HB 302 – Department of Defense
(Military Families Quality of Life)
Why VMFC supports the DOD Military Recommendations (military families quality of life)
The Department of Defense, as it looks for the best locations in the country to add new missions, is more likely to favor locations in states that best support military families based on the attainment of DSLO* priorities.
Competition is intense among states for new and expanded military missions.
The total economic impact, direct and indirect revenue, of the 4 military bases in NM is $14 billion. Defense spending (i.e. contracts, grants, and payrolls) is 3.8% of NM’s GDP, ranking NM 11th in the US. DoD spends $4.6 billion in NM, ranking NM 29th in the US.
There are 22,106 military and 21,053 accompanying family members who work, go to school, worship, shop and play in New Mexico. As members of our communities, they often face obstacles and discrimination based on their military status.
The Military Families Quality of Life bill is designed to remove some of these obstacles and discrimination. It will make military servicemembers and family members a more integral part of their communities. And it will make New Mexico a more “military family friendly” state.
For more information on the Department of Defense priorities for NM click HERE.
HB 302 addresses issues that the Department of Defense (DoD) has identified as foundational to improving the quality of life of military families in New Mexico.
The 2024 priorities include:
- Military access to quality family child care
- Defining Armed Forces in state policy
- Military family anti-discrimination status
By recognizing the military family child care certification provided by the military services and exempting DoD family child care (FCC) providers from duplicative state licensure and registration processes, NM can increase access and enhance the economic security of both the providers and military families seeking child care. The DoD FCC programs follow some of the highest standards for care in the nation. The military FCC programs support the mission requirements of the installation and are for use only by active-duty military, reserve, DoD civilians and other eligible users.
Adding Space Force to the definitions of “Armed Forces” entitles those members to the same rights and benefits as other military members.
Military Family Anti-Discrimination will be enhanced by including military status in the list of protected classes of the Human Rights Act. This protection from discrimination against military and military families in employment, education, housing, banking, public utilities and civil rights laws is a high priority for DoD to help ensure resilience and retention for active-duty service members.
13,914 active-duty servicemembers
4,774 active-duty spouses
8,385 active-duty children
7,824 National Guard and reserve members
3,215 National Guard and reserve spouses
5,116 National Guard and reserve children
43,228 military and family members reside in New Mexico