AUSA Backs Two Military Family Bills

AUSA Backs Two Military Family Bills

Photo by: Architect of the Capitol

The Association of the U.S. Army is supporting two bills pending before Congress aimed at helping military families.

The association supports the Military Spouse Career Education Act, a bill drafted by Northern Mariana Islands Delegate to the House of Representatives Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan that would provide military spouses more flexibility with DoD funding dedicated to help them receive the career and technical education needed to enter portable licensed professions.

Specifically, Sablan proposes expanding a $1,000 professional licensing reimbursement benefit already provided to military spouses to cover the cost of continuing education units necessary to maintain a professional license or certification each time spouses relocate with their service member. The benefit currently covers the costs of relicensing exams and related registration fees.

AUSA also supports the bipartisan Elaine M. Checketts Military Families Act of 2020, a measure introduced by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois that would allow parental leave for the birth of a child to continue in the event of a miscarriage or stillbirth. 

Under current policy, military parental leave terminates upon the death of a child, but civil service rules allow a federal civilian worker to continue using previously approved parental leave as time to grieve. The bill, S 3776, would bring parity for military members. Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in the House.

The bill is named for the deceased daughter of an Air Force major.