While advocacy efforts stemming from MOAA’s national headquarters stay on the federal level, many issues affecting the lives of servicemembers past and present, and their families, reside in other jurisdictions. MOAA’s Military State Report Card and Tax Guide keeps members up to date on some of these issues, including how states are addressing some of the top concerns of the Defense-State Liaison Office (DSLO).
This DoD office works to inform state-level policymakers on the needs of the military community. Its 10 key issues of 2022 address core family concerns of the military community:
- Spouse employment: DSLO pushes states to enhance and expand professional license portability and access to military spouses, and to join licensing compacts that prevent spouses from undergoing the pain and expense of recertification after every move.
- School concerns: DSLO advocates for laws helping students register for class in advance and allow for flexible enrollment, both keys to successful transitions for military dependents. DSLO also recommends the Purple Star Schools Program as a way for states to recognize schools that emphasize these and other pro-military offerings.
- Safety concerns: DSLO works with states to establish “concurrent jurisdiction” for military installations, which allows state-level juvenile courts to handle incidents that otherwise could become federal matters. They also work to increase collaboration between state and military services for child abuse identification and reporting.
- Other critical issues: DSLO recommends states allow military dependents to keep in-state tuition rates when they relocate, and seeks to have each state join the “Ask the Question” campaign, allowing families to identify as military families on various reporting materials and enabling officials to match then with earned benefits, military programs, or other relevant resources.
You can learn more about each of these issues at this link. You can see how each state is doing on these issues at MOAA’s Military State Report Card and Tax Guide: Scroll down to the second map for our updated tracker.
Interested in becoming involved in state-level advocacy? Find your local MOAA affiliate using our online chapter locator.