House Passes Stefanik Initiative to Support Military Spouses and Families

December 10, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed S. 2248 – the Veterans Benefit and Transition Act. Congresswoman Stefanik’s legislation, H.R. 282, the Military Residency Choice Act, was included in this broader package. This bill allows military spouses to establish the same state of residency as their servicemember for voting and tax purposes and keep that same state of residency through each relocation. Military spouses serve too, and this benefit will help to ease the burden on families frequently relocating to meet the needs of the U.S. military.  Congresswoman Stefanik spoke from the House floor today to urge her colleagues to support her legislation. Watch Congresswoman Stefanik’s full speech by clicking here or on the image above.

The transcript of Congresswoman Stefanik’s speech is below:

Mr. Speaker, my legislation, included in the omnibus, gives all military spouses, regardless of which state they married in, the choice to establish the same state of residency as the service member for voting and tax purposes.

As the proud representative of Fort Drum and the Navy Site at Kesselring, I understand the challenges military families face and the sacrifices these families make to help protect our nation and safeguard our freedom.

Military families are constantly relocating to meet the needs of the military.

They sacrifice a great deal during these relocations—uprooting their lives and disrupting their families.

This is often a difficult and trying time, with the heaviest burden falling upon military spouses who serve as a critical support system for their loved ones.

Current law allows active duty service members to maintain one state of legal residence for tax and voting purposes, even when service members receive military orders requiring them to relocate.

But this does not apply evenly to spouses.

Spouses must establish residency every time the service member receives a new assignment—adding additional stress to families as they manage their relocation and seek new employment.

My legislation, the Military Residency Choice Act, fixes this inconsistency to better ease these trying transitions.

I urge my colleagues again to support this bill on a bipartisan basis, and I call on the President to sign this critical legislation into law.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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