A three-year quest by Congressman John Carter (R-TX) to allow military spouses to claim the same state of residency as their husbands or wives is set for approval Monday in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act has already passed the Senate, so Monday's vote should send the legislation directly to the President's desk to become law.
"This is fantastic news for our service families worldwide," says Carter, who has been pushing the legislation for the last three years. "We should have done this long ago, but at least we are now on track to have a new law in 2009."
The bill allows a military spouse who moves out of a state with their service member under military orders to have the option to claim the same state of domicile as their active duty spouse, regardless of where they are stationed. Service members themselves have had that option for decades, while spouses did not, leaving many families with split residencies.
The bill was authored and originally introduced in the House by Carter in May 2008, and re-introduced this session as HR 1182. The Carter bill was then introduced in the Senate by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) as S. 475, where it passed unanimously. It is expected to pass as part of the House Suspension Calendar early tomorrow afternoon, and be forwarded to the President to be signed into law later this week.