During Women’s History Month, Sen. Santana leads the effort to ensure Michigan’s brave servicewomen are honored for their selflessness and courage 


LANSING, Mich. (March 13, 2024) — Today, Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) introduced Senate Bill 788 that would authorize a special registration plate for women veterans in the state of Michigan, helping to raise recognition of their contributions to our nation.

With over 46,000 women veterans, Michigan is home to the 15th-largest women veteran population in the country, according to the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. While women only accounted for 4% of the veteran population in 2000, they are projected to comprise 18% by 2040 — making them the fastest growing segment of the veteran population.

“Each and every day — and especially during Women’s History Month — it is vital for us to honor all of the women in the state of Michigan, including the brave servicewomen who have put their life on the line to defend our national security,” said Sen. Santana. “While women have proudly served alongside men in our military since the Revolutionary War, they were unable to enlist until 1948, and it wasn’t until the late 1970s that they were formally granted veteran status and allowed to take advantage of the benefits they earned. This plate is a simple way to acknowledge our courageous women veterans and ensure their service is prominently recognized.”

Currently, the state of Michigan provides 30 registration plates for veterans and their loved ones — recognizing wounded veterans, Gold Star families, reservists and many others. This legislation would allow Michigan to join 17 other states who provide a special registration plate to specifically honor women veterans for their sacrifice.

This bill’s introduction coincides with Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of women who have played a vital role in shattering glass ceilings, advancing equity and serving their communities. By acknowledging that “She is a Veteran,” we can all do our part to change the public perception of what veterans look like and ensure our servicewomen are valued and have access to the benefits they have earned.

Sen. Santana currently serves on the Senate Veterans and Emergency Services Committee and is deeply committed to supporting all veterans who call Michigan home. Last year, she championed Senate Bill 176 which, along with Senate Bill 330, protects the property tax exemption for disabled veterans and their surviving spouses. She has also supported legislative efforts to recognize Blue Star Mother’s Day and voted in favor of House Bill 4555, which permanently established June 12 as Women Veterans Recognition Day in Michigan.