Posted: Apr 05, 2024 9:05 AMUpdated: Apr 05, 2024 9:05 AM

KANE COLUMN: Honoring Oklahoma's Veterans

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Rep. John B. Kane

Last week, the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Senate held a joint session to honor Veterans Awareness Day. Oklahoma takes pride in its military and veteran presence, with over 286,000 veterans making up 8.7% of its population.

Oklahoma's five military installations, which train servicemembers and manufacture equipment, are crucial to national security. These bases also significantly impact the state, providing employment to over 133,000 people and creating thousands of private-sector jobs. Additionally, these installations have generated millions of dollars in investments.

A state like Oklahoma prides itself on offering veterans a chance to thrive. In Oklahoma, veterans experience a lower unemployment rate (4%) than the state's (5%). Additionally, veterans in Oklahoma earn a higher median household income than the average household in the state, making an average of $9,000 more annually.

Our commitment to our troops goes beyond words; it requires concrete action to support our troops for successful missions and ensure their safe return. During this session, House Republicans introduced numerous pieces of legislation for veterans.

House Bill 3747 would offer veterans needing long-term care more than 100 miles from a state veteran's center the option to contract and stay in a local nursing home. This initiative ensures veterans receive appropriate, personalized care that meets their needs. By granting flexibility and support to our veterans in their later years, this initiative pays tribute to their service and sacrifices.

Senate Bill 1707 would establish the State Veterans Home at Sallisaw, which would take over the operations of the State Veterans Home at Talihina. The Oklahoma Veterans Commission will determine the location of the new home.

HB3747 and SB1707 are currently in the legislative process and are awaiting to be heard in the opposite chamber's committee before they can advance to the floor. It has been a busy couple of weeks, and I hope everyone enjoyed spending time with their loved ones over the Easter weekend.   

It is such an honor and privilege to represent you at the State Capitol. I want to encourage any constituent with questions or concerns regarding legislation to reach out to my office at (405) 557-7358 or at

John Kane, a Republican, serves House District 11 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Tulsa and Washington counties.

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