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Military State Policy Source Publishes 2023 Key Issues

Military State Policy Source launched its key issues for 2023, which include three new areas of focus: “Defining Armed Forces in State Policy,” “Military and Family Life Counselor Licensure Waiver” and “Licensure Exemptions for Military Family Child Care Providers.”

Each year, the Defense-State Liaison Office focuses on 10 key issues highlighting some of the most critical needs of military families. The DSLO works with state policymakers to change or make new laws and policies that address these needs.

For each key issue, the Military State Policy Source website provides background information, official Defense Department data and status updates on relevant information across states. Highlighting the 2023 key issues are:

  • Defining Armed Forces: Recent force structure changes require updates to ensure that states’ definitions of military service comport with federal law. States can minimize disruptions in benefits and services for eligible service members by clearly defining “armed forces.”
  • Military and Family Life Counselor Licensure Waiver: The state licensure process can be a barrier to providing timely mental health support to service members and families. States can provide a licensure waiver for military and family life counselors to allow for mental health care, as needed.
  • Licensure Exemptions for Military Family Child Care Providers: In many cases, military family child care providers must be licensed or registered by the state, in addition to the military. By exempting providers already certified through the military, states can enhance the economic status of both providers and families.
  • Licensing Compacts: The DSLO continues to work with legislators to develop interstate compacts, which facilitate the ability of professionals, including military spouses, to work across state lines. Compacts expected for 2023 are in the areas of teaching, social work, cosmetology, dentistry/dental hygiene, massage therapy, school psychology and dietetic nutrition.

The other key issues for 2023 are:

  • Enhanced Military Spouse Licensure Portability
  • Military Spouse Occupational Licensure Access
  • Purple Star Schools Program
  • Open Enrollment Flexibility
  • Child Abuse Identification and Reporting
  • Concurrent Juvenile Jurisdiction

For every key issue added in a given year, another drops off. The 2022 key issues, for example, addressed Advance Enrollment, which allows military children access to school registration at the same time as the general population, and In-State Tuition Continuity, which maintains in-state status for military students at institutions of higher learning when their families move.

But while these initiatives are no longer listed among the top areas of focus on the MSPS website, they and other issues that have dropped off in previous years are of no less importance to the DSLO when it comes to working with legislators to improve military life in those areas.

Check out the full list of 2023 key issues on the MSPS website.

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