“Time and time again, our state has called on our dedicated law enforcement officers, first responders, and military servicemen and women, and every single time they have answered the call with no regard for their own personal safety.” -Governor Hogan
Hometown Heroes Act of 2020
Governor Hogan will introduce the Hometown Heroes Act of 2020 to exempt retired law enforcement, fire, rescue, corrections, and emergency response personnel from state tax on all retirement income specific to their service in those professions.
This is the fifth year that Governor Hogan has introduced legislation to eliminate state taxes on the retirement income of first responders. In 2017, the governor was proud to enact the Hometown Heroes benefit so that first responders can exempt the first $15,000 of their retirement income from state taxes. This year, he is again pushing to fully exempt all retirement income for these occupations and to lower the age of eligibility from 55 to 50.
Expanding Tuition Assistance for Maryland National Guard Members
Governor Hogan will introduce new legislation to allow the state to reimburse up to 100% of the cost of in-state tuition for undergraduate and graduate courses for all current Guard members. Through the Maryland National Guard State Tuition Assistance Reimbursement (STAR) program, the state currently reimburses up to 50% of in-state tuition costs for certain Guard members. Released today, the governor’s FY21 budget increases funding for the STAR program by 200% over last year’s funding level.
Tax Relief for Military Retirees
Governor Hogan is again introducing legislation to eliminate all state taxes on retirement income received as a result of military service. Since taking office in 2015, Governor Hogan has taken numerous steps to fulfill his commitment to eliminate state income taxes on all retirement income. In 2015, the governor enacted legislation to increase the tax exemption on military retiree pensions from $5,000 to $10,000 for retirees 65 years or older, and in 2018, he again enacted legislation that increased the exemption by 50% to $15,000 and lowered the eligibility age to 55.
Occupational Licensing Reform for Military Families
Governor Hogan is introducing new legislation that would create jobs and boost opportunities for veterans and military families by recognizing occupational licenses from other states. This legislation will provide significant support to military families who are often required to move from state to state, enabling them to more quickly and easily find jobs and opportunities in Maryland. The legislation would be limited to include military, military spouses, and veterans with licenses issued by the Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses.
New Veterans Affairs Service Offices
The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs has partnered with the Maryland Vehicle Administration to house local veterans service offices within regional MVAs. This is a first-of-its kind partnership that will allow greater visibility to veterans and provide easier access to services for veterans and their families. Since its opening in October, the office in Glen Burnie has made contact with more than 1,000 veterans and closed more than 100 cases. We are opening additional offices in Salisbury, Hagerstown, and Bel Air.
Learn about the status of our legislation on the Maryland General Assembly website.
(HB 350/SB 269) Hometown Heroes Act of 2020
(HB 349/SB 280) Occupational and Professional Licensing – Service Members, Veterans, and Military Spouses
(HB 361/SB 279) Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Military Retirement Income
(HB0362/SB 282) Maryland National Guard – Tuition Assistance Program
- Enacted multiple bills to expand medical coverage for firefighters, including the Firefighter Jesse McCullough’s Cancer Protection Law
- Pushed for initiatives that keep first responders safe by enhancing their communications infrastructure
- Enacted Hometown Heroes benefit so that first responders can exempt the first $15,000 of their retirement income from state taxes
- Declared 2019 the Year of the Veteran to raise awareness of veterans’ contributions and causes
- Established March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in Maryland as first piece of legislation after taking office
- Eliminated fees associated with veterans’ designation on driver’s licenses, disabled veteran vehicle plate registration, and Maryland state park admission
- Helped bring permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Perry Point Medical Center Campus
Photo Release: Governor Hogan Commemorates 175th Anniversary of United States Naval Academy
Photo Release: Governor Hogan Attends 24th Annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge
Hogan Announces Military Initiatives at National Guard Armory
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day: Governor Hogan Announces Hometown Heroes Legislation, Urges Passage of Violent Crime Initiatives
Governor Larry Hogan Announces Legislation to Expand State Benefits for Firefighters
Governor Hogan Enacts Hometown Heroes Benefit