Military Spouses Residency Relief Act awaits the President's Approval

The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act passed the House on Monday with bipartisan support and is now at the White House to be passed into Law.
Nov. 5, 2009 - PRLog -- A comprehensive military family legislation, the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (S 475 and HR 1182), which will legally recognize military spouses by providing them the option to claim the same state of domicile as their active duty spouse, passed through the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support, and is now being brought before the President to become a law.

The bill was introduced by Congressman John Carter (R-TX), who represents Fort Hood, the largest military installation in the country.  “This is fantastic news for our service families worldwide,” says Carter, who has been pushing the legislation for the last three years.  

Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the companion bill into the Senate, which passed unanimously in August.  The legislation will amend the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA) of 1940 allowing military spouses to share a home state with their spouse, the service member.

Currently, military spouses experience impediments in voting and property ownership as well as deterrents in employment and education. The bill offers fair treatment of the military spouse and improves the quality of life for military families by allowing the stability of a single state of domicile to call home.

Over 8,000 military spouses, friends and family members united to support the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act on Facebook.  They shared their individual stories as they contacted Congressional representatives to ask for support. Initially, Army Spouse, Rebecca Poynter and Navy Spouse, Joanna Williamson, approached Congressman Carter with their request to petition.  “It has been a grass roots effort by thousands of spouses across the country, who have campaigned to get this passed, by telling their stories,” explains Poynter.

“The support from Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and the Veterans Service Organizations, who testified in our support is greatly appreciated,” said Williamson. “Together, we claim this victory for all military families.”

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Supporters of the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (HR 1182, S 475), the only comprehensive military family legislation currently in Congress. The bill would allow the military spouse to claim the same home state of residency as the service member.

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