-Leesville, would also benefit veterans.

House Bill 81 would allow quadriplegic veterans to obtain hunting and fishing licenses without charge. It would also remove the requirement for hunting and fishing licenses for Purple Heart recipients participating in a hunting or fishing event sponsored by certain non-profit foundations.

Present law allows certain injured or handicapped persons to obtain their recreational fishing licenses and hunting licenses without cost.

Armes' proposal would add quadriplegic to the list of people eligible for licenses at no cost.

The 2013 Legislative session begins in Baton Rouge on April 8.

By law, the session must adjourn on June 6.

For more on the upcoming session, click HERE.

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