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Ask what your State is doing for you!

Here in Ohio the living is great - except for the winter weather!  The State has enacted several sweeping reforms meant to benefit military members and most of us living here aren't aware of them.  They are great benefits for military personnel and their families.

Do you know what your State has done for you?  Has your State been increasing your benefits and, maybe, you just aren't aware of the changes?  Read on to find out what kinds of things Ohio has been doing lately.

Military Retired pay is not subject to state income tax!  Whew - making us think twice about where to retire.  There are some states out there with no income tax at all - true!  And that is a marvelous thing to consider when retiring also.  But this is a boon for those who are looking more to the mid-west - or happen to be stationed here and don't want to move again.

In-State tuition granted for military personnel and their families!  Combine this with the latest GI Bill and it's tremendous for those of us with kids/military members/spouses who desire to continue their education and are living the migrant lifestyle!  There is sweeping legislation poised to pass in DC to make this universal law of the land, but Ohio was right there on the cutting edge with passing this initiative! 

Getting on board with the Interstate Compact for the Educational Opportunities for Military Children.  This fall, the Ohio legislature will finally get on board with other states to bring to the State Legislature the Interstate Compact!  This initiative, heavily supported by the NMFA and other military support organizations, has already passed in several states.  It gives credence and awareness to the issues facing military families as they move their children through the various states in support of the mission.  And we all know there are many, many issues we face with our children!  This initiative addresses such things as special needs children, differing start dates for Kindergarten, transferring Advanced Placement availability, standardized testing issues, graduation requirements and so much more. 

There are issues addressed in the Compact that, perhaps, would not have been considered before the War began and multiple deployments became an issue.  Children who are living in another district because their custodial parent is deployed should not be charged for choosing to attend their regular school, nor should the family be charged for choosing to send their child to the local school of the guardian watching them while their parent is deployed.  The kids are also allowed extra time off pre-deployment, post-deployment and during R&R to spend time with their deployed parent. 

All in all, it's a great thing - make sure your state is getting involved and be aware if your state has already passed this Compact.  Check if it's been passed in the state you are transferring into!  If you are coming to Ohio - we're getting there!

Institution of the Ohio ISFAC - Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee. Giving credit where credit is due, this is a Ohio National Guard initiative.  As a Guard initiative, it works extremely closely with the state government.  It's a tremendous gathering of organizations whose purpose is to support the troops and all the military branches.  The group works together to create a working network to help each other succeed!  It's an exchange of information to let military members of all services find out what programs are out there and available to help support service members and their families.  Truly a wonderful organization!  Not new, but worth mentioning when extolling the virtues of Ohio!  I don't know if all states have this, but they should!

There's lots of other great things about Ohio - but the winters aren't as pleasant as Florida!  If only they could legislate higher temperatures and sunshine!  What has your State done for you lately?  Anybody else out there proud of what their state is doing for them as military families?

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