Alabama state legislature passes Military Bill Package

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lauren Silverthorne, Air University Public Affairs

Earlier this year, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation proposed in Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth’s Military Bill Package. This set of 10 bills (complete list below) are specifically designed to help motivate and welcome military families to serve in the state.

“The Department of the Air Force is the largest employer in Montgomery, and officials from the State Legislature to the Chamber of Commerce are working hard to ensure it stays that way,” said Dr. Brian Selmeski, a former associate professor at Air University and former chair, AU and Maxwell Public K-12 Education Working Group. “A number of tech accelerators, small business incubators, and other resources have also been established in the River Region. Collectively, these efforts are helping make Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base an assignment of choice for military families.”

One recently passed bill permits military dependents attending public colleges and universities in Alabama to pay in-state tuition while stationed in the state, extends the enrollment deadline for military families to apply for magnet schools and guarantees the acceptance of out-of-state occupational licenses for military dependents in various professions. Another allows temporary certificates of qualification and licenses to physicians and physician assistants who are relocated or stationed in Alabama under official military orders.

“As chairman of the Alabama Military Stability Commission, we understand that the transient and nomadic nature of military service can be stressful for spouses and dependents who have to join their service member in moving from one base assignment to another, so we have taken solid steps to make that process easier,” said Ainsworth.

The commission also created the “Heroes’ Welcome” website that provides information in addition to Maxwell’s inbound personnel site for military families who are newly assigned to the area.

“Providing a more welcoming environment and a better quality of life to the men and women who wear a uniform and the families that support them is among the most satisfying accomplishments of my public service,” he said.

Selmeski explained that these bills are not only beneficial to military families, but to the surrounding community as well.

“Increasing license portability isn't just good for military families, it also contributes to readiness and retention by reducing family stress caused by transitions,” he said. “These bills also help defense communities like Montgomery by increasing the availability of nurses, psychologists, teachers, and other high-demand professionals.”

Click here for more information about military spouse interstate licensing, licensing reimbursement and resources to help find state-specific information about occupational requirements.

Contents of the Military Bill Package:

  • Senate Bill 80 – SB80 is sponsored by Sen. Tom Butler and relates to military land use planning. (Act 2021 – 114)
  • Senate Bill 82 – Sponsored by Sen. Tom Whatley, SB82 authorizes the adoption of the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact that allows licensed physical therapists to practice among compact member states. (Act 2021 – 115)
  • Senate Bill 83 – SB83, sponsored by Sen. Tom Whatley, provides resident student status to minor children of military service members stationed in Alabama for the purpose of higher education tuition rates. (Act 2021 – 81)
  • Senate Bill 84 – Sponsored by Sen. Rodger Smitherman, this act adds one senator and one representative from minority caucuses appointed by the lieutenant governor and speaker of the House. (Act 2021 – 82)
  • Senate Bill 102 – This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Jones, establishes the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact to authorize licenses psychologists to practice on a limited basis among compact members states. (Act 2021 – 116)
  • Senate Bill 103 – Sponsored by Sen. Will Barfoot, the “School Choice and Student Opportunity Act” authorizes charter schools on or near military bases to serve military dependents. (Act 2021 – 117)
  • Senate Bill 104 – Sponsored by Sen. Will Barfoot, SB 104 provides lifetime hunting and fishing licenses to disabled veterans. (Act 2021 – 83)
  • Senate Bill 106 – SB 106 by Sen. Will Barfoot expands the Alabama GI Dependents Scholarship program to include the dependents of guard members who die in the line of state-only service. (Act 2021 – 84)
  • Senate Bill 124 – Sponsored by Sen. Donnie Chesteen, this bill allows temporary certificates of qualification and licenses to physicians and physician assistants who are relocated or stationed in Alabama under official military orders. (Act 2021 – 100)
  • Senate Bill 130 – Sponsored by Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, SB 130 establishes the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact to authorize licenses to practice among compact member states. (Act 2021 – 118)