To: Rep. Snow, V. L.,
Subject: Re: SB 96 Feedback
Sent from my iPhone
On Mar 4, 2016, at 9:35 AM, Brian Garrett <Brian.Garrett@zionsbank.com> wrote:
I just played the committee hearing back and wanted to touch base with you. If we can modify the bill in a way that the plan is in place before the deployment (in the decree?), I think we can satisfy the concerns of our military partners. I am in Utah county but available by phone this morning (8015500398) and could clear my schedule this afternoon to meet with you and/or Esther if you would like. I am also available Monday all day. I have to apologize, but I didn't receive the follow up email you mentioned sending me. I've checked my junk mail and didn't find it there either. Please let me know how I can helpBrianFrom: Brian Garrett
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 2:46 PM
To: 'email@example.com'; firstname.lastname@example.org; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'
Subject: SB 96 Feedback
Thank you for taking the time to visit with Gary Harter and I yesterday. As was mentioned, a number of our military leaders have expressed their appreciation for the spirit of this legislation but have concerns about the language in the bill and the adverse effect it will have on readiness, retention and recruiting. These concerns lie in the fact that the trigger for the mechanisms in the bill takes place up to seven days after the member is notified of their deployment. In many cases this may not give the member time to resolve the issue through the courts prior to deploying and could create additional issues and hardships on all involved.
Current DoD policy, based on lessons learned in previous conflicts, requires military members to have family care plans in place at all times so that they have their personal affairs in order to be deployable with little to no notice. By adopting state code that implements a family care planning process that begins AFTER the member is notified of the deployment severely conflicts with the intent of current DoD policy and can undermine the military’s ability to effectively and efficiently deploy their members because they are no longer “ready”. Further, there is concern that implementing this legislation will create retention issues because it could force service members to have to choose between their military career and their family. With an all-volunteer force and the services’ increased reliance on the guard and reserve the last thing our service members need is policy that further complicates their already complicated life. Additionally, this change removes the language in 30-3-40(5) that protects certain parental rights of service members while deployed which is also quite concerning from a readiness and retention standpoint. Members shouldn’t have to worry about being exposed to a custody or parent time challenge while they are deployed.
While we were visiting, you requested I send you specific lines that can be changed in the bill. Quite frankly, in order to adequately address the complexity of these issues, I feel the bill needs to be completely reworked. The provisions of the bill must be in place before notice of a deployment, thus allowing them to be the cornerstone of the family care plan required by DoD. Perhaps this language should be included in the statutory guidelines or in the section of the code that addresses the content of parenting plans so that it is included in the original decree and modified as needed?
I know you don’t have time to work this in the interim session but if you were willing to send it to the Veterans and Military Affairs Commission for study, I would personally commit to you my time, as a member of the Commission, to work on your behalf in leading the effort to address these concerns. I feel through a collaborative effort between our local legal and military communities we can bring back a bill that better meets the needs of Utah’s military children and families, addresses the concerns of our military leadership, supports the needs of the legal community, and builds the necessary support from Utah’s military community to get a bill through next session. Maybe what we develop in Utah becomes a best practice model for the Uniform Law Commission.
On a personal note, I would like to thank you for your willingness to discuss the bill and for considering outside input because it is a very important topic that should be properly addressed. In my last military assignment I spent eight years managing this program in the Air Force Reserve and have seen firsthand the impacts of it as I deployed hundreds of Airmen off to war, being left here to deal with the family issues that resulted from the deployments. I was also a divorced Dad with joint custody of two kids so I understand firsthand the impacts of these situations from both a leadership standpoint and that of a service member with deployment obligations.
Thank you again. If you would like to discuss this further please call my cell. I would be happy to run up to the hill at any time to visit with you.
Cell (801) 550-0398
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