LANSING, Mich. — Sens. Steve Bieda (D–Warren) and Marty Knollenberg (R–Troy) today introduced legislation that would create a funding mechanism for The World War II Legacy Memorial in Royal Oak and allow the state to accept memorial contributions from taxpayers.

The two bills are designed to honor the 620,000 Michigan residents who served in the armed forces overseas and at home during World War II, and provide a lasting tribute to the 15,458 service members who lost their lives.

“Michigan’s role in the ‘Arsenal of Democracy’ should never be forgotten,” Sen. Bieda said. “This memorial will not only honor the brave soldiers who risked their lives, but also those non-combat patriots in our state who mined iron ore in Ironwood to build tanks and airplanes or produced K-rations for soldiers at the Kellogg’s facility in Battle Creek, among many other dedicated people.”

Senate Bill 817 sponsored by Sen. Bieda, would establish The Michigan World War II Legacy Memorial Fund in the Department of Treasury to collect and distribute the donated funds. Senate Bill 816, sponsored by Sen. Knollenberg, would amend the Income Tax Act to allow an individual to make a voluntary contribution on Form 4642 when they file their state tax returns.

Proposed plans for the $3 million memorial include statues to honor soldiers; pillars to represent Michigan’s contributions to the war effort; a walkable and interactive map with military, commercial and government points of interest; and an amphitheater.

Taxpayers wishing to contribute must check a box indicating the dollar amount they would like to contribute on Form 4642 when they file their taxes. Form 4642 allows Michigan residents to leave voluntary contributions for State-approved organizations, including the American Red Cross Michigan Fund, the Animal Welfare Fund, the Military Family Relief Fund and the United Way Fund.