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Governor signs Barrett’s bipartisan bill to maintain tax relief for disabled veterans

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Tom Barrett’s legislation to allow some disabled veterans to continue deducting the amount of their student loans from their taxable income has been signed into law, according to a Wednesday announcement from the governor’s office.

“Perhaps it is a Christmas miracle or maybe her heart grew three sizes today, I’m not sure which. But what I am sure of is that the governor put aside her partisan veto pen to sign this important bipartisan legislation into law. I am thankful that Michigan’s totally and permanently disabled veterans, who have made incredible sacrifices for our freedom at great cost to themselves, can now be assured of this important tax relief,” said Barrett, R-Charlotte.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proven to be the most partisan governor in recent state history, already striking down nearly 100 bipartisan bills and averaging more than 35 vetoes per year since taking office in 2019.

Senate Bill 25, now Public Act 120 of 2021, was sent to the governor on Nov. 30 after passing 105-2 in the House and unanimously in the Senate earlier this year.

Under federal law, student loan debt forgiveness for veterans who have received a total and permanent disability discharge is not currently taxed at the state level, although that provision is set to expire at the end of 2025. PA 120 now maintains that tax relief by requiring the state to allow eligible veterans to deduct the amount of a discharged loan from their adjusted gross income on their state income tax form provided it was not previously excluded at the federal level.

“I want to thank my predecessor in the 24th Senate District, former Sen. Rick Jones, for first getting the ball rolling on this important legislation,” Barrett said. “I am also grateful to my colleagues in the Legislature for their overwhelming bipartisan support; and for our veterans who have made so many known and unknown sacrifices through their heroic service. We must do all we can to assist our totally and permanently disabled veterans, and SB 25 is just one small way in which we were able to serve them in return.”