Virginia Peninsula Chapter MOAA
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Virginia Peninsula Chapter MOAA

Virginia Peninsula Chapter MOAA
Virginia Peninsula Chapter MOAA
 
Legislation

VIPMOAA LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE:

CHAIRMAN:  COL Jim Pauls, USAF (Ret.), keydetman@aol.com

VICE-CHAIRMAN:  COL Joe Syslo, USAF (Ret.) joesyslo@verizon.net

MEMBERS:

COL Boyd Nix, USAF, (Ret.)

COL John Harms, USMC, (Ret.)

LTC Stan Gorrell, USA, (Ret)

Legislative Activism

Through the support of the Chapter’s Legislative Committee, the chapter has maintained an active and aggressive legislative agenda over the years which has helped spur passage of important legislation at both the Federal and State level.

NATIONAL

Working in concert with MOAA National’s Government Relations office, the chapter endorses significant Legislative objectives being pursued by:

  • Interacting with Virginia’s two State Senators and Representatives from the Congressional Districts within the chapter’s geographic boundaries by visiting their  District offices or issuing invitations to speak at a monthly chapter event.
  • Encouraging chapter members to personally communicate with legislators via mail or e-mail.
  • Creating a chapter “E-mail Net” which allows instant communication capability for alerting chapter members about “late-breaking” activities which require action.
  • Supporting the Virginia Council of Chapters’ annual “Congressional Luncheon” held in the Washington, D.C. area.

Some of the especially significant national achievements the chapter has helped influence over the years include:

  • Elimination of the 40-year old “widows tax” on Surviving Spouses known as the “SBP-DIC Offset” which was included in the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Trump on December 20, 1999!
  • Implementation of TRICARE FOR LIFE (TFL), which guaranteed that military retirees would enjoy promised health care for their military service their entire life! Until this legislation was passed, military retirees were forced to go on MEDICARE without ANY type of supplement when they reached age 62!
  • Elimination of the old “Dual-Compensation” provision for active duty retirees wherein they had to forfeit part of the retirement pay to go to work for the Federal Government.
  • Elimination of the “Dual Retirement System” implemented by Congress in the 1980’s which reduced military retired pay from 50% to 40% for members joining the military after the legislation was passed. At one point in time, it was possible for military members on active duty at the same time to be entitled to two different types of retired pay!
  • Continued opposition to ANY changes to TRICARE benefits and/or reductions to medical reimbursement fees. Although not always successful, largely because of lack of support from senior Military leaders, MOAA has usually been successful in mitigating harmful changes being proposed.
  • Strongly endorsing and fighting for active duty pay increases and other entitlements.
  • Strongly endorsing improvements to the “GI Bill.”

STATE LEVEL

  • The chapter has been extremely active over the years in supporting the Virginia Council of Chapters (VCOC) which is made up of representatives of all MOAA chapters throughout Virginia. Several chapter members have held elected office on the Council over the years to include Lt Col Blair Smith, USA-Ret, who served in different capacities as President, Vice President, and Personal Affairs representative; Maj Melva Mallison, USAF-Ret, who served in various positions to include 3rd Vice President and Public Affairs Officer, 2nd Vice President, editor of the Council newsletter, the Council Crier, and was primarily responsible for creating and initially managing the Council website; Mrs. Jackie Peters, who served for a number of years as the Council’s “Auxiliary Liaison Officer”; Col/MD  Dan Warren, USA-Ret, who recently completed a 2 year tenure as the Council President; and Col Boyd Nix, USAF-Ret, who was elected the President for the 2020-2022 term.
  • The chapter has actively participated in and supported the VCOC over the years in two significant legislatively-oriented activities:
    • A “VCOC Day at the Capitol” event in Richmond, VA which has been scheduled in January of almost every year since 1997 to meet with State legislators to urge support of proposed State legislation  being considered which would benefit military members, retirees, Veterans, and/or their families who are residents of or are stationed in Virginia.
    • An annual “Congressional Appreciation Luncheon” which has been held in Washington, D.C. every Spring since 1985! It provides an excellent opportunity for chapter members to personally visit with their designated Federally-elected officials to discuss important legislation being considered by Congress at the time. (This was the ONLY state-oriented activity by a MOAA Council in the Nation until the Maryland Council began having a similar event in 2012!)
  • Some of the significant state-oriented Legislative successes the VCOC has helped influence over the years include:
    • A significant effort to enact “equitable taxation” for Federal retirees residing in Virginia in response to a related Michigan Court decision that the Michigan e could not tax Federal retirees differently from State or local retirees. As a result of vigorous grass-roots activism, the State of Virginia offered to settle on a plan for refunding taxes which had been collected on Federal or military retired pay. However, the legislature also decided that, to avoid the problem in the future, it would begin taxing  ALL retiree income (Federal, state, and local!)
    • Approval by the General Assembly to approve and fund to enable Virginia to join the “Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children.” The Compact was originally developed by the National Council of State Governments in cooperation with DoD to create uniform education-related policies at the state and local levels for military children being transferred between state school districts and to eliminate requirements that were negatively affecting or impeding education opportunities of military children.
    • Getting the State General Assembly to approve the establishing of and funding for a “State Wounded Warrior Program” with the State’s “Department of Veterans Services” to help Virginia veterans, Guardsmen, and Reservists with “Combat/Operational Stress Conditions” or “Traumatic Brain Injury” and their families.
    • Real Estate Tax Exemption for 100% Disabled (Service-connected) Veterans
    • In-State Tuition Eligibility for a spouse of an active duty member serving in Virginia.
    • Waiver of one-year residency requirement for recently discharged veterans to qualify for In-State tuition.
  • Urging the General Assembly to: continue adequate funding for the Wounded Warrior Program and to provide funding to open and support two new Veteran’s Cemeteries, the Southwest Veterans Cemetery in Dublin, VA and the Albert G. Horton, Jr Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, VA.
Virginia Peninsula Chapter MOAA
Virginia Peninsula Chapter MOAA
Virginia Peninsula Chapter MOAA
Virginia Peninsula Chapter MOAA

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