Lawmakers move legislation to make state more military friendly - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Lawmakers move legislation to make state more military friendly

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The military has a $16 billion economic impact in South Carolina. The continued push by lawmakers and the governor to make the state more military friendly could work to protect the state against future base closures.

Veteran Lloyd Woods saw what happens when budgets aren't big enough to keep bases open in his home state of Maine.

"When they closed that it was devastating to the economy, the area," said Woods. "It employed a lot of people. I'd hate to see that happen here."

Gov. Nikki Haley is working to make sure it doesn't happen here. State leaders are putting together a plan that will put veterans back to work, lessen the risk off future base closures, and strengthen the economy.

"It's one more push to say, 'How else can we be the most military friendly state in the country?' and it's one more push to get more veterans back in the work force. And it's a win-win when you combine veterans and business," said Haley.

Lawmakers have already passed several bills to improve the quality of life for our military men and women living here and their families.

"Last year what you saw was we focused a lot on transfer certifications so those servicemen who moved in and out of the state. Their certifications and their spouses' certifications transferred easily," said Haley.

More military-focused legislation is coming.

"One way we can do that is to allow military families who move into the state to have out of state tuition immediately," said state Rep. Chip Limehouse. "Currently, they have to wait."

Woods, who's seen his home crippled by military cuts, hopes state lawmakers can continue their momentum.

"It's well worth the work," said Woods.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

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