Rep. Vella-Wilkinson bill would offer tax deduction for health-related National Guard assignments


STATE HOUSE — Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) has introduced legislation that would offer deductions for taxpayers serving in the National Guard for health-related assignments.

The bill (2022-H 7382) would provide for an income tax deduction for a taxpayer serving in the National Guard at an amount up to 50 percent of the taxpayer’s income earned for medically related service during a pandemic

“The Governor has the ability to activate our National Guard as a response to natural disaster or to keep order during civil unrest,” said Representative Vella-Wilkinson. “However, I firmly believe that activating the Guard to bolster the shortage of healthcare workers during a pandemic is well outside the scope of their mission and puts them and their immediate family at risk to exposure. Approving this tax exemption is tantamount to providing hazard pay.”

As COVID-19 infections surge, more than 15,600 National Guard members throughout the country are supporting state and local officials dealing with the pandemic. Of those responding, more than 6,000 Guard members are providing direct support to hospitals, care centers and other medical facilities.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, National Guard men and women in each of the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia have been on the front lines,” said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “We continue to work closely with the states to ensure our Soldiers and Airmen are meeting their needs.”

The legislation, which is cosponsored by Representatives Thomas E. Noret (D-Dist. 25, Coventry, West Warwick), Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, Narragansett, South Kingstown), Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence), Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly), Julie Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter) and Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence), has been referred to the House Finance Committee.