The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation sponsored by State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) that would exempt military deployment orders from being a public record. The intention of the bill is to provide military families with the security, privacy and peace of mind they deserve while their family member serves away from home.

House Bill 423 aims to clarify the law when it pertains to military personnel and their public records. Since currently the Public Records Act does not specify whether or not military deployment orders are public record, Representative Perales championed the bill to ensure that military members and their families are protected from individuals who are intending them harm and could be a threat to national security. The bill covers all branches of the armed forces, including both the Ohio National Guard and reservists.

“As a former member of the military, I know how difficult it is to leave your family to serve overseas,” said Perales. “The last thing our service members need is to be worried about the safety and security of their family while they are in the line of duty. I am proud to put forward a piece of legislation that will help protect military families, and give our service members peace of mind that their family is safe while they are abroad.”

The bill received support from various organizations serving veterans, including the American Legion Department of Ohio and AMVETS of Ohio. During the committee process, an amendment was added that specifies that military orders or other related documents will become public record after 15 years.

After being passed 90-0 on the House floor, the bill now makes its way to the Senate for further consideration.

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