Rep. Dan Kristiansen’s ‘Legislation in Focus’ – House Bill 2744: Supporting our veterans and their businesses


May 21, 2014

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Legislation in Focus
House Bill 2744: Supporting our veterans and their businesses
By Rep. Dan Kristiansen
Special to the chambers of commerce

This weekend, many people will be getting together for their first summer camp-outs or for backyard barbecues as the Memorial Day holiday kicks off the start of the summer vacation season. It is, however, because of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice that we can live in freedom and enjoy the ability to gather with our families and friends. Imagine what the maps of the world would look like today had it not been for the strength, courage and willingness of our soldiers to give their all.

Memorial Day is so much more than a weekend barbecue or camping trip. It is a time to pause and pay tribute to those who gave their lives so that every generation of Americans will have the blessings of freedom. It is also a time to show your appreciation for those blessings, whether it is to place flowers and flags on the graves of our fallen soldiers, to buy and wear a buddy poppy sold by local VFW organizations, or to help a local military family whose spouse is serving overseas.

As a state representative, I am also proud to support legislation that gives back to our veterans and active duty service members, including House Bill 2744. This is a measure, passed this year by the Legislature, which creates a certified list, maintained by the state Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), for veteran-owned businesses in Washington. Under this measure, if a business is owned, domiciled, incorporated and run here in our state, and it is owned 51 percent or more by a veteran, it qualifies to be a certified veteran-owned business.

Those who meet these qualifications may receive a decal they can post in their storefront so they can be quickly identified by consumers as veteran-owned. This gives people the opportunity to patronize and support those veteran-owned businesses.

Currently, more than 850 businesses in Washington are certified by the DVA.

The bill also encourages state agencies to award three percent of all procurement contracts exempt from competitive bidding to veteran-owned businesses.

This jobs-creating legislation is a small way we can help those who have sacrificed for us.

As we observe Memorial Day, I would present this challenge: Ask yourself what you can do to give back to our veterans. If you operate a business and have a job opening, consider hiring a veteran. They have the proven ability to quickly learn new skills and concepts. They understand teamwork, and they know what it means to do “an honest day’s work.”

And for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, take some time this weekend to reflect on the blessings you enjoy because of them. Let us live our lives with the same willingness to give to our country and to our fellow citizens. In the words of the late President Ronald Reagan, “Let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.”

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Rep. Dan Kristiansen represents the 39th Legislative District. For more information about Rep. Kristiansen, visit:

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