The U.S. Senate today approved the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act as an amendment to the 2009 Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390) at the request of Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), putting the legislation on a fast track for passage into law this year.
The bill authored by U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-TX), currently has over 140 bipartisan co-sponsors. The high level of support Carter has built in the House makes it likely the final version of the Defense Authorization Act will include the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act when it is signed into law by the President.
"This is fantastic news for our service families worldwide," says Carter, who has been pushing the legislation for the last four 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 spouse did not, leaving many families with split residencies.