Military families would have greater flexibility to expedite or postpone moves to accommodate school work by a child or a spouse’s professional or educational studies, under bipartisan legislation introduced Tuesday in the Senate.
The 2015 Military Family Stability Act — introduced by Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) along with co-sponsors Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) — would permit a family to leave up to six months before or after the service member’s reporting date to the new installation. The family would continue to receive the housing allowance for its location, while the service member would reside in unaccompanied housing or be granted compensation, reported Army Times.
“More military spouses are working than ever before and abrupt relocations negatively affect military children in school,” Blunt said in a press release. “Along with my colleagues, I’m pleased to announce the introduction of this bill, which will add stability to the chaotic military relocation period that occurs every two-to-three years.”
The plan would help spouses wrap up their work while finding new employment, and allow students to finish out semesters, explained Gillibrand. “Military families confront challenges other families may not have to ever face,” she said. The measure “would relieve a major burden for our families.”
Blunt said the Congressional Budget Office had not yet estimated the cost of the legislation, which primarily would be the housing expense for the service member while the family is living at a separate location.