2010 State Legislative Action Plan
The following Virginia Legislative Priorities were approved by the Executive Council during the July Meeting:
State Tuition Assistance Program: Tuition assistance grant up to $2000 / semester for eligible VA Guard members enrolled at any state, private, accredited or non-profit institution of higher learning in Virginia.
o Problem: Additional funding is needed for the State Tuition Assistance Program to meet increasing demand. (bad economy, rising cost of college education)
o Objective: Request additional funding through budget or legislative actions.
Tax-free Virginia Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF): Financial assistance for military families having financial difficulty because of deployment
o Problem: Funds provided through the MFRF are taxed at the state rate of 5.75%. Taxing the benefits paid creates additional burdens on the military members and their families.
o Objective: Amend the statue to exclude MFRF benefits from taxable income.
State Funding for Amory Maintenance and Repair: DMA maintains 46 armories, most are over 40 years old and require more maintenance and repair because of inadequate funding in the past. Increasing utility costs come out of the same budget.
o Problem: Inadequate and poorly maintained training facilities have a direct, negative impact on the Guard's capabilities and performance of their state mission during natural disasters and civil disturbances, and for homeland defense issues.
o Objective: Request more funding for armory maintenance and repair.
Commonwealth ChalleNGe Funding: Commonwealth ChalleNGe is a 17½-month co-educational program for at-risk teens ages 16 to 19. It has over 3000 graduates since 1994 with 100% placement (60% entering workforce, 20% entering military service and 20% continuing their education).
o Problem: State funding is at risk because of required DMA budget cuts.
o Objective: Maintain funding for a very successful program.
o 320 percent less than job corps
o 433 percent less than juvenile corrections
o 600 percent less than adult corrections
o 660 percent less than private military-style programs
Consolidate the VA ARNG, ANG and Joint Staff in a new HQ building at Sandston
o Problem: Army, Air and Joint staff are currently spread over many locations in outdated facilities; impacting C2 and the ability to coordinate with other agencies located primarily in Richmond.
o Objective: Support The Adjutant General's plan to consolidate the DMA staff in Sandston.