Washington, D.C.—Did you know that the Department of Defense spent more than $4 billion in FY 2015 across the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico? This spending sustains local communities through salaries and benefits paid to military personnel and retirees, defense contracts and tax revenues. U.S. military operations touch every state in some way and state legislatures are playing an increasingly substantial role in military issues.
The report, “Preparing for Duty: State Policy Options to Sustain Military Installations,” was released during the annual National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Capitol Forum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Dec. 6. The report comes from NCSL’s Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs, which is made up of 54 members from 29 states that meets several times each year to study military and veterans issues and tour local bases.
The report highlights the importance of the military on state economies and provides a number of state policy options to support military-community cooperation and address land use challenges that may arise as the buffer narrows between military and civilian areas. The strategies presented in the report are intended to help states secure the future of their military bases and ensure that communities continue to benefit from the jobs and business opportunities the military provides.
A few of the policy areas covered include:
- Creation of military advisory bodies and commanders councils.
- Funding and financing programs to enhance the value of military bases.
- Enhanced communication with the military on proposed land use changes.
- Protecting land around a military base for agriculture or other purposes.
- Reducing light pollution.
- Limiting noise impacts from military activities.
View the report “Preparing for Duty: State Policy Options to Sustain Military Installations”
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.