MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
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MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter

MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
 
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

The chapter has been an active member of the Virginia Council of Chapters (VCOC) which is made up of representatives of all MOAA chapters in the state. Several members have held leadership positions on the Council over the years: Lt Col Blair Smith served as its President, Vice President, and Personal Affairs Representative; COL Lee Dyment served as the Council Secretary; Maj Melva Mallison has served in various positions to include 3rd Vice President and Public Affairs Officer, 2nd Vice President, Publisher of the Council newsletter, the Council Crier,  and was also responsible for creating and managing the Council website; and Mrs. Jackie Peters who served for a number of years as the Council’s Auxiliary Liaison Officer.

 The chapter has actively partnered with the VCOC over the years in supporting significant national and state legislative issues affecting military members (active, National Guard, Reserve), retirees, and family members and has participated in two major VCOC activities each year: 

• VCOC Day at the Capitol (Storming Richmond) event held each year since 1997. The fundamental purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for chapter members to meet with their legislators in the General Assembly, the Governor, and others to urge support of proposed legislation being considered which would benefit military members, retirees, their families, and/or Veterans who are stationed or reside in Virginia. 

• Annual Congressional Appreciation Luncheon which has been held in Washington, D.C. each Spring since 1985! It provides an excellent opportunity for chapter members who attend to personally meet their designated Virginia elected officials to discuss legislative issues of importance being considered by the U.S. Congress. This was the only MOAA state-supported activity of this nature in the country until the Maryland Council held a similar event in 2012. 

The chapter’s active grass roots support over the years has helped to influence the passage of important legislation being sponsored by both National MOAA and the Virginia Council. Some especially significant legislative achievements which the chapter has helped influence over the years include: 

NATIONAL 

• Elimination of the old Dual-Compensation provision for active duty retirees wherein they had to forfeit part of their retirement pay to go to work for the Federal Government. 

• Elimination of the Dual Retirement System which had been implemented by Congress in the 1980’s which reduced military retirement from 50% to 40% for members retiring after the legislation were approved. At one point in time, military members on active duty at the same time were going to receive different retired pay! 

• Elimination of what was known as the SBP-Offset, wherein surviving spouses (widows) had their SBP payments reduced from 55% of their spouse’s retired pay to up to 35% when they reached 62 years of age. 

• Implementation of TRICARE FOR LIFE, which guaranteed the military retirees would enjoy promised health care for their military service for their entire life. Until this legislation was passed, military retirees had to go on MEDICARE without ANY supplement from the military when they reached age 62. 

• Continued opposition to ANY changes to TRICARE benefits and/or reductions to medical reimbursement fees to medical providers which would result in losses of those providers. 

• The new GI Bill. 

STATE LEVEL 

Equitable Taxation for military retirees residing in Virginia. As a result of a Michigan court decision that declared that states could not tax federal retirees differently than state and local retirees, the VCOC took the lead in pursuing the equitable tax treatment of federal and military retirees to include refunds of taxes   which had been collected on federal and military retired pay over the years. As a result of vigorous grass roots activism, the state offered to settle for reduced payments out of court. While many individuals accepted this offer, some continued the fight for a full restitution of payments and were eventually repaid plus interest. 

• Approval by the General Assembly to approve and fund legislation to enable the state of Virginia to join the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children. This compact was originally developed by the National Council of State Governments in cooperation with the Department of Defense to create uniform policies at the state and local levels for military children being transferred between state school districts. The purpose of the compact was to eliminate requirements which were negatively affecting or impeding continued education or graduation opportunities of military children. 

• Establishing and funding for a State Wounded Warrior Program within 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 Spouse of active duty member 

• Waiver of one-year residency requirement for recently-discharged veterans to qualify for in-state tuition rates 

• Funding to develop and test an automated Veterans Disability Claims Processing System (TurboVet) for veterans residing in the state of Virginia. 

• Pressuring the General Assembly to: continue adequate funding for the Wounded Warrior Program; to provide funding to open and support a new Veterans Cemetery in Southwest Virginia; and provide increased funding support for the Virginia War Memorial and the Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center.  



 

 

MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter
MOAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter

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