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MVCMOAA Legislative Updated Dec 2018

MVCMOAA Legislative Corner

By CDR John Prevar, USN, Legislative Chair

United States Congress:

I am continuing to send The Despatch to Representatives Comstock, Beyer, and Connolly, who represent MVC congressional districts, as well as to Senators Warner and Kaine.  Below is the response I received from Collin Davenport, Congressman Connolly’s legislative assistant, concerning the 2019 Defense Appropriations Act highlighted in last month’s Legislative Corner:

“Thank you for forwarding and mentioning the death gratuities reform that Mr. Connolly sponsored.  If you want to distribute more detailed on that to your membership since the fix originated in the area, here is a good article that summarizes the issue.  It really is a great example of grassroots advocacy from organizations like MOAA kicking into gear and helping spur Congress to do the right thing.”

Military death benefits won’t be stopped by government shutdowns anymore (excerpted from Military Times, September 14, 2018)

 

By: Leo Shane III

 

WASHINGTON — Military death gratuities will be exempted from future government shutdowns under a provision included in the defense appropriations deal announced this week.

The move means a permanent fix for an infrequent but devastating problem facing grieving military families caught up in national political budget fights. In each of the last two partial government shutdowns, widows of troops killed on duty were forced to wait several days for the military’s automatic financial assistance because federal rules prohibited the payouts.

Language in the defense minibus bill…will now create an exemption for those families. Even if other military services and benefits are shuttered, the death gratuity payments will still be processed.

 

“This really is the very least we can do for families who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who sponsored legislation making the change. “Never again will a government shutdown cause a grieving military family to be denied a death gratuity payment during their time of mourning.” (Read the full article at https://www.military times.com/news/your-military/2018/09/14/military-death-benefits-wont-be-stopped-by-government-shutdowns-anymore/.

 

Virginia General Assembly

Preparations are underway for “Storming the General Assembly” on January 16, 2019.  At that time Virginia MOAA chapter representative will team with members from other Virginia Service Organizations to brief Virginia legislative representatives on the Joint Leadership Council’s 2019 Legislative Initiatives:

·      Increased State Active Duty Pay

·      Income Tax Subtraction for Certain Low-Income 100% Disabled Veterans

·      Electronic Return of Voted Ballots by Overseas Military

·      Personal Property Tax Relief for Certain Disabled Veterans

·      Free Tuition for Virginia National Guardsmen

·      Removing the Combat Requirement for Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP)

·      Phased-in System for Partial State Tax Exemption for Military Retirement Income

More detail on the JLC initiatives will be provided in future The Despatch articles and on our website.



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