Maryland Gov. Wes Moore arranged for a dramatic backdrop to sign a handful of military- and veteran-focused bills on Friday, putting pen to paper in front of a Maryland Air National Guard A-10 combat aircraft.

A row of military leaders stood at the guard base at Martin State Airport in Middle River behind Moore, Senate President Bill Ferguson and House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones as they made official new measures that:

Moore, a Democrat who served an Army tour in Afghanistan, sponsored the tax cut and health insurance bills.

Both were modified by lawmakers to be less generous than the governor initially proposed. But Moore noted that the savings to military families are still significant and send a message that their sacrifices are important.

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The tax cut was dubbed the “Keep Our Heroes Home Act,” in hopes of inspiring military members to stay in Maryland once their service careers are over.

“We need to make sure that, ‘Thank you for your service’ is more than just a quote,” Moore said.

Gov. Wes Moore administers the oath of enlistment to Airman 1st Class Zion Rawls to the 175th Wing Maryland Air National Guard before a bill signing ceremony in a maintenance hangar on May 12, 2023.

Adding to the pageantry of the bill signing, Moore administered the oath of enlistment to Airman First Class Zion Rawls of Harford County, who is joining the Maryland Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Squadron to work in aviation resource management.

Of the 810 bills passed by the Maryland General Assembly in their recent legislative session, Moore has signed more than 600 of them into law. He has until the end of the month to sign the rest, veto them or allow them to become law without his signature.

Pamela Wood covers Maryland politics and government. She previously reported for The Baltimore Sun, The Capital and other Maryland newspapers. A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, she lives in northern Anne Arundel County.

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