Category Archives: National Legislative Updates

Legislative Update 10 March 2017: The Gap Between Providing and Accessing Resources for Military Families

                            We have One Action Items today at Issue 3 Below

                                                           Issues 

                  Click on the underlined titles below: 

 

THE GAP BETWEEN PROVIDING AND ACCESSING RESOURCES FOR MILITARY FAMILIES

Are support and services beyond reach?

In the March On Watch column, Brooke Goldberg, MOAA Government Relations Director of Military Family Policy/Spouse Programs, looks at the disconnect in availability of resources for military families.

 
 

MORE CHOICE, BETTER HEALTH CARE IN STORE FOR VETS

VA secretary unveils plan to build a “veterans first” health system

Secretary David Shulkin outlines an ambitious plan to improve VA care. How will this affect you?

 
 

SENIOR ENLISTED UNANIMOUSLY REQUEST FISCAL CERTAINTY

Highest-ranking enlisted say servicemembers are leaving service because of sequestration

Uncertainty in programs makes it difficult to retain top talent.

 
 

MOAA SPONSORS CONGRESSIONAL EVENT TO DISCUSS NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE

House lawmaker introduces bill to fix GI Bill loophole

Military leaders want this fixed. Congress wants it fixed. It’s time to ensure those who are called to duty earn their due credit.

 
 

PREPARING TO STORM FOR THE WIDOWS

MOAA staff met with key staffers on the HASC to encourage support ahead of Storming Week

SSIA is set to expire May 2018. A solution must be included in the 2018 defense bill.

 

 

FOR ALL, Please feel free to pass these Weekly Legislative Updates on to your group of Veteran Friends – don’t be concerned with possible duplications – if your friends are as concerned as we are with Veteran issues, they probably won’t mind getting this from two or more friendly sources.

.                                That’s it for today- Thanks for your continuing help!

 

Legislative Update 3 March 2017: Is Trump’s Defense Budget Enough?

                                                    We have no Action Items today

 

                                                                             Issues 

                  Click on the underlined titles below: 

 

IS TRUMP’S DEFENSE BUDGET ENOUGH?

Proposal faces uphill battle

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget has many in Congress happy, but some key lawmakers say it isn’t enough.

 
 

VA SECRETARY OUTLINES NEW VISION

Sec. Shulkin outlines 10-point plan

The new VA secretary laid out a 10-point plan for improving veterans’ health care this weekend – and it doesn’t include a move toward privatization.

 
 

VA COSTS COULD BALLOON WITH ‘CHOICE’ REFORM, NEW ‘AO’ AILMENTS

Decision “weeks away,” says VA secretary

VA Secretary David Shulkin will soon decide whether hundreds of thousands more Vietnam War veterans will be eligible for VA compensation and health care for new illnesses linked to Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the war.

 
 

BURN PIT STUDY RELEASED

64,000 veterans join registry

A new study by the VA on burn pits provides little insight, but a big opportunity for health care experts.

 

 

FOR ALL, Please feel free to pass these Weekly Legislative Updates on to your group of Veteran Friends – don’t be concerned with possible duplications – if your friends are as concerned as we are with Veteran issues, they probably won’t mind getting this from two or more friendly sources.

.                                                     That’s it for today- Thanks for your continuing help!

 

 

State Veterans Legislative Update 3 March 2017: SB 1248 Strike Everything Bill; ‘income tax subtraction: military retirement

SB 1248 is a Strike Everything (S/E) Bill that now includes the text of Senator Gail Griffin’s SB 1444 that failed to get a scheduled hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee last month after receiving a 4-3-0-0 vote in the Senate Finance Committee. SB1248 S/E: ‘income tax subtraction: military retirement’ will increase the income tax exemption for Military Retirees from the current $2,500 to $12,500 in 2019, to $25,000 in 2020 and to full exemption beginning in 2022. This will be an incentive for military retirees to choose Arizona as the place to retire and begin their new careers. The Governor has said that he wants Arizona to be the Friendliest State in the Nation to the Military. This bill is a good Start!  While this Bill addresses reducing and eventually eliminating state income tax for Military Retirees it will, in part, be replaced with sales tax for new cars and homes, property taxes on homes, and other entities that they will spend their retirement and new career earnings on.

SB 1248 S/E is scheduled for a hearing in House Hearing Room 3 on 6 March.

Please consider sending the draft message at the end of this Email to all Arizona State Representatives ASAP and encourage their support for SB 1248 S/E.

When you are ready to send your message, open a New Email as you would usually do to send a message. Then copy and paste the Draft Message below and paste it as the text of your New Email. Edit it if desired. Then add your name after the word ‘Respectfully’ at the end of your new message. Don’t include your address as that might tend to cause the Representative or his/her staff to delete your message before they read it  if you are not a constituent.

Then type  “ SB 1248: income tax exemption: military retirement  as the subject of your New Email

Then come back to this posting and copy one of the lists of House of Representative Members list shown below and paste it on the Bcc: line of your new Message

Then then hit SEND to send your Email

 

Arizona House of Representatives Email addresses with Semi-colons:

jallen@azleg.gov; lalston@azleg.gov; randrade@azleg.gov; bbarton@azleg.gov; wbenally@azleg.gov; iblanc@azleg.gov; rbolding@azleg.gov; rbowers@azleg.gov; pboyer@azleg.gov; kbutler@azleg.gov; ncampbell@azleg.gov; mcardenas@azleg.gov; hcarter@azleg.gov; cchavez@azleg.gov; kclark2@azleg.gov; tclodfelter@azleg.gov; rcobb@azleg.gov; dcoleman@azleg.gov; dcook@azleg.gov; edescheenie@azleg.gov; kengel@azleg.gov; mepstein@azleg.gov; despinoza@azleg.gov; efarnsworth@azleg.gov; cfernandez@azleg.gov; mfinchem@azleg.gov; rfriese@azleg.gov; rgabaldon@azleg.gov; sgonzales@azleg.gov; tgrantham@azleg.gov; dhernandez@azleg.gov; djohn@azleg.gov; akern@azleg.gov; jlawrence@azleg.gov; vleach@azleg.gov; dlivingston@azleg.gov; plovas@azleg.gov; rmartinez@azleg.gov; jmesnard@azleg.gov; dmitchell@azleg.gov; pmosley@azleg.gov; tnavarrete@azleg.gov; jnorgaard@azleg.gov; bnutt@azleg.gov; kpayne@azleg.gov; ppowershannley@azleg.gov; rrios@azleg.gov; trivero@azleg.gov; jrubalcava@azleg.gov; msaldate@azleg.gov; asalman@azleg.gov; dshooter@azleg.gov; tshope@azleg.gov; dstringer@azleg.gov; msyms@azleg.gov; bthorpe@azleg.gov; ktownsend@azleg.gov; mudall@azleg.gov; mugenti-rita@azleg.gov; jweninger@azleg.gov;

House of Representatives addresses with comas:

jallen@azleg.gov, lalston@azleg.gov, randrade@azleg.gov, bbarton@azleg.gov, wbenally@azleg.gov, iblanc@azleg.gov, rbolding@azleg.gov, rbowers@azleg.gov, pboyer@azleg.gov, kbutler@azleg.gov, ncampbell@azleg.gov, mcardenas@azleg.gov, hcarter@azleg.gov, cchavez@azleg.gov, kclark2@azleg.gov, tclodfelter@azleg.gov, rcobb@azleg.gov, dcoleman@azleg.gov, dcook@azleg.gov, edescheenie@azleg.gov, kengel@azleg.gov, mepstein@azleg.gov, despinoza@azleg.gov, efarnsworth@azleg.gov, cfernandez@azleg.gov, mfinchem@azleg.gov, rfriese@azleg.gov, rgabaldon@azleg.gov, sgonzales@azleg.gov, tgrantham@azleg.gov, dhernandez@azleg.gov, djohn@azleg.gov, akern@azleg.gov, jlawrence@azleg.gov, vleach@azleg.gov, dlivingston@azleg.gov, plovas@azleg.gov, rmartinez@azleg.gov, jmesnard@azleg.gov, dmitchell@azleg.gov, pmosley@azleg.gov, tnavarrete@azleg.gov, jnorgaard@azleg.gov, bnutt@azleg.gov, kpayne@azleg.gov, ppowershannley@azleg.gov, rrios@azleg.gov, trivero@azleg.gov, jrubalcava@azleg.gov, msaldate@azleg.gov, asalman@azleg.gov, dshooter@azleg.gov, tshope@azleg.gov, dstringer@azleg.gov, msyms@azleg.gov, bthorpe@azleg.gov, ktownsend@azleg.gov, mudall@azleg.gov, mugenti-rita@azleg.govjweninger@azleg.gov,

 

Arizona Senate Email addresses with Semi-colons:

SALLEN@azleg.gov; NBARTO@azleg.gov; SBORRELLI@azleg.gov; SBOWIE@azleg.gov; DBRADLEY@azleg.gov; KBROPHYMCGEE@azleg.gov; JBURGES@azleg.gov; OCAJEROBEDFORD@azleg.gov; LCONTRERAS@azleg.gov; ADALESSANDRO@azleg.gov; KFANN@azleg.gov; SFARLEY@azleg.gov; DFARNSWORTH@azleg.gov; GGRIFFIN@azleg.gov; KHOBBS@azleg.gov; JKAVANAGH@azleg.gov; DLESKO@azleg.gov; JMENDEZ@azleg.gov; RMEZA@azleg.gov; CMIRANDA@azleg.gov; SMONTENEGRO@azleg.gov; LOTONDO@azleg.gov; JPESHLAKAI@azleg.gov; WPETERSEN@azleg.gov; FPRATT@azleg.gov; MQUEZADA@azleg.gov; STSMITH@azleg.gov; BWORSLEY@azleg.gov; SYARBROUGH@azleg.gov; KYEE@azleg.gov

 

Senate Addresses With Commas:                                                                                                             

SALLEN@azleg.gov, NBARTO@azleg.gov, SBORRELLI@azleg.gov, SBOWIE@azleg.gov, DBRADLEY@azleg.gov, KBROPHYMCGEE@azleg.gov, JBURGES@azleg.gov, OCAJEROBEDFORD@azleg.gov, LCONTRERAS@azleg.gov, ADALESSANDRO@azleg.gov, KFANN@azleg.gov, SFARLEY@azleg.gov, DFARNSWORTH@azleg.gov, GGRIFFIN@azleg.gov, KHOBBS@azleg.gov, JKAVANAGH@azleg.gov, DLESKO@azleg.gov, JMENDEZ@azleg.gov, RMEZA@azleg.gov, CMIRANDA@azleg.gov, SMONTENEGRO@azleg.gov, LOTONDO@azleg.gov, JPESHLAKAI@azleg.gov, WPETERSEN@azleg.gov, FPRATT@azleg.gov, MQUEZADA@azleg.gov, STSMITH@azleg.gov, BWORSLEY@azleg.gov, SYARBROUGH@azleg.gov, KYEE@azleg.gov

                                               Draft Message

———————————————————————————————————

 

Dear State Representative,

As an Arizona Veteran, I urge you to Co-Sponsor and/or support Senator Gail Griffin’s SB 1248 Strike Everything Bill that will be a major step in making Arizona the most Military Friendly State in the Nation!  It will increase  the income tax exemption for Military retirees over the years and eventually eliminate all Military Retirement pay from taxation by the State of Arizona. This proposal will draw middle-aged Military Retirees to Arizona. These retirees have proven records, have diverse skills, are well-educated, and will be a huge asset to Arizona if we can incentivize them to make this their home. Please join Senator Griffin in supporting and urging your colleagues to support SB 1248 S/E Bill ‘income tax subtraction: military retirement’.

Respectfully,

 

Legislative Update 24 February 2017: Budget Challenges Front and Center for New Administration

 

  We have two Action Items today at the 3rd issue and at the end of the 4th issue below

                                                                       Issues 

                  Click on the underlined titles below: 

 

BUDGET CHALLENGES FRONT AND CENTER FOR NEW ADMINISTRATION

Pressure mounts for a budget, even if it’s skinny

President Donald Trump indicated he will produce an outline of his budget in mid-March with a full budget possible in May. Can he deliver?

 
 

FINAL REPORT ON ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

Decision time is upon us

After months of analysis, a report concludes Arlington National Cemetery will need to change eligibility restrictions to keep its doors open.

 
 

WOUNDED, ILL AND INJURED NEED SUPPORT

Find out what you can do to help

We’ve identified unresolved issues for wounded, ill and injured troops and their families on the topic of care coordination.

 
 

HOW SEQUESTRATION AFFECTS MILITARY FAMILIES

Child care programs affected by federal hiring freeze

As the government responds to the looming threat of sequestration, how will military families be affected? We just got a look at what could happen.

 
 

WE ASKED, YOU ANSWERED

TRICARE Pharmacy feedback

A wide range of commentary provides valuable information about what is working and what needs attention.

 

 

FOR ALL, Please feel free to pass these Weekly Legislative Updates on to your group of Veteran Friends – don’t be concerned with possible duplications – if your friends are as concerned as we are with Veteran issues, they probably won’t mind getting this from two or more friendly sources.

.                                  That’s it for today- Thanks for your continuing help!

*State Veterans Legislative Update 17 February 2017; SB 1443: veterans’ donation fund; tax credit

SB 1443: ‘veterans’ donation fund: tax credit’ is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Appropriation Committee at 2 PM on 21 February. It would establish the Arizona Veterans’ Donation fund as an Arizona Tax Credit organization in lieu of continuing the  Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF) as an Arizona Tax Credit organization. The MFRF, established as an Arizona Tax Credit organization in 2007 to assist post 1/9/11 veterans, is scheduled to end in 2018. Of the approximately 9 million dollars donated to date, over 6 million dollars have been unused. SB 1443 would extend the time for disposition of currently unused funds to post 9/11/2001 Veterans and their families to 31 Dec 2025. Any unused funds as of 31 Dec 2025 would be transferred for deposit in the Veterans’ Donation Fund as originally planned at the end of 2018. This extension of time will “maintain faith” with those Arizona taxpayers who specifically donated for the purposes of assisting post 9-11 veterans and their families. Concurrently, the Bill would establish the current Veterans’ Donation fund as an AZ Tax Credit donation organization for the period 1 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2025 to augment its current source of resources to assist Arizona Veterans of all eras and their families, including post 9-11 Veterans

Please consider sending the draft message at the end of this Email to all Senate Appropriations Committee members ASAP

                    Guidance for processing and sending your Email(s).

When you are ready to forward the Message at the end of this text to all State Senate Appropriations Committee members:

Copy the Draft  Message at the end of this posting. Then open a New Email as you would usually do to send a message. Then paste what you copied below as the text of your New Email. Edit it if desired. Then add your name after the word ‘Respectfully’ at the end of your new message.

Then type  “ SB 1443: veterans’ donation fund: tax credit  as the subject of your New Email

Then come back to this posting and copy one of the lists of Senate Appropriations Committee Members shown below and paste it on the Bcc: line of your new Message

Then then hit SEND to send your Email

Email addresses with Semi-colons for members of the Senate Appropriations Committee:

SALLEN@azleg.gov; OCAJEROBEDFORD@azleg.gov; SFARLEY@azleg.gov; KHOBBS@azleg.gov; JKAVANAGH@azleg.gov; DLESKO@azleg.gov; SMONTENEGRO@azleg.gov; WPETERSEN@azleg.gov;; MQUEZADA@azleg.gov; STSMITH@azleg.gov;  

Senate Appropriations Committee members:                                                                                                                        

SALLEN@azleg.gov, OCAJEROBEDFORD@azleg.gov, SFARLEY@azleg.gov, KHOBBS@azleg.gov, JKAVANAGH@azleg.gov, DLESKO@azleg.gov, SMONTENEGRO@azleg.gov, WPETERSEN@azleg.gov, MQUEZADA@azleg.gov, STSMITH@azleg.gov,                     

                                          Draft Message

Dear Senator,

As an Arizona Veteran, I encourage you to support SB 1443: ‘veterans’ donation fund; tax credit’ in the Senate Appropiations Committee hearing. The Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF), established as an Arizona Tax Credit organization established in 2007 to assist post 1/9/11 veterans, is scheduled to end in 2018. Of the approximately 9 million dollars donated to date, over 6 million dollars have been unused. SB 1443 would extend the time for disposition of currently unused funds to post 9/11/2001 Veterans and their families to 31 Dec 2025. Any unused funds as of 31 Dec 2025 would be transferred for deposit in the Veteran’s Donation Fund as originally planned at the end of 2018. This extension of time will “maintain faith” with those Arizona taxpayers who specifically donated for the purposes of assisting post 9-11 veterans and their families. Concurrently, the Bill would dis-establish the MFRF as a Tax Credit organization and establish the current Veterans’ Donation fund as an AZ Tax Credit donation organization for the period 1 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2025 to augment its current source of resources to assist Arizona Veterans of all eras and their families, including post 9-11 Veterans.

I urge you to support SB 1443 in committee.

Respectfully,

 

 

Legislative Update 17 February 2017: New VA Secretary Hits the Ground Running

                                              We have no Action Items today

                                                                         Issues 

                  Click on the underlined titles below: 

 

MOAA OUTLINES THE FUTURE OF MILITARY HEALTH CARE

Modernizing health care takes an army

MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, USAF (Ret), represented military health care beneficiaries with key players in a panel discussion.

 

NEW VA SECRETARY HITS THE GROUND RUNNING

New SecVA confirmed and sworn in

Secretary David Shulkin assumes the reins none too soon, ready to tackle major issues facing the VA.

 
 

TOP 10 UNMET NEEDS FOR WOUNDED WARRIORS

Find out what you can do to help

We’ve identified unresolved issues for wounded, ill, and injured troops and their families on the topic of care coordination.

 

 

COLA WATCH

COLA Pops in January

2017 begins with the cost of living index trending upward.

 
 

MOAA STAFFER HONORED

Hill Vets top 100 announced

MOAA’s Director of Military Family Policy and Spouse Programs, Brooke Goldberg, was recognized for her excellence in advocacy for veterans, service members and supporters.

 

FOR ALL, Please feel free to pass these Weekly Legislative Updates on to your group of Veteran Friends – don’t be concerned with possible duplications – if your friends are as concerned as we are with Veteran issues, they probably won’t mind getting this from two or more friendly sources.

.                      That’s it for today- Thanks for your continuing help!