Bill could recognize Fort Benning as an Alabama installation

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 9:57 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A new bill has been filed in this Alabama Legislative Session for Alabama to recognize Fort Benning as one of the state’s own military installations. Currently, Fort Benning has more than 12,000 acres in Alabama.

This could provide Alabama families with benefits for active duty soldiers and military veterans for example... in-state college tuition and additional job opportunities for military dependents.

“The number of veterans and active military that live in Lee and Russell counties that are based in Fort Benning we felt like recognizing Fort Benning as the 5th military installation in the state of Alabama was the right thing to do,” said representative Chris Blackshear.

House Bill 44, proposed by representative Chris Blackshear, would recognize Fort Benning as an Alabama military installation. This would not impact operations in Georgia... but it would change how lawmakers view the nearly 12-thousand acres of Fort Benning property located across the river in Alabama.

Blackshear said federal funds are split amongst the existing four military installations in Alabama. This bill would add Fort Benning to the list... and potentially allow military spending allocated for Alabama to benefit Fort Benning. The amount of funding would be determined by a state-appointed commission.

“You know that figure fluctuates, I don’t really want to go into what the numbers would be yet because that has to be determined but now Fort Benning will be put in that bucket, and they will also get a equal share of that funding,” said representative Chris Blackshear.

Blackshear believes the recognition and potential funding could only benefit nearby residents who live near and around Fort Benning.

“our lieutenant governor has really focused on how do we make this a military friendly state welcoming active military that are stationed in our bases but most importantly the retirees and our veterans,” said representative Chris Blackshear.

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