Washington, DC – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) has introduced two critical pieces of legislation to support military families: H.R. 279, the Military Family Stability Act and H.R. 282, the Military Residency Choice Act.
“As the home of Fort Drum and the Kesselring Navy nuclear site, our district knows firsthand the critical role military families play in supporting our troops and providing for our national defense,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Military families make great sacrifices when relocating and transitioning to new schools, jobs and communities, and we must do all we can to help ease their burden. Military families serve too, and I am proud to introduce these commonsense measures to support these patriots.”
The measures Congresswoman Stefanik has introduced include H.R. 282, the Military Residency Choice Act. This bill would permit the spouse of a servicemember to use the same residence as the servicemember for purposes of taxation and voting, regardless of the date on which the marriage of the spouse and the servicemember occurred. This bill greatly eases some of the stressors on our military families by protecting our military spouses’ home-of-record and allowing them to maintain the same residency as their servicemember spouse.
She also has introduced H.R. 279, The Military Family Stability Act. This bill will provide military families with the flexibility they need to make a successful transition to their new jobs, schools and communities.
The Military Family Stability Act is intended to improve the process for military families when they receive orders for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) report date. Specifically, after a servicemember receives their orders, this bill:
- Allows military spouses and family to continue to work up to six months in their current job, or, if they choose, move up to six months early to their next location in order to secure or begin new full-time employment.
- Allows military spouses to extend education they may be pursuing, or allow military children to smoothly transition within, prior to, or past their school semesters.
This option would be available to servicemembers for up to three times during their military career. Servicemembers must have at least 24 months left to serve to exercise this option. The Military Family Stability Act will be applied across the DoD to ensure parity among the service branches.
In addition to supporting military families, the MFSA will assist in helping to retain highly talented officers and enlisted servicemembers, and decrease long-term Permanent Change of Station cost by improving the efficiency with which the military manages its PCS process.
This legislation was previously introduced by Congresswoman Chris Gibson in the 114th Congress and was supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officers Association of America, Veterans Support Foundation, Military Child Education Coalition, Blue Star Families and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.