Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and members of the Alabama Military Stability Commission celebrated a new report on Tuesday that ranks Alabama as the nation’s second best state for military retirees to locate, just one spot below top-ranked Florida.
“As chairman of the Alabama Military Stability Commission, we have worked hard to make Alabama the nation’s most welcoming state for active and retired service members, veterans, and military families,” Ainsworth said. “The fact that Alabama is now the second most popular state among military retirees offers strong evidence that the commission’s efforts are producing results, but just like our college football teams, we won’t stop working, pushing, and promoting until we are ranked number one in the nation.”
The study by RetireGuide.com ranked states based upon criteria that included state taxation of military retirement income, quality of VA facilities, cost of living, housing costs, and others. The full study may be viewed here.
For the past two years, the Alabama Military Stability Commission, a panel that is chaired by Ainsworth and was created by state statue in 2011, has introduced legislative packages designed to retain, protect, and increase the federal military presence across the state. Specific measures within the packages have been aimed at improving the lives of active service members, military dependents, and military retirees.
Among the measures proposed by Ainsworth and the commission that have been enacted into law are those that allow military dependents attending public colleges and universities in Alabama to pay in-state tuition while stationed here; expand scholarships provided under the Alabama G.I. and Dependents’ Educational Benefit Act to include private colleges and universities and adds the U.S. Space Force to qualifying branches; extend the enrollment deadline for military families to apply for magnet schools, and guarantee the acceptance of out- of-state occupational licenses for military dependents in various professions.
The U.S. Department of Defense recently awarded Ainsworth its Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award for his successful efforts to expand education opportunities and access for military dependents stationed in Alabama.